Chowzter In search of LA’s tastiest Chinese New Year feasts :
Channel 5 Morning News’ Chris Burrous featured Newport Seafood as his family’s favorite restaurant on his segment Burrous’ Bites:
Ted Chen from Channel 4 News came to learn how our lobster was prepared, just in time for Chinese New Year:
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The Beverly Hills location, which opened in late August with ample parking and OpenTable reservations on the La Cienega restaurant row where you’ll find Matsuhisa, Scratch Bar, and Genwa, brings SGV-level heat with its signature lobster: heavy on the chiles, garlic, and black pepper along with the scallions. And while the French-style beef loc lac doesn’t quite reach the tenderness and flavor of the SGV, it really is close enough. –
New Port Seafood and Its Special Lobster Are Finally Ready For You
New Port Seafood is known mainly for its signature house special lobster, a fried fresh lobster showered with copious amounts of scallions, black pepper and three different types of chiles. While its original Roland Heights and San Gabriel locations pack in the crowds nightly, the weekend wait at New Port Seafood can be a test of extreme patience.
“We felt it was time to expand and see what we can do west of the 110,” New Port’s executive chef Henry Hua told us.
That’s great news for Westside patrons who travel far to San Gabriel for some of the best Asian seafood in Southern California. And that’s great news for patrons who want to make reservations or enjoy a full bar – two features not available at the other locations.
“Here’s why New Port Seafood’s opening is going to change the game in Los Angeles. First off, Chinese cuisine has been relatively difficult to find on the Westside, despite having one of the best enclaves in America in West San Gabriel Valley. Part of what made SGV’s cuisine so great was the consistency of New Port Seafood, which constantly battles hours-long lines.
In addition, the famous house stir-fried lobster is finally poised to hit the masses of Beverly Hills. In a part of town where high-end Chinese abounds, this one has the culinary street cred to back it up. Founded by Ly Hua and Wendy Lam, the team is preparing to launch off a national brand with this location starting August 29, when it opens for dinner (lunch service commences September 2).
The signature luc lac, or stir-fried tenderloin might have one of the most addictive sauces ever, and gets perfected when eaten over a bed of rice. The full menu from the SGV home base won’t be offered here; instead, they’ve whittled the bill of fare to 14 very reasonably priced lunch dishes and about 50 dinner courses that will have everything from salt & pepper dungeness crab, shrimp with candied walnut, hot and sour soup with fish filet, and kung pao chicken.
Although there are plenty of traditional Chinese dishes, the flavors tend to skew toward Cambodian (the founders’ country of origin), Vietnamese, and Thai. So don’t be surprised to see dishes like chicken kappron on the menu.
Inside, find an elegant, airy, and bright space that does away with a lot of the over-the-top decor a place like Hakkasan might show. Also, consider the patio seating that looks out to the rest of La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. The whole endeavor took extra time because of the numerous live fish and shellfish tanks that had to be installed, but the freshness will be more than worth it. ”
New Port Tan is one of the most acclaimed Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, especially known for its house special lobster. It’s smart to come with a large group so you can order a variety of seafood, such as fish with basil-and-walnut shrimp.
If you’re craving red meat, the filet mignon cubes are outstanding.
518 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, Calif.; +1 626 289 5998; www.newportseafood.com
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There are other things on the menu at New Port Seafood, and some of them are even good, but the Vietnamese-Chinese restaurant, which occupies a remodeled Marie Callender’s, might as well have no menu at all: The throngs, most of which have waited a couple of hours for a table on a Saturday night, are there for the house-special lobster, a mammoth beast fried with chiles, black pepper and scallions, a dish as essential to New Port Seafood as chili dogs are to Pink’s. It is the only Chinese place I know of where the waiters demand that you use a fork — chopsticks are insufficient for the task. Because it is work to dismantle these creatures, digging for bits of flesh from meat deep within the superstructure, fishing out coral and extracting slips of flesh from the legs. The lobsters, generally five to six pounds apiece at about $15 per pound, are not cheap, but they feed many. New Port Seafood, 518 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel. (626) 289-5998.
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New Port Seafood has a lengthy menu, and you’re free to riffle through it. It’s Southeast Asian-inflected Cantonese food, we think, maybe Chiu Chow, although as far as I can tell, even the owners haven’t quite figured it out. Then after you’ve studied up, you’ll order the same things everybody else in the place is eating: Vietnamese-style sautéed beef, fried pea leaves with garlic, salt-and-pepper squid perhaps, and then the epic house-special lobster — a mammoth beast fried with chiles, black pepper and scallion, a dish that will live under your fingernails for weeks. The lobsters, generally 5 to 6 pounds apiece at about $15 per pound, are not cheap, but they feed many. 518 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel. (626) 289-5998, newportseafood.com. Open Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Takeout. Beer and wine. Parking lot. All major CC
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At New Port Tan Cang Seafood, the hugely popular, Vietnamese-inflected Chinese restaurant located in a former Marie Callender’s on Las Tunas, you’ll likely wait for your table in the same part of the restaurant that houses tanks of crustaceans. Many will stare at you as you wait; many more will bear a passing resemblance to the frightening extraterrestrial from Alien. For those who grew up believing that a trip to the aquarium was the same thing as a trip to 99 Ranch, though, those tanks won’t be as scary as that wait: On a weekend night, it feels like half the San Gabriel Valley is here, and here specifically for the restaurant’s formidable house special lobster. The lobster of New Port clocks in at 5 pounds or more; it comes out fried and fiery red, showered with black pepper, chiles and scallions and not so much placed as heaped on a plate. Most tables, you’ll notice, also have a spread of clams, shaking beef (bo luc lac), pan-fried pork chops and fried rice, all of which are very, very good and, as it happens, pretty much represent all that is wonderful about eating in the San Gabriel Valley.
“The seafood was good quality, and the lobster looked amazing, so it would be worth another trip to try it. The bill came out to $20 each for the five of us, including tip, with just tea to drink– not bad for very satisfying six course dinner.”