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Sunday, July 27, 2008

THE CRAB COOKER WILL MAKE YOU SMILE

The Crab Cooker
2200 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949-673-0100


Here’s a brief suggestion for a great little beachy place in Newport Beach, California—The Crab Cooker. The Crab Cooker has been around for more than fifty years and boasts it’s the only fish restaurant that keeps its fresh fish in a vault! Yes, the building was originally a Bank of America building, and the owners of the restaurant converted the vault into a refrigerator. Pretty neat; no tours, however. I would have liked to see that!

On the walls of the restaurant are old photos of fishing boats, signed photos of movie stars and mounted trophy fish including one impressive one hundred pound fish with the hook still hanging from its mouth.

We’re here for lunch with Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Jesse, and we want to keep it brief so we can get to the beach. My toes yearn for a Pacific Ocean dunk.

We’re also here for a bowl of some highly touted chowder. All four of us quickly learn the reason for the reputation. This tomato based chowder is brimming with fish and squid and vegetables. It’s highly seasoned and absolutely delicious.

In big jars on the table are freshly baked breadstick that taste more like a rich egg bread. There are also big bread nuts, crunchy and rich to add to the chowder.

The appetizers are so tempting that three of us order an appetizer rather than an entire luncheon platter which comes with a big main portion, slaw and potatoes.

Rob’s fried squid served with a creamy sauce (remoulade) is excellent. The batter is light and the squid is neither dried out not chewy. My steamed clams are also just right. Uncle Jesse opts for a very generous shrimp cocktail, shrimp done to perfection. Aunt Jeanne’s fried fish filet luncheon platter proved too much for her, and she took some of it home.

We didn’t linger for coffee. The sun and the ocean beckoned.

Newport Beach is one of two Crab Cooker locations. The second is in Tustin, California.
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