Green Beans & Nachos in Newport Beach, USA

I started this post last night in bed after getting back from Heathrow – having been awake for 30-odd hours aside from a quick snooze here and there. Fortunately I went to sleep and decided to finish it today – which is what I’m doing now at a much more sensible time.
From Sunday – Wednesday I was staying in Newport Beach (just south of LA) for work. Optimistically I packed my swimming costume knowing that there were 2 nice pools at the hotel. Of course, as is always the case with these work trips, my costume never saw the light of day as I spent the whole time either working, eating or sleeping! I won’t bore you with the work details but I will share with you my food and drink based experiences. I seemed to eat green beans with every meal and a lot of nachos were consumed too.. Fortunately, there was more than green beans and nachos on the menu!

Our hotel was just across the road from a shopping mall so on the first night we wandered across feeling a little sleepy and looking for a quick bite. We ended up at the Cheesecake Factory, a huge chain of restaurants offering standard over-sized portions of deep-fried American goodness.
I had the Memphis Burger which was on their ‘Glamburger’ menu. It was a glorious mess of beef burger, slow cooked pulled pork, bbq sauce, melted cheese pickles and coleslaw. it was just what I needed after an 11 hr flight plus 3 hr delay. 
More interesting than my “relatively” normal portion of burger and chips was my colleagues’ nachos – chosen from the appetizer menu (ie A STARTER!). The portion looked more like a Man V Food challenge than an appetizer and I was literally dumbfounded by the sheer madness of it all!
Take a look at his before and after – spot the difference!
The following night we went back to the mall in Newport Beach and ate at a really nice place called Great Maple.  The place had a very cool vibe and open kitchens which I always take to be a good sign. I had a St Germain Nicoise salad – made up of mixed greens, potatoes, green beans, egg, black kalamata olives and seared ahi (similar to tuna) with a gorgeous mustard vinaigrette. Very tasty and reasonably priced too.

Now for the exciting part of my trip. On the last night, we had dinner in the very fashionable Laguna Beach. We sat drinking cocktails facing out to sea and enjoying the sunset before having dinner at Las Brisas a Mexican fish restaurant.

 To start with, the table (12 of us) was filled with plates of guacamole, salsa and nachos. Alongside this, bowls of sea bass ceviche appeared. The Ceviche was gorgeous. I had to ask the waiter how it was made so that I can try and recreate at home!
Sorry for the awful quality photos (it was dark in there!)  but here is a snapshot of what we ate!

Ceviche de Robalo  Wild seabass marinated in tangy lime-orange juice with mango, tomatoes, chiles, onions and coriander 
For my main, I had Frutas del Mar which was absolutely delicious! Again, an awful quality photo for which I apologise! 
Frutas del Mar
Grilled Caribbean lobster and sauteed large sea scallops, Pacific prawns, crab and fresh fish with fresh tomato, Spanish saffron, garlic, white wine and olive oil sauce, white rice and vegetables.
Spot the green beans!
Now for the bad news.. I’ve put on 3lbs so its salad and watercress soup from now on!! 
Over and Out! 


  1. 10th August 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Newport Beach is just right up the road from me. I can’t say that I love the Cheesecake factory ( actually hate it), but have been to Las Brisas and it has such beautiful views. I love CA fresh seafood!

    • 13th August 2017 / 5:13 pm

      Oh wow that is SO spooky! Its a stunning spot although this blog post is very very old and the pictures are TERRIBLE!! Hehehehe!

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