Tag Archives: fish n chips

Back to Bluewater Grill

A few years back, Bluewater Grill used to be my family’s go-to seafood restaurant.  The fish was always fresh, the service on point and the warm crusty bread was enough to keep me coming back.

Then we had a few less than stellar experiences there and found ourselves discovering other seafood restaurants such as King’s Fish House and House of Big Fish.  We decided recently it was time to give Bluewater Grill another try, so agreed to have dinner at the Bluewater Grill at the District in Tustin.

I had never been to this location before, and I have to admit I was quite impressed by the restaurant when I walked in.  The interior was quite big, with a nice bar at the front and separate dining rooms for larger parties.  We were seated in a comfy booth in the back and were immediately served bread the minute we sat down.  I was pleased to discover that the bread was just as warm and delicious as I had remembered.

After ordering our drinks (beer for the Englishman, wine for the parents, and of course a martini for me), we began perusing the menu.  The Englishman is a big Clam Chowder fan, so he ordered a small cup of it to start.

Clam Chowder can be a tricky soup to get right, and Bluewater Grill nailed it.  It had the perfect balance of clams and potatoes and the texture of the soup was very nice.

For entrees, I decided to go with a grilled shrimp and scallop skewer with a side of vegetables and fries (yes, I got veggies AND fries).

The scallops were cooked perfectly and were loaded with flavor.  The shrimp was slightly overcooked, but still tasted quite nice.  The vegetables were prepared nicely without too much oil or butter, and the fries were piping hot.  It was a delicious meal.

My mom got the grilled salmon with rice pilaf and vegetables.

I am NOT a salmon fan at all, but I did enjoy the flavor of this dish which is saying a lot.  I wouldn’t go so far to say that I would order my own order of salmon, but I found the flavor nice and the fish was light and flaky.

My dad ordered the sandabs with vegetables and roasted tomatoes.  He loved his dish and enjoyed every last bite.

The Englishman ordered fish ‘n chips and thought they were quite good but could’ve used a little more salt.  I tasted the fish ‘n chips and thought they were good as well, but I’m not a fish ‘n chips expert like he is.

I’ll have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by Bluewater Grill.  The service was great, the food was prepared well and served in a timely fashion and the District location has a good vibe to it.

Bluewater Grill, you are officially back in my seafood restaurant rotation.

Gastronomic Delights at SideDoor

I’m a big fan of gastropubs.  I like the warm, comforting feel of a classic English/Irish/Euro-pub infused with good eats and twists on traditional classics.  To me, a gastropub is where everyone can get together and relax and just have a good time.  When I stumbled upon the SideDoor in Corona del Mar, I found just that.

The SideDoor is a cute little gastropub located next to the famed Five Crowns Restaurant.  While the Five Crowns may be known for their classic Prime Rib dinners and impeccable service, the SideDoor is known for it’s updated daily (!) menu and warm cozy atmosphere complete with a fireplace and English literature adoring the walls.

Since the menu changes daily, you never know quite what to expect.  Of course, there are some SideDoor staples such as the Fish ‘n Chips, Cheese and Charcuterie board, the Roast Beef sandwich, and of course french fries that are fried in beef fat.

While my dining companions stuck with beer, I chose to go with “Door #2” also known as a white wine flight:

Wines lined up on a wooden door. So precious.

The Charcuterie board with English Cheddar, Goat Cheese and Serano Ham was the perfect starter:

Delicious meats and cheeses waiting to be devoured

The main dishes included Fish ‘N Chips, Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie.  Check out the Great Fish ‘N Chips Challenge to see more.

The macaroni and cheese was pretty much what you would expect – cheesy, gooey, and decadent.  I don’t have macaroni and cheese much but I’d definitely have it at SideDoor again.

Look at all that delicious cheese

The chicken pot pie had a light, flaky crust and was steaming (literally) when it was placed at our table.

Steaming chicken pot pie equals poor picture quality

Then it was time for the piece de resistance aka dessert.  We decided on the shortbread cookies with lemon curd.  While the shortbread cookies topped with lemon curd were quite delicious, it wasn’t the best shortbread that I’ve ever had.  It was more of a delicious cookie than true English shortbread.  For the real deal, I highly recommend Harrods shortbread cookies.

Shortbread you are delicious but Harrods you are not

All in all it was a delightful evening.  I’d definitely come back to the SideDoor again and try some other items on the menu (and the Charcuterie board!).  Now if we could only get a few more of these gastropubs in Orange County…

3801 E. Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Dinner with the new kid in town: Rock’N Fish Laguna Beach

I was recently asked to write a review on the newest Rock’N Fish restaurant that recently opened in Laguna Beach (you can read my review here).  So on a lovely Friday evening the boy and I headed out for a delicious fish dinner right in the heart of downtown Laguna.

The Rock’N Fish in Laguna occupies the upstairs half of the old Jolly Roger restaurant with a Tommy Bahama store directly underneath, so you get that cool, beachy vibe the minute you walk in the restaurant.  Much like it’s predecessors Rock’N Fish Manhattan Beach and Rock’N Fish at LA Live, the restaurant has a sleek bar area and cozy booths around the perimeter of the main dining area.  We were seated next to the window overlooking the ocean.  Perfect atmosphere for a date night if you ask me.

But enough about the decor.  Let’s get to the food.  For drinks the boy stuck with various English beers and I decided on martinis.  (I happen to be a big martini fan but rarely have them).  My first martini was a Rock’N Tini, which had vodka, agave thyme syrup and fresh squeezed guava nectar.  I’m not usually a big fan of sweet drinks but this had just the right amount of sweet and tartness combined.

The Rock'N Tini in all it's delicious glory

While we waited for our food to arrive we were served the most delicious sourdough bread.  It was so yummy that we both wolfed it down before I even had time to whip out my camera and take a picture.  It was warm, doughy, and everything fresh baked bread should be.  I would come back to Rock’N Fish for the sourdough bread.  No joke.

Then it was Calamari time.  The Calamari was lightly breaded and came with a variety of dipping sauces.  While it wasn’t the best Calamari I’ve ever had, it was quite tasty.  I think a little more lemon juice and some spices would’ve been a nice addition.

Calamari Appetizer before feasting

Then it was entree time.  Fish ‘N Chips for him, grilled Mahi Mahi for her.  The grilled Mahi Mahi was light and flaky, and came with my two choices of sides (sweet potato fries and vegetables).  While I enjoyed the fish, I would’ve liked to see more offerings on the vegetable front.

See those sweet potato fries? Totally dominated

The verdict on the Fish ‘N Chips was that it was good, but definitely not mind blowing.  After much discussion the “Great Fish ‘N Chips” challenge was born.  What is this you may ask?  A simple quest to find the best Fish ‘N Chips Orange County has to offer.

Then there was dessert.  Sticky toffee pudding to be exact.  Heaven on a plate if you will.  You get my drift.

Foodgasm on a plate

All in all a lovely evening.  Rock ‘N Fish plans to have its whole menu up and running by April and I for one cannot wait.  I’ll definitely be back for Round 2 of delicious seafood, delightful drinks and of course the bread.  It’s always about the bread.