This restaurant is a well-established member of the Newport Beach dining community it has been around since the 1950s and shows no signs of aging. ... More
Crab Cooker (The)
This restaurant is a well-established member of the Newport Beach dining community it has been around since the 1950s and shows no signs of aging. There is an additional location in Tustin if you are not this far south. Knowing that it is not appearance that counts but taste, this restaurant is very casual and serves its fish on paper plates. Patrons range from regular Joes to celebrity superstars, but the place is always packed, and there is usually a wait for a table. It is famous for Manhattan clam chowder but everything here is delicious, from grilled tuna to crab and beyond. When you see how small your bill is, you will think there is something very fishy going on indeed. Entree prices range from $5 to $10. Beer and wine are available by the glass.
Sat down and was waited on by a surly woman-seemed as if it was a problem that I wanted water served. I was in the mood for lobster so I ordered it as did my friend who ordered the crab. For appetizers we had the clam chowder and i wondered what can it came out of. The crab cakes were ridiculous! They charged $13.95 for 2 small crab cakes and they were the most pathetic tasting crab cakes I have ever had-heck I have had much superior ones frozen. I had the lobster and it tasted awful-I've no idea what seasons they used but someone has truncated tastebuds. The crab did not taste fresh but at least it was served like crab should be. The potatoes tasted as if they had been made with water and put under a heat lamp. When I mentioned this to the waitress she said we have been making them like this for over 38 or 58 years (can't remeber which) and the potatoes tasted as if they had been out that long. We both became ill that evening from the food and have vowed to never return there again. This is the #1 restaurant in Newport Beach? Come on I know that must be a joke.
The portions comparing to prices was not fairly adjusted, very expensive for little frozen fish , soup was served in papare cup and you strongly tasting the papare soup,... I do not like to be served in papare plate while I am paying full service prices, the waitress was so confused , and rushed , I do not recommend this place to any one,...
Entrees are $15-30, not $5-10 as stated in the overview above (see CrabCooker.com, click Menu). I've lived in OC for 20+ years, and come here once every few years, usually with out of town guests, because it is a NB institution. The fish is good, but the portions are small for the price, the side-dishes are poor, and everything is diminished by poor service, paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils...and they charge extra for bread(!). Some items are discounted by $4-7 for lunch. I like their clam chowder, and simple charbroiled preparation of fish, but not for the price.
I hadn't been to the Crabcooker in years, and I now know why. IT WAS AWFUL. I had the shrimp and sallop kabobs. The shrimp tasted that bleach. I KID YOU NOT. When I got home I had to vomit. No kidding! I haven't been to a good Newport Beach Fish Restaurant since Hanks Seafood Restaurant across from the Newport Beach Pier burnt down years ago. I will never go back again. Save your money and go to a steakhouse instead!
We just went today for lunch. We were remarking how the place is exactly the same as always, and we've been going there for 20 yrs. The person who said it has changed in the last 10 yrs confused me, because it's the same as always. They always had paper plates, etc. Refills on iced tea and water, but not soft drinks. Always has been that way. I guess that's the one thing I don't like about it. (I don't mind the paper plates, but they should give refills on soft drinks). But the lunch was wonderful. We do not go for dinner because the prices are way too high, but for lunch it's affordable (but not cheap). I had salmon and it was wonderful. Cooked perfectly. Rice was delicious and my husband had the cheese potatoes, which he said were very good. So is the cole slaw. The bread was great. Everything was great. We only go once or twice a year, but are always very satisfied. It's a fun place to go with all the hustle and bustle and the quirky ambiance.
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