Rusty Pelican Restaurant

4.5
3297 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Rusty Pelican has been a long Newport Beach tradition for outstanding meals and legendary service. You'll love the breathtaking harbor views from our Coast Highway location. With our wide variety menu, we have something to offer everyone and a selection from our award winning wine list provides the perfect complement to your meal. Our Sunset Dining Menu is available Monday through Friday 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM.
What 3297 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Las Vegas
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, freshest fish, and amazing management.

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T
Orange County
30 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service is extraordinary as always. Fish prepared well and presented nicely

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SP
Denver
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

I had the large lobster tail was very tough and robbery. Have had much better lobster for less money.

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FN
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hostess and our waiter were amazing. Will be returning soon.

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MC
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Jordan, our server, was great.

Unfortunately, our dining experience was unpleasant because two tables behind us and next two us engaged in very loud and spirited conversations, to the point of screaming level. I kept waiting for the manager to approach and gently remind their customers to be considerate of others; sadly, no one was monitoring such an important aspect of restaurant operations.

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h
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The location is fantastic and the service was absolutely superb. The only down side was there was a scaled down menu because of the 3 day weekend. But what we had was great.

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JM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

As always I get a great Sunday Brunch, friendly waitresses, and a window view of Newport Harbor away from the TV and Bar. I have been going to the Rusty Pelican with 40+ years of excellence.

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LP
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a reservation for a party of 4 at 7:00 Saturday night. The lobby was wall to wall people and we waited for a 1/2 hour when they called our name. Then we were told they were running a special Valentines menu all weekend. We looked at the menu, didn't like the selection or the inflated prices and left. There was a sign in the lobby about the special but we didn't see it, it was so crowded.
We went next door and were seated right away and had a phenomenal dinner.

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IR
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife whether with the family for a special occasion, a date night, or with business associates for a working meal. You might call it our “go to” restaurant for when we need a reliable place to take someone for the first time. Seems like those are getting fewer each year. The food and service was excellent, as always. It was busy, because of Valentine’s Day, but not so noisy that we could not hear the other couple my wife and I asked to join us. Our food was served promptly and we had no problem getting the wine we brought with us uncorked. They even provided a chilling container for the opened white wine. The cost is a bit on the steep side, but still reasonable for a special occasions. And the valet parking is very efficient.

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FC
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a tight squeeze, lots of tables but worth the close quarters. Took my mom (with her walker) for her birthday and they made her feel special.

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SH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

Other than the view there was nothing good about this experience. The menu was limited and the food was poor. I had Filet and Lobster. The filet was the size of a MacDonalds hamburger and about as taste. The lobster was tiny and good for about four bites. Definitely not worth $42.

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OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Excellent seafood. Swordfish is always consistently delicious. I ordered Seabass this time which was enjoyable but I think the swordfish is better. Garlic bread is one of the best around. Clam chowder is good, not the best but good.

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KA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

rusty pelican is a great restaurant to spend with friends & family. Food is great and the service has always been the best. We will definitely return.

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ES
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely table by the window overlooking the water, on a chilly, sunny day. The food was excellent and our waitress was very good, but she was handling a number of tables alone, so that appeared to slow down things a bit. There should have been more waitstaff, plus it was Valentines weekend. But overall everything was great!

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AM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We we’re greeted by 2 very friendly young ladies! We chose to sit upstairs were there was music being played. When we got up there a window table had opened up and the young lady asked did we want to sit there instead. We said yes, and she had the table turned quickly.
The food was great and the strawberry cheesecake was out of this world !

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SF
Orange County
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Normally yes but not at Valentines weekend. We did not know that this time of year they serve a limited menue. It was not on the website when I made reservations. Ended up compromising on the food we ordered . The prices were higher than normal and portions were smaller. Very disappointed!!! I loved the place and came a lot with locals and out of town guests.

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OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s been along time since we’ve had our dinner together just the 2 of us, so Date Night was very special to us. And our waitress Brook made us feel very special.

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MG
Orange County
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 1

Very disappointing experience. Food was burnt, prices were high as they had a “special menu” ....not sure why and service was sub par.

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FN
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

I loved this place but I don’t know if it was the night (2/15) or what but everything was absolutely horrible. Burnt crab cakes, bad seating, loud servers talking while I’m trying to enjoy my meal, too much heavy cream in my sauce, late garlic bread (burnt as well)... it was just bad. So sad I loved this place I was married across the street but I don’t think it’s worth the drive anymore.

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t
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 5

Expensive fixed menue for 'Valentines Week' with no other options for lunch

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CM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

It was for Valentine’s Day. I would love to come back and check out the rest of the menu. For what they had available, and from what we chose, the food was good.

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LD
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our reservation for a fixed price Valentine’s dinner for two was graciously honored with a warm greeting, prompt and
courteous service from the maitre d’ and wait staff. The presentation of our our three course dinner was beautiful and the wine pairing recommended by our wonderful waitress enhanced our enjoyment of the meal.
The signature garlic bread was excellent, calamari and ahi appetizers, freshest salad ingredients in the Kale Strawberry Salad, both, also delicious. The main course Salmon and Shrimp in lobster sauce was nicely presented and very good (fresh and tasty) but not 5 Star.
The dining experience was Romantic due to the candle lit table, ambiance and service as well as being with my beautiful wife. She enjoyed it and her standards are pretty high. One should never mention price if the occasion is about the romance and the pleasing of the other. Suffice it to say that my wife and I have shared more
lavish and some delightful 5 Star dinners at some fine restaurants for significantly less money, hence the value rating.
The Rusty Pelican is a fine waterside eatery and well worth the visit but I would suggest that you do so on a sunny day or just before sunset over the bay on a clear day
when you’re not locked in to an inflated fixed price.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service, wonderful atmosphere, fantastic views

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P
Denver
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Way overpriced for the quality. My server was OK, other servers looked very poorly groomed.

