Restaurant Review: “Newport Avenue Yacht Club Restaurant”

by on March 25, 2013 · 19 comments

in Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

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Ben at the front counter with menu behind him. (All photos by Judi Curry)

 Newport Avenue Yacht Club Restaurant
5060 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

 Watch out, South Beach. You have serious competition – and right across the street! Monica – my live-in student – and I decided to try out the new restaurant because so many people have already told me about it. And the surprising thing is that it has only been in operation ten days! It didn’t take long for the word to spread about how good this restaurant is, and it can only get better. [We helped spread the word.]

Granted, at the present time the owner, John Rudolph, does not have a beer and/or wine license, but he welcomes his diners to bring in their own – no corkage fee – to enjoy while eating his succulent offerings. (He said it may take 6-9 months before a license is granted!)

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Fish tacos.

The two fish offered this evening were Red Snapper and Salmon. They were both fresh; and can be served in one of 4 marinades – lemon butter, garlic butter, teriyaki and/or blackened. They can be had as a taco – $4.99; a sandwich – 6 ounces of grilled fish – $8.99; salad – $9.95.

I had mentioned to Ben, the delightful gentleman that took our order, that I wanted to try the Cioppino because it had been recommended to me, and before I knew it I had a large sample in my hand. (Yes, it was in a container!) And true to what I had heard, it was very, very good. Lots of fresh vegetables, lots of fish, and a very smooth broth.

Monica ordered two red snapper taco’s and they were grilled to perfection. Each one came on a corn tortilla, with a spicy salad on the side,fresh cut limes, and home-made salsa. The salsa was spicy – and she loved it.

I ordered a red snapper sandwich –  served on sour-dough bread that had a nice yeasty flavor. The fish was fresh, seasoned well, and also served with the limes, salsa, and greens. We each opted to have fresh slices of avocado on our dinners, and for 95 cents it was worth the extra price.

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Fish sandwich.

Monica ordered a “Jarritos” – a Mexican soda that she really liked. She said it was so sweet and delicate, particularly compared to “Fanta.” In fact, she wondered if she could purchase it at any of our local markets. I asked for ice tea but they didn’t have any and so I opted for a bottle of water.  Our total bill came to $26.

John – the owner – is a La Jolla native. He is one of 9 children and, in fact, his mother and father opened “Harry’s Coffee Shop” in La Jolla in 1960. He is also a part-owner of Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in Pacific Beach. Our server Ben has only been in San Diego for a few months. He came here from Ohio and much prefers mowing the grass to shoveling the snow.

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Owner John Rudolph.

I did not see any offerings of fried food – YEA! – nor did I see any French fries listed. I tried to find a telephone number to double check this phenomenon but could not find one. But…there is no question in my mind that even without a telephone number this place is going to be a winner. Check it out before the lines get to be too long. You’ll be glad you did!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jim grant March 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Very Nice place great food . But not a threat to South Beach in the least.
The food is great but no beer and no view.
I am sure they will get all the families that TRY and go to SB but are denied because of under age children.
Just to be clear on this: They have no liquor license but you can bring your own in ? Who checks ID’s …this seems problematic on many levels…

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avatar judi Curry March 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Interesting question, Jim. Never dawned on me to ask the question about I.D. Sitting outside in the patio area still gives a view – and not nearly as noisy as South Beach. Just hope it remains in business.

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avatar jim grant March 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

The liquor lic is granted to the establishment I believe. ….i find it really hard to believe he can have open containers and people drinking without a license. I could be mistaken.
Yeah SB is a Bar & Grille the 22-40 year old’s love it. Wait the 56 yr old’s do as well.
The food is god I really hope they make it. We have been 4 times so far.

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avatar judi Curry March 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hi Jim, I checked with the ABC this morning and found out that it is illegal to bring your own liquor – wine, beer, etc – into an establishment that does not have a liquor license. (Statute 23399.1 on the ABC liquor code.) As long as the public is invited in, as compared to a private party, it cannot be done. Good question. Hope they get their license quickly. BTW – this 74 year old likes SB too!)

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avatar Tim Hop March 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Judi, is City Heights local? Tell Monica our Albertsons carries Jarritos soda pop.

