Savor CdM’s favorite seafood spots

Visiting on business? Searching for Corona del Mar real estate? Cruising the California Riviera? The seaside village of Corona del Mar is the perfect stop for food and drink. If the mood is seafood, try one of these favorite coastal restaurants.  

The Bungalow

A lunch-and-dinner staple for the CdM communities since 1996, The Bungalow is located in the heart of town on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near Sherman Library and Gardens. With warm woods, cozy booths, and patio seating, the Craftsman-style restaurant creates a homey atmosphere where locals and tourists return again and again.

Chef Alfonso has worked at The Bungalow for 15 years, preparing prime steaks and fresh seafood—and any surf-and-turf combo you can think of. Try the signature dish—miso-marinated seabass served over a bed of coconut sticky rice—or, at happy hour, fried calamari with sriracha aioli. Pair your dishes with craft cocktails (like the out-of-this-world martinis), then top it all off with The Bungalow Butter Cake.

Gulfstream

Inspired by “classic seafood houses from America’s history,” the lamp-lit dining room and patio with yellow umbrellas at Gulfstream are set with white tablecloths, and the open kitchen affords a view of culinary arts in action. Situated at MacArthur Boulevard and PCH, the house makes everything from scratch, drawing theatergoers and professionals from Newport Center, and regular customers from upscale communities. (Business-casual attire is required.)

Sit at the oyster bar and indulge in fresh North Pacific oysters, shucked to order. Signature dishes feature fish flown in from the North Atlantic: True Dover Sole, Cedar Plank Scottish Salmon, and Vince’s Fried Shrimp. Share a bottle of California wine or French champagne, or grab a slice of the homemade lemon meringue pie.

The Quiet Woman

Since 1966, The Quiet Woman has entertained CdM communities with good food and fun. The restaurant serves “sophisticated comfort food” in a social environment where special events abound; gather for restaurant industry and wine nights, taco Tuesdays, and late-night live music. Families celebrate birthdays, and professionals stop in for after-work cocktails.

The lunch and dinner menus offer fish dishes galore—coconut Thai mussels (touted as “bowl-licking” delicious), seared rare ahi, and king crab legs, to name a few. Kids order off their own colorful menu, which includes swordfish or salmon and mashed potatoes. As a tradition, the chef prepares a special four-course dinner for the annual Orange County Restaurant Week held in March.

Rothschild’s

Another local mainstay is Rothschild’s—a favorite for consistently good, reasonably priced seafood and classic Italian cuisine. The charming remodeled residence has stood on PCH since 1977, where you can dine indoors in casual elegance or on the sunny patio alfresco. Most of all, the restaurant prides itself on staff and ambiance that welcomes everyone in like family.

For starters, seafood lovers might order American sturgeon caviar or lobster salad. Homemade pastas, such as the lobster ravioli, receive accolades from return customers—as do entrées like calamari Milano (a crisp calamari steak with white-wine beurre blanc) and scampi piccata. Pair these with one of the many international, awarding-winning wines (or bring your own wine for a corkage fee).

Tackle Box

Finding a rustic grub shack right on the beach isn’t unusual, but one that’s operated by a California Culinary Academy graduate is. Tackle Box, located next to Corona del Mar State Beach, was opened in 2015 by Chef Brian Huskey, a native of Pasadena, California. Prior to this endeavor, he managed renowned kitchens across L.A. and Orange counties and competed on Bravo’s hit TV show Top Chef in season 11.

Today, he brings simple, honest food to the CdM shoreline and the sister Tackle Box in Costa Mesa, incorporating Asian, French, Peruvian, and Californian influences—and the fresh catch of the day—into his dishes. Lunch includes salmon poke, New England clam chowder, and fried catfish. On weekends only, stop by for the chef d’oeuvre: Maine lobster with Old Bay aioli.