Sunday, November 28, 2010

Newport Seafood Review: Incredible Lobster and More

We went to Newport Seafood in San Gabriel for lunch with some family friends on Saturday.  I thought it was an amazing meal; every dish was simply bursting with huge flavors: lots of black pepper, chilis, green onions, ginger and garlic and the seafood was succulent and fresh.  We had elephant clam two ways (soup and sauteed with thai basil), special crab, special lobster, fried tofu, sauteed pea sprouts, and steamed duck.  It's hard to pick a favorite since I would order everything again, but I've got to start with the specialty, the lobster.  We had a big six pound live lobster; the lobster was so fresh and cooked perfectly; a huge meaty bite with just the right chewy texture.  I love the seasoning, lots of black pepper and green onions.  I couldn't stop eating it, it was so savory, flavorful and addicting.  I really liked the giant clam with the thai basil.  The giant clam had such a nice bite to it; that perfect chewy / crunchy texture, and the dish had some nice heat to it with all the chilis, tempered by some salty soy and fresh basil and mung bean sprouts.  I really loved this dish.  The soup version was delicious too, warm and soothing.  The steamed duck was also so moist and flavorful, the fried tofu was perfectly fried: light and crispy on the outside, molten softness on the inside.  I really liked the crab; it was fried lightly with lots of flavor from ginger, garlic and green onions.  I like it a lot better than the crab at Seafood Village (Bi Feng Tang).  The sauteed pea sprouts was a nice cleansing dish next to all the seasoned seafood.  While everything was seasoned boldly and many things were fried, I didn't find the meal to be overly heavy.  I didn't detect much, if any, MSG, which I'm really sensitive to; I felt pretty good afterwards and I ate a ton of food.  We brought two bottles of wine that went perfectly with the meal: a 2006 Albert Boxler Grand Cru Riesling from Alsace and a 2009 Nigl Gruner Veltliner from Austria.  The riesling was quite big, with a deep, sweet floral nose, but very balanced taste that stood up to and complemented the rich seafood.  The Gruner Veltliner was much lighter, but I loved it; just so drinkable and food friendly.  I really like Gruner Veltliners, they are definitely one of my favorite types of wine, just so good with food, particularly Asian food.  The restaurant was bustling; no reservations are taken and there is always a line.  It's best to go on the early or later side when the wait is shorter, but it's totally worth it.  There are a couple of semi private rooms separated by latticed partitions, making it a great place for groups.  The food is also conducive to eating with larger groups too, as you can order more to share.  It was really a great meal and I can't wait to go back!

Elephant clam with thai basil, chili, mung beans and soy
Elephant clam soup with tofu and cabbage
Special Crab
Fried Tofu

Newport Seafood (Xin Gang Hai Xian)
518 West Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA  91776
(646) 289-5998

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