Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Newport Seafood
Continuing on with LA. I had been tipped off by a friend that some of the best lobster ever could be find in a legendary but seemingly unassuming Vietnamese-style Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley. When we arrived, there were around 20 people crowded around the entrance waiting for a table--quite a good sign in my book. After around an hour wait, we were finally seated.

Cat Fish Hot and Sour Soup (Canh Chua Ca)

In terms of flavor, this was a standard hot and sour soup you could find at a typical Vietnamese restaurant. They were pretty generous with the ingredients, though, and the bowl came brimming with tomatoes, bean sprouts, pineapple, catfish, and bamboo shoots. Sour and spicy, this soup really helped to whet the appetite.

Clam with Spicy Hot Sauce (Chem Chep)

These were some of the biggest, plumpest clams I've ever had. The sauce was well seasoned with parsley and japaneos, but I found it a bit too thick. That did not deter me from the clams though; I haven't had clams this huge and fresh in way too long.

Steamed Tilapia (Ca Cap Gung)

This was a well-executed Chinese-style steamed fish. The flesh was perfectly cooked and soft, exhibiting the flavor of the yellow chives, parsley, and ginger piled on top. Delicious.

Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lak)

Newport Seafood is well known for their shaking beef, and this definitely lived up to the hype. The pieces were tender yet lean and most importantly, a delicate medium-rare. The flavor was excellent--a rich oyster sauce with black pepper. So how does this compare to the Slanted Door? Niman Ranches and organics aside, SD's beef were in bigger, thicker cubed cuts. In addition, they were sauteed with the onions, while Newport kept the beef and the raw onions separate. SD's beef also had a cleaner, more citrusy flavor, while Newport's was more rich and intense. I think I prefer Newport's more "down and dirty" version.

Newport Special Lobster (Tom Hum Tan Cang Dac Biet)

Arriving on a two-foot long platter, the huge five-pound lobster really stole the show. The pieces were lightly battered and stir-fried in a salty, sour, and slightly-sweet mix of garlic, peppers, and onions. The lobster was incredibly fresh, juicy, and plump (as with all seafood at this place). This lobster preparation was a very welcome change to the sous-vide and butter-poached methods I usually have. In addition, tackling this lobster was fun--in Newport's atmosphere, or lack thereof, most customers are pretty uninhibited, making for one of the tastiest and messiest lobster experiences out there.

Newport Seafood
835 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776



Blogger jeanie said...


Btw, crowded door steps of restaurants aren't always a sure sign that there is good food. I've had many bad experiences of bad food at restaurants woth crowded door fronts. Not saying it is the norm, just saying beware. :)

7/19/2006 2:40 AM  

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