Latest Adventures

Mastro's Ocean Club, Newport Beach


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BFF wanted several things for his birthday: a nice dinner and seafood. So we visited Mastro's Ocean Club with some other friends in Newport Beach, appropriately located on Pacific Coast Highway, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. BFF, however, did not want me to embarrass him by taking pictures of the food in such a swanky place. Luckily for him, natural lighting was almost nonexistent in the restaurant, so it was practically impossible to take a good photo without flash using my digital camera.

To start, I ordered a Canteloupe Martini (my favorite). It came in a cocktail shaker and was served tableside by our server - there was enough martini for two! A great way to start the meal, not too strong, yet packed a punch, and very "canteloup-y." BFF ordered a gin and tonic because I would've made fun of him had he ordered a girly mixed drink. After a very small sip, I decided that it was uncannily similar to drinking a bottle of rubbing alcohol with a twist, and left BFF to his own devices.

I ordered an Iceberg Wedge salad to start, while BFF ordered the Clam Chowder. First the wedge: it was a nice presentation with bleu cheese dressing with bacon bits, diced tomatoes and crumbled bleu cheese on top. Freshly cracked black pepper was the perfect last ingredient. I did think, however, that there may have been too much bleu cheese crumbles. I sampled some of the clam chowder and decided while creamy, it had too much oregano.

For the main course, I immediately knew that I would be enjoying my favorite fish, the Chilean Sea Bass. I know, I know, it's endangered. But you know what, it's already dead, so who am I to waste it? Might as well eat it. Apparently, the chef bought too much oregano because he was trying to unload it in the fish's preparation. But I felt that the robust flavor of the herb would overpower the mild, delicate flavor of the fish, so I just asked for it to be pan seared. Three words will accurately sum up how I felt about that dish: Best. Fish. Ever.

BFF wasn't quite sure what to order, so he settled for the Blackened Swordfish. I thought that the fish was super fresh and quite meaty. But not as good as the best. fish. ever.

We also ordered sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms and potatoes au gratin for sides. Spinach was fresh and cooked simply and perfectly. The mushrooms, sauteed with red peppers and onions, were also a hit. The potatoes au gratin, on the other hand, was a different story. I felt that the potatoes were overshadowed by way too much cheese. Plus, I thought that a gratin had to be cooked with cream, something that I was looking forward to, but was overwhelmingly disappointed by a lack thereof. I think that calling the dish, Cheese with Potatoes would have been a more fitting description.

I chose not to have dessert, but the restaurant was nice enough to give BFF a free dessert, their famous Yellow Butter Cake, served with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry sauce. It wasn't as moist or as buttery as it was sweet, so again, I was a little disappointed.

Overall, it was a really nice dinner with people I haven't seen in a while, and I think that BFF enjoyed it all. So here's to you, BFF. Cheers.