Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.4
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3931 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
We will be offering take-out from 12:00pm- 7:00pm daily. Call now to place your order and enjoy Rusty Pelican's legendary cuisine at home!

The city of Newport Beach has instructed all restaurants and bars to stop dining service through March 31st. Unfortunately, that means we cannot take reservations, however we will continue to have local delivery and carry out services. We would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to serving you when we reopen.

Support Rusty Pelican Restaurant during COVID-19

What 3931 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Always a pleasure to dine at Rusty Pelican. The food is good and the staff are always friendly and attentive.

MP
Orange County
22 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We were there at 5 pm to entertain our friends. At 6:35 or so, I had a male We were there at 5 pm to entertain our friends. At 6:35 or so, I had a male worker, not our server, come and told us our table was needed for a table of 20 in 15 minutes. I don't think that was true because the meal for the table next to us was just served. The restaurant was not full, so we did not appreciate being rushed. Is there a time limit now at Rusty Pelicans?

F
San Francisco
122 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Set on a marina with a great view of the water, this Charthouse knockoff (actually owned by the Landry's chain) was average. Food and service was adequate but the view made the visit worthwhile. I understand that down the street is a restaurant named Louis is much better. I was in the area for a special occasion so I won't be returning soon so this review is for all of you.

KM
Tucson
9 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating our California friend’s birthday at Rusty Pelican. We were in town from IN and AZ.
We loved the whole experience. Friendly staff, great food and wonderful ambiance.

PS
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Our server was Shelby.She told us the specials but never mentioned OC restaurant Week menu. When I called her on it she said "oh I don't know if its still on.I will check
Two minutes later she came back with an OC Restaurant Menu. SHELBY OF COURSE KNEW THEY WERE STILL IN OC RESTAURANT WEEK .SHE TRIED TO UPSELL US ON SPECIALS AND THAS WHY SHE DIDNT MENTION OC RESTAURANT WEEK
We saw very little of Shelby after that

OT
Phoenix
290 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had dinner at the Rusty Pelican on a Friday night. When we arrived we were assigned a table next to the windows which offered us a nice view. The restaurant was pretty empty when we arrived, but then filled up over time. The upstairs bar area was closed due to a private party.
We enjoyed our dinner (appetizer, swordfish, tuna, ice cream with brownie). The wine and drinks were fine. Service was attentive.
We enjoyed our dinner.

MS
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's been around forever because they offer everything you need.

J
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food, as always, was excellent. Our server was outstanding. Rusty Pelican has the best Restaurant Week menu of any, for selection, quality, and value.

BC
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We came for my moms 60th birthday dinner. My husband and I came a few years before and had a wonderful experience. However, this visit was much different. First off, our food order was “apparently lost in the computer” but no one said anything for close to 45 minutes. All in all we were there for nearly 3 hours. Our order had to be retaken and wasn’t right when it finally came out. They completely forgot some dishes and on one they asked for no scallops and shrimp only. Her pasta literally only had scallops.

The view was beautiful and the food tasted great. Just wasn’t the celebration we were looking for on my Moms birthday.

OT
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Canan the bartender took care of us. Had a great time and he was awesome.

s
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were wonderful. We came on restaurant week and the menu for this event was great! We had Window seats that looked out into Newport bay. It’s also a great place to come for happy hour.

KC
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant, and try to come here at least every 2 weeks😍

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

I would have rated this all fives but taking 20 minutes to be seated for a 730 reservation when we’re looking at plenty of empty tables was not a good start. The young lady checked us in and said we will seat you shortly then simply went on to socialize with another server and the next young woman that took over - no checking the room for our table availability at all - then she left for the day....
The food itself and our server once we were seated definitely made up for the initial shortcomings as we shared the Calamari and Crab cakes ( our party of three adults and two kids). EVERYONE enjoyed the food who bid a small miracle with a picky boy or two in our party.

GT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

My swordfish wasn't the best, might have been because of restaurant week. Everything else was fine. Normally their fish is excellent.

KV
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Do not arrive too hungry on a Saturday night! Private party upstairs in the bar so not an option to wait there. Getting seated with a reservation was 30 mins and ordering took another 45 to 55 mins. Table was awkward since 4 of us were sat at a round table for 7-8 people. The food was good but should be at $40-50 a meal. Ordered a nice red wine that was very good but again it should be for $75 a bottle.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience1

19:00 reservation finally got us a seat at 19:40. And the table was outside, it was cold, and the propane for the heaters had run out. Not a please experience for an expensive dinner. Will not go back for some time....

JD
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall3food5service5ambience4

Table was not ready at reservation time and had a long wait. They were offering free bread while we were waiting but that wasn't for us. Service and food was outstanding. The main reason we picked the Rusty Pelican is it was supposed to be quiet. Not even close, it was very noisy and hard to hear a conversation at the table.

G
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment you enter the Rusty Pelican you are received into an atmosphere of harmony, comfort and pleasure. The professionalism of every Rusty Pelican staff member is beyond compare and something other restaurants should aspire to. Any desire or request is fulfilled with purpose and a smile, it appears everyone works as a team for the best guest experience possible.

The food quality is beyond measure, the fresh fish is so exquisitely prepared that it seems to melt in your mouth and is presented to impress the eye as much as the palate.

With the stunning views, impeccable service, immaculately maintained space, we are really looking forward to our next visit

RB
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Though food, setting, and service were otherwise good. Employees tended to make customers move out of their way rather than step aside for their customer to get where they were going.

