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Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Portland, Oregon
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Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

We'll be in Newport Beach next weekend to help a friend celebrate the big six-oh. Except for when we're there, and a weekly date with her elderly mom at Norms, she never dines out. So she's left the choice of restaurants to us. I'd like to find a place that combines good, but not overly fancy food with a lively, festive atmosphere. Willing to drive as far as Laguna Beach. For points of reference, in the past we've enjoyed lunches at 230 Forest, Tommy Bahamas, and Bluewater Grill. Haven't had dinner at any of them though. Help!

Could also use help in finding a place to stay, since the guest bedroom at friend's house will already be occupied. Like the looks of the Newport Beach Hotel, but the $350 for an ocean view room seems a bit steep. Reviews and rankings for Doryman's Inn and Balboa Inn have me questioning both of those places. Again, we'd be willing to drive as far as Laguna Beach. Any recommendations?

Thanks!

1. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

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Huntington Beach...
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for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
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2. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

I think NLB is referring to Shark's in Newport OREGON. There is not a Shark's restaurant in Newport Beach California.

For a 60th birthday, you might enjoy Roy's Newport Beach roysrestaurant.com/locations/CA/newport_beac… They make a big deal over birthdays by giving the guests a special souvenir menu and a photo of your group in a Roy's frame. The food and service have been excellent when I have been there and there are choices to please every pallet (not just seafood). They can also give you a private dining room, depending upon the size of your group.

London
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3. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Post removed. Please ignore sorry !

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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4. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

What about the Five Crowns? That is a much beloved restaurant of the older set. Me too actually. An old time favorite for special occasions, Sr Prom in 1975, various graduations and fancy dances and special dates and anniversaries.

http://www.lawrysonline.com/five-crowns

Bandera is another place that has nice food in a pleasant atmosphere and is a bit more modern feeling than the Five Crowns. It is from the same people that have Houston's and Gulfstream.

hillstone.com/pdf_menus/bandera/Bandera_Coro…

For a small, but nice hotel, the Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel is well regarded or for just a nice place, the Marriott Newport Center.

Huntington Beach...
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for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
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5. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

scott -- I got a notice that Five Crowns had just re-opened after renovation. Have you seen it yet? Yes, it is a good choice for a special occasion. I like the garden room but I haven't seen it since the renovations.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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6. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Yes, we ate there over the holidays... kind of a family tradition for 44 years now and the place looks great. It is brighter and lighter now, but still has that English country inn feel to it.

The Side Door is a place I go a lot. It is one of the three official unofficial places for CdM HS grads of a certain age to gather on Friday nights, the QW and Houlihan's being the other two.

Huntington Beach...
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for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
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7. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Good to hear. The one thing I always disliked about the interior dining rooms was how DARK they were. I'll get back there sometime soon.

Newport Beach, CA
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8. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

I second the suggestion about Roys - we've had wonderful dinners there and they really go out of their way to make it special for birthdays and other occasions if you tell them when you make the reservation.

For lodging, look at the Hyatt Newporter - it's a very nice hotel, low key, but pretty grounds and good location.

Newport Beach, CA
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9. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Another suggestion for dinner - try Las Brisas in Laguna Beach (just before you reach downtown, next to the Laguna Museum). Good good, amazing view of the coastline, and a very nice outdoor bar area.

Newport Beach, CA
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10. Re: Looking for the right special occasion restaurant

Certainly, I would never send anyone to Las Brisas; a nice view and then it ends. The food and service is just average or less.

If your're in Newport you might consider the Back Bay Bistro that fronts the water and offers a nice buffett. Within walking distance of that restaurant is the Hyatt Regency which some people have said that they have gotten rooms as low as $69.00.

Just a thought.

www.backbaybistro.newportbeach.com