Valet parking was posted as $5 going in, but new signs, on the way out were $6. One dollar is not a big deal, but changing the price during dinner kind of summed up the whole experience.

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D
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service and great view of the bay

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B
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall it was a lovely experience. We went on Valentine’s Day and they offered a special menu which was okay for some but not okay for some other guest as they made sure they let everyone as they were speaking so loud. We had the Filet and Lobster Tail, Salmon and Shrimp, Lobster and Mushroom Risotto, Fried Calamari, and Asparagus. Everything was delicious except my steak was kind of dry. It was a rainy day so we had to sit inside. We did join the Landry Club! Ask about it the next time you come. This was our first time but definitely not the last. Overall I did enjoy myself and the wait staff were a hoot! They were very entertaining and fun! Ask for “Todd” to be you waiter and you’ll be in for a cool “in the know” moment! Maybe if steak wasn’t dry and no rain I would have gave a 5!

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

10/10 the food was delicious! The garlic Bread was the best I ever had, will definitely come back again.

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C
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My wife and I went for our ninth anniversary. The harbor views are okay but you have a lot of boats right in front of you. The service was great, the appetizers were disappointing yet the main entrees were excellent. my Chilean sea bass was prepared perfectly

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RD
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rusty Pelican never fails to deliver an outstanding dining experience. Our table overlooked the harbor and we watched the sunset during dinner. My wife birthday, so she was given a menu with her name printed on it and we enjoyed a special birthday treat at the end of a delightful dinner. Really couldn't ask for more.

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K
San Diego
71 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our Is our favorite restaurant in Newport beach. Without question they have the most diverse and outstanding seafood menu of any restaurant in Newport Beach. In fact probably one of the better seafood menus in Southern California. Whether you’re in to variety of fish or shellfish you’ll find the restaurant has something for everyone.The calamari is incredible. If you like seafood the Rusty Pelican is a must because they will set the bar very high for other restaurants.

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m
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My parents were visiting from out of town and I wanted to take them to Sunday brunch. I had never been to Rusty Pelican but always heard good things. It was great experience from start to finish! The food was amazing! We all had a brunch special which included complimentary champagne. The price was excellent for the amount we got and the meal was even better. It's a pretty small space and became a little noisy when other large parties were seated. Other than that, the food, the view and service was exceptional. My parents and I were very pleased and we had a great day. I would definitely go back to this restaurant.

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GM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fabulous. It had been awhile since I've been there for brunch, but as always it was great. Even with a toddler and 5 month old. Our table was ready for the children and we were sat right away. But we did have a 10 am reservation. Due to the children. They can only be good so long. Service and staff were very gracious and accommodated our every small need.

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TM
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server, Ryan, was most helpful, patient and accommodating. We have eaten here many times over the years and will continue to do so. We were a party of 8 and absolutely everyone's meal was delicious and served promptly and hot.

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OT
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Date night with my Love. Service and food is always great here. Never have a problem getting in because I use open table.

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j
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating my birthday with friends, we all enjoyed the experience, the meal, garlic bread, everything... the food was very well prepared and everything tasted delicious. I was pleasantly surprised with the menu wrapped with my name on it and happy birthday. Great place

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SB
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was wonderful, from the host, manager and especially our server - she was perfect. The fresh fish was great and the presentation fabulous. We will be back! So glad the Rusty Pelican is a mainstay in Newport Beach!

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US
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I ate the day's menu a swordfish on mashed potatoes. The fish was like poached and the mashed potatoes were definitely not made from fresh potatoes rather than flakes. Too much of a sauce on it.
It taste good but not delicious. The creme brule dessert had whipped cream on it? The iced tea was not tea just water. It was a bid of dissappointment as on a Monday's evening the restaurant is not crowded at all. My colleagues and I had a nice evening together but the food , the drinks and service was not what is promised on your menu.

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C
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

Our last two visits have been very disappointing. While the food has been delicious, the service has been very poor. Drinks are not being refilled at the table or served timely from the bar. On both January/February 2019 visits, the wait staff placed our orders with multiple errors in the side dishes and appetizers.
On a slow Sunday morning for brunch, the waitress seemed to be working to rush us out, though there was no wait and several empty tables. She also needed to be reminded multiple times that we wanted to order drinks or needed refills on waters/coffee/etc. We would've spent much more money on food and drinks if we had felt welcomed, but as it was, we were happy to leave.
After two poor experiences, it may be awhile before we go back, though I'll miss those excellent brunch meals!

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AH
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Both of our fish entrees were extremely undercooked and we had to send them back. The mashed potatoes were drowned in so much sauce from the fish that my meal became a soupy mess. Our server was terrible- unwelcoming and inattentive. We expected way more for the price/ambiance.

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T
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

If this was our first time to the restaurant we would not recommend it. But since we know that it is usually much better it is likely that we would recommend it to others.

We are locals and always enjoy our meals at the RP where we go usually a couple times a years. Unfortunately this time, the food was barely warm and the fish that my wife had was actually cold and she was unable to cut it, which was very disappointing. Should have sent back both meals. She finally relented and sent hers back. It was returned hot, but still somewhat disappointing. Not what we are use too. Service was fine as usual. We are not ones to complain, but felt like we should say something this time. Thanks for listening.
Tim J

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