NG
Orange County
16 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

This was our first brunch at the Rusty Pelican. We arrived at 11 a.m. and the restaurant was swamped with people. The great news is that I had asked for a reservation upstairs in the bar area adjacent to a window and was told the 'upstairs' doesn't take reservations and is on a first come, first served basis. To my surprise, a very pleasant surprise, they had reserved a table for us. Big points RP. Due to the huge crowd service was on the slow side. We were not in a hurry, so it was o.k. Martini's were cold and to the brim ... kudos to the bartender. We had oysters from Oregon and chicken picatta as entrees, both were excellent. We'll be back!

2
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The evening was lovely looking at the bay; the food was great; and the staff friendly. They split the entree with no fee. It’s been awhile since we’ve been there and will not wait so long to return.

M
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience4

We were offered the two specials for the evening and my wife ordered one. Silly me, I should have asked the price, but the average menu meal was $25 - $30, so I figured it would be in that neighborhood.As it turned out the sea bass was a bit under cooked and the vegetables were not very good quality. And for that they charged $47! The cocktails were mediocre and my Tuna was just ok. The service was excellent and it is always a treat to dine while watching the boats go by.

DB
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This restaurant was great for a nice dinner while in the area. We are happy we chose this place.

j
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

First our table of 8 wasn’t ready when we arrived for our reservation, yet the restaurant wasn’t anywhere near full. We were very disappointed in the service of the evening. We hadn’t finished starters when salads came (and at that point were still waiting for our drink order which was beer and wine ) and then had barely started salads and our mains came out. We asked them to wait on the mains until we were finished our salad. Then all of the main courses didn’t come out at the same time. We felt rushed and felt terrible that guests were waiting to start their main course for the last meal to arrive. It took more then 8 minutes between the first arrival and the last. And in top of that they didn’t bring the sides at that point!
On the upside. The valet was fast.

SA
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dined at Rusty Pelican on my birthday. The meal was great and service. We often go there for our birthdays.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent business dinner. Outdoor seating allowed for secluded and quiet area with great views of the harbor. Staff was prepare and solid.

DB
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved everything about our visit. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was special with a wonderful view of the harbor. The service was top notch. Highly recommended.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful view, great food, terrific service!

S
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food, excellent service, beautiful view and nice ambiance. The Rusty Pelican never disappoints. We’ve been going for years and recommend it whole heartedly.

w
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Nice location. Great view. Waitress was pleasant, professional, and courteous. Although, we had to remind her of our appetizer and garlic bread order which took way too long. We ordered an extra side dish that never came yet was on the bill. She told us about a surf and turf special yet never told us the price yet we never asked. Lesson learned there. It was a filet mignon and a lobster tail. The price was $75.00. That would be understandable if it actually was worth it. The filet was fatty and the lobster tasted old. The mashed potatoes on the side were cold and tasteless. She could see that we left more than half the meat yet she was unphased. She never came back to ask us if we wanted another round of drinks which is okay now since the bill was astronomical. Again, would be okay if it were worth it. They seemed to be very busy at getting the room put back together and possibly closing. We sat without any assistance for quite some time. We put Birthday celebration under the reservation yet she never inquired and neither did the hostess. Not worth another visit.

l
Las Vegas
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Had a nice dinner. Everything was fine but not exceptional. Menu was very limited.

CM
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We were seated promptly, food was good, service was good, but the air was too high and very cold. We sat inside because it was 65 outside but honestly felt colder at the table.

CC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love the service and attention to detail. The food is always fabulous and the attendants are wonderful.

DB
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food3service4ambience4

Pretty disappointed going to Rusty Pelican on Feb 15th. They did not have the prix fix menu like they did on the 14th but they had a very limited menu that you had to order from on the 15th which pretty much only had two main fish dishes and a couple other options if you didn't want fish. Girlfriend and I ordered one of each of the fish entrees which were tasty but both were quite under cooked and had to be reheated. They came back smaller because they cut portions off of where we had taken bites to make it presentable which is kind of annoying because I paid for a the full portion but because they under cooked it we get less. I will say we greatly enjoyed their garlic bread, came out very hot and was really good. Not sure if I will go back.

H
Orange County
107 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

We were surprised that the restaurant had a very limited menu on the Saturday after valentines on Friday. No mention of it on the website or on open table. 2 kinds of steak 2 fish entrees a chicken and something else that I cannot remember. Neither fish sounded good so we got steak , I got a very over cooked ribeye , my wife’s filet came out better. We love this restaurant very much our server was wonderful and of course the view of the bay was great but I don’t get why the very limited menu.

JD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

I usually really enjoy going to the Rusty Pelican, I was just disappointed in the menu selection the restaurant had in place for Valentines Day. I went there a few years back on Valentines and there was just more selection of food that my wife and I would enjoy. I also felt that spending $250 bucks with tip for what we ate was a little much, the same meal any other time would have been half the price. All in all, nice atmosphere, great service, but very inadequate food selection.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

It was Valentine’s Day to it was a fixed menu , there was plenty of good choice was also ok . Overall a nice experience , value for money and view is very nice

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our experience was very good I would’ve liked some entertainment piano bar or two piece band

s
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Got the sea bass special, but the server didnt say what the price was, so we were surprised when we got the bill. Almost twice any other entrees.

Been going whenever we're in town and recommend RP. Just ask the price of any specials.

LH
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Great view, delicious food!