Newport Seafood San Gabriel

This is not an downhill alert, but the bottom of the hill announcement.
Have not eaten at this location for over a year, last month, I made a reservation for 10 for one of the sectioned semi-private rooms in the back for 7pm. But when we arrived at 6:30p, the parking lot was almost full and after valet, we were told that that we arrived too late for that section and they have a table for us in the general area. Business was good.
We ordered the recommended selections. But they must have no trained chef in the kitchen or the chefs were mounting a chef rebellion or something. I asked what their largest lobster was and was told it is 9.5 lb and female. I ordered it. It arrived with one head, one tail, over 25 legs, one half of one claw, 8 small tail pieces (not enough for the 10 of us), and no roe. I complained to the manager. He said those extra legs were bonus. As to the lack of roe, the manager went to the kitchen and bought back a small plate of the onion and chili that make the dish famous.
Someone once told me that Newport Seafood buy their lobster roe separately from their lobsters. I can’t imagine how.
Next dish was a stir fried 3lb geoduck @ $33/lb. The dish were mostly ginger and scallions and no more than 6 or 8 slices of geoduck.
All the other dishes that were served were extremely badly executed. One can get much better cooked food from any food court in San Gabriel. The stir fired pea shoot dish were fibrous, the ‘french style beef cubes’ were chewy, the lettuce wrap was watery and blend, the spicy clam came out cold. Only the seafood soup and the fried rice was passable.
Correct me if I am wrong.

Hi @fallingleaves,

Yah, we weren’t too happy with our last visit (about a couple months ago). It was really mediocre and terrible service (the waiters were all different looking from our previous 2 visits).

2 different friends of ours in the SGV told us (and I think here on this board also) that Newport had some of their staff (kitchen and servers) leave to form Boston Lobster (corner of San Gabriel & Valley) and 626 Lobster (on Valley near Walnut Grove).

They both said the menus look very similar to what was at Newport back in the day and it tasted “just like Newport” from its heyday.

We ate at Boston Lobster a couple of weeks ago. The food was good - not Newport at its peak good - but definitely first rate. Not as much roe as Newport’s lobster dishes, not as much care in the presentation of dishes.

It’s already been mentioned that the “dining room” is not for dining - call it an eating room.

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626 Lobster is the only we place we go now for this cuisine. Much better than Newport (now) and they take reservations for even smaller parties. Service has always been very good which is rare for chinese restaurants.

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Thanks @tailbacku @bulavinaka. Good to know these newer “branches” are now the places to go.

My family and I usually go to the OC branch. Haven’t been in a year, but the last time we were there, the food was as good as it was from childhood. Service is always a touch spotty, but at this kind of Chinese-Vietnamese place, it’s something I easily forgive…more so since the service has gotten better since we were little kids with our parents.

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Hilariously the experience above reflects my first ever visit to Newport back in the early 90’s and why we never went back - bought a lobster and the anatomy was not correct at all.