07 Aug 2018

New in South Coast Metro 08-07-18 | The Best Seafood in Orange County

From Orange Coast Magazine
August 2018

By Gretchen Kurz and Benjamin Epstein


The Best Seafood in Orange County



Erizos con Huevo | Eggstravaganza! Scrambled eggs topped with sea urchin eggs topped with paddlefish eggs – all provocatively presented in the sea urchin shell alongside miso-buttered toast. It’s a tapas calling card at Amar Santana’s VacaAdd sturgeon eggs (caviar) for an additional fee. $16. 695 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.463.6060,

Top Chef



Lobster Mashed Potatoes | With sides like this, who needs mains? Delivered to the table by white-jacketed servers, this special-occasion dish combines immaculate lobster adrift in smooth-as-silk potatoes, melted butter, shallots, tomato, and garlic. It dials up the already sumptuous steaks and surf and turf at Mastro’s Steakhouse. $38. 663 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, 714.546.7405, 



Oysters on the Half Shell | The oyster bar is Water Grill’s centerpiece. Oyster shells are embedded in the bar top, and the chandelier – made entirely of hanging strings of oyster shells – never gets old. The oysters – delicate Kumamoto from Humboldt Bay, huge Shakespeare Creek from British Columbia, intense Island Creek from Massachusetts – are always an adventure. $2.85 to $3.45 each; $31.20 to $38.40 for a dozen. 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. 949.208.7060,



Bouillabaisse | French-inspired, filtered through a love of American seafood, chef Mike Ritter’s hearty tomato-based soup at Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking is redolent of fennel, leeks, Pernod, and the essential saffron. Steam cooking protects the sweet flavors of shrimp, king crab, whitefish, mussels, and clams. $24.50. 1421 W. MacArthur Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.850.1380,

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Hana Re | Let chef Atsushi San of polished Hana Re be your spirit guide into next-level omakase dining. Spend hours tasting and observing his talent and intention with about seven inspired appetizers, including several nigiri, painstakingly created for one moment in time. $95 tasting, Tuesday through Thursday; $150 to $220 chef’s tasting, Friday and Saturday. 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.545.2800,