Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.4
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3906 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
For over 45 years, we've prided ourselves on consistently creating legendary experiences for all our guests. From our signature fresh fish to our spectacular waterfront views, we hope you savor each and every moment. For an enhanced experience, ask one of our experts to pair our handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and selections from our award-winning wine list.
What 3906 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
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined 14 hours ago
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.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful view, great food, terrific service!

S
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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.

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
105 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
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!

JL
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Even though I made reservations a week earlier, still had to wait 25 minutes for a table. So, our party went to the upstairs bar to get a drink. It took 25 minutes to get a drink and the bar wasn't super crowded. Service and food in the dining area was okay.

The view of the harbor is wonderful.

GM
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The restaurant was very noisy and crowded, the tables close together, but we had a window table overlooking the harbor and part of the Newport peninsula. I started with a beet and arugula salad which had 3 small pieces of beer, no sign of cheese and limp arugula. My Mahi Mahi was a little overcooked but tasty. My cappuccino was undrinkable and unrecognizable as a cappuccino. So overall I would say I would not go back to this restaurant.

AP
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

This used to be a first class seafood restaurant. Have not been there for a lot of years. Took my date from San Gabriel to this place. Was definitely not worth the drive. A lot better restaurants around

T
Orange County
20 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always! Great food, fantastic service and wonderful view! Christine did a fabulous job attending to our need!

OT
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food1service5ambience4

The fish was not cooked and raw..
The manager just replaced it after everyone in my party was finished eating
What waste
Might never go here again!

J
Denver
24 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience and the food, service and staff were excellent- thanks and made this special b-day experience special. Thanks!

DC
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Good selection and service was good. We had a server in training and it was a bit busy for lunch on the weekend. Overall food was good and ambiance is great...if you enjoy looking out on the harbor.

JS
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was amazing! My husband did not want cheese on the main dish, and she remembered this and made sure it wasn’t added to his Caesar salad. Also, while I am following the Keto diet, she made sure that my steak came with a delicious side salad rather than-the standard potatoes offered. All of our needs were met and the food was delicious.

T
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful birthday dinner! The food was outstanding.

MH
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Good food, lackluster service.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience2

arrived at 6:12. My reservation was at 6:30. We weren't seated till 7:05. I want to start off by saying reservations are made to ensure seating for customers. My host was diligent, but I also felt she didnt have help as she ran the front by herself. Because of our hour long wait we did get a comp dish, but it doesnt take away from the fact we wait such a long time. I appreciate it. I also understand I ordered a steak from a seafood place. I get it, but it was not tasteful as I expected. Rusty pelican was once one of my favorite places to eat. My server was attentive. I appreciate that as well. I didnt want to take my steak home, but he convinced me to dont waste it. A little salt the next day and it saved the tasteless steak. An hour long wait after making a reservations before hand it really uncalled for. I just felt we were snubbed as we even came in 15 mins before. I did opt to wait for a better view table, but a few people were seated earlier than us. I just felt a heads up would have been nice. A desert free of charge for my boyfriends birthday was cute but after we just didnt enjoy ourselves as we expected. The last time I've been there was 4 years ago, and I thought this time around would be up to par. This would be my last time. I should have check yelped before going there. Had I known by other yelpers I wouldn't have wasted my time here on such an occasion.

LW
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating a birthday and as always, Rusty’s provided awesome food and service!

AD
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience4

The pasta was overcooked.
When communicated to the waiter there was no offer repair such a free dish or discount.

CG
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great waiter

RJ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, service and terrific oceanfront view. Valet parking only

EM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exactly what you expect from an outstanding restaurant. On the water makes extra special.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great food was amazing and the service was incredible

s
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional food and service.

JS
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The food was good and the restaurant very nice. The server was nice and had a great attitude but it felt like we were there for a lot longer than we needed to be. I would go again.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely one of our favorite places on the planet. Have made multiple trips just for the garlic bread. From food to service, first class all the way. We'll be back.

C
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I have always enjoyed the fish at Rusty P. Glad they are still around. Love the setting on the Newport Bay watching the setting sun.

BP
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was absolutely stunning. The view was amazing! Our waitress was good but very impersonal. We got right in and sat down. The wine was chilled perfectly. Overall experience was exceptional

T
Orange County
40 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always get good service and well prepared food. I have been eating there for many years and have always come away satisfied

RL
Detroit
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience4

It appeared that the Rusty Pelican was understaffed last night. Service was unorganized. Drinks came after salads, small requests took forever. We were finished with our dinner before water glasses were refilled and were asked if my guests wanted another drink or beverage.

w
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

We have been to Rusty pelican several times and never had the experience that we had there that night.
Our reservations were for party of four at 6:15 and we got our food at 8:30 PM... Don’t know if the problem was our server or the kitchen but it definitely seem like the large parties there got all the attention and service

Our server at the very very end thanked us for our patients that evening and provided us with free chocolate dessert however it was very embarrassing to have our friend join us for dinner visiting from Colorado and have to wait over two hours to eat their dinner