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avatar judi Curry March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Tim. I’ve told Monica and she is jazzed. Judi

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avatar Bema March 27, 2013 at 7:37 am

We stopped by to poke our heads in yesterday. Man O Man was that the right decision. I am not a big fish person, but I love fish tacos. This was a whole new experience. I was unprepared for how delicious this place was. We had a little cup of Cioppino and a yellow tail taco with the garlic butter marinade and their house salsa. I was thouroghly impressed. I plan on going back tomorrow and the next day to get as many tacos before the line gets too big. John and Ben were great. I highly recommend.

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avatar Jon March 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I’m not a big fish person either, but the wife is! And all of the comments on here have me curious. We will definitely head down this weekend to check them out. Thanks all!

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avatar judi Curry March 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Hey Jon! Let us know what you think after you have eaten there.

Bema – glad you enjoyed it. I know that Monica and I will be back.

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avatar Jon May 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

This recent chatter reminded me I was supposed to report back. Well, I have to say, the food was pretty good! I really enjoyed the sea bass, and went back again and had yellow tail. I agree that the price seems high for a taco. But, you get what you pay for. The fish is top notch, whereas I’m not always sure what’s in the fish taco at the local taco shop. Some mystery white fish?? Therefore, I’ll fork out an extra buck or two for quality. They should maybe include a little something extra. Chips, side o’ beans or rice, Whatever, to make it seem like you’re actually having a meal, not just a taco. Otherwise, I was pretty stoked.

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avatar Lj March 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm

People told me to check this place out because the seafood was fresh and the place was clean.
I was impressed by the friendly low key staff, the snapper taco that rocked, and the cioppino taster which was definitely comparable to a quality restaurant of larger scale.
I am going back and look forward to increased hours and offerings.
The place has simple class and very good fish.
Good for OB.

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avatar OBBRO May 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

A coworker and I went to check this out today. It certainly is much cleaner and nicer than the old El Grodeo, nicer staff too. However, $5 for a single taco and no sides? Really?? That is a bit excessive. A taco is just a taco, some better than others. We declined and got the 4 taco plate at Livingston’s for the same money. Being a native, I was raised on Mexican food so I am a bit of an aficionado. Trust me, there are no single taco worth $5 a pop (unless it is made from some long extinct fish thus,a novelty) I wish the new place lots of luck but I won’t be springing for $5 tacos any time soon. Just my dos centavos….
Just my dos centavos

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avatar Lj May 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I’ve been to the place 5 times. Good people, clean, 3 kinds of fish available most nights. Kind of high prived but open late and trying for later hours.
Give them s chance.
Only improvement requested: good fish stew; more fish should be consistently be added.

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avatar Obbro May 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Let’s keep la Jolla taco prices in la Jolla. This OB….closer to the sea and better for you and me!

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avatar Lori May 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Really like the Newport Ave YachtClub place= 8 times out of 8 got really fresh fish; went by yesterday and its replaced by a mexican restaurant what happened?

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avatar Tyler June 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

So what exactly has happened here? The owner decided on a dime to switch up the restaurant (and employees) and turn it into an Oscar’s like the one he owns in PB. Those fish sandwiches were soooooooooooooo good. Now they aren’t available on the menu. Seems like the owner was far too impatient, as the food was excellent. I was patronizing the place at least 3x a week. Now I’m just taken aback.

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avatar Lori June 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

I am in total agreement. Also wEbt there about 3x a week; new people nice, but new food not as fresh?, you get more quantity but less quality. Only been back 2x since the change, there are other OB locations for low cost Mexican food.

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avatar judi curry June 6, 2013 at 11:19 am

Monica, my student, told me a few weeks ago that when she went there for lunch there was no one there – and predicted it wouldn’t stay in business. What a shame, because I had recommended it many times. Will have to check out the restaurant as it is today – maybe get some answers.

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avatar Tyler June 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

I spoke to one of the employees at length the day the “switch” happened. Didn’t seem happy about it and he told me one of the other employees walked out on the owner that morning. I know that they had been totally in the dark, as the owner had no showed up at the restaurant for several weeks before the switch occurred. I do know they plan to be open late (2-3 AM) and plan to knock out one of the walls when you walk up to make ordering/pick-up easier (although they still don’t have a phone number to do pick-ups).

And Lori, you are definitely right. The fish quality doesn’t seem the same (but it is still tasty). Just a shame to see a cool idea go up in smoke because the owner was impatient, and from what I can tell, somewhat absent during the opening months. I do like the fact that there’s another seafood place in OB, but those sourdough sandwiches they made were soooooo good. Really sad that isn’t on the menu. Nor is that delicious salsa they gave you.

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