Home » Restaurant Review » Review of Lark Creek Newport Beach
Review of Lark Creek Newport Beach
Lark Creek Filet with Dungeness Crab Salad

Review of Lark Creek Newport Beach

Review of Lark Creek Newport Beach

Lark Creek does Farm to Table Right

It was back in July of 2013 when yet another restaurant group was slated to open a restaurant in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island. I yawned and decided to see if Lark Creek would survive the winter. After trying Lark Creek for the first time last week, I now regret not dining at this restaurant sooner.

Lark Creek is located in Fashion Island, just below the movie theater

Lark Creek is located in Fashion Island, just below the movie theater

 

Lark Creek does many things right that helps make the dinner’s experience wonderful.  The food is based on a farm to table approach, with seasonal ingredients driving the menu. Chef /Partner John Ledbetter brings years of experience and innovative preparations to transform these ingredients to remarkable dishes.  Proof is in the pudding, lets chat about their food.

 

Lark Creek Appetizers

Rock Fish Ceviche

Lark Creek Rock Fish Ceviche

Lark Creek Rock Fish Ceviche

 

Chef Ledbetter take on this classic Peruvian dish was impressive. The citrus cured rockfish is mixed with a creamy yellow aji sauce.  The sauce is made with the Peruvian Aji Amarillo pepper, which provides a fruity spiciness to the dish and a long slow sizzle. For me this dish was like a bowl of sunshine that woke up my senses and allowed the natural flavor of the rockfish to shine through.

 

Lark Creek Rock Fish Ceviche gets it's yellow color and sizzle from the Aji Amarillo Chile

Lark Creek Rock Fish Ceviche gets it’s yellow color and sizzle from the Aji Amarillo Chile

 

The Rockfish Ceviche was served with crispy plantain chips added the right amount of starch and sweetness to mellow out the heat of the chili to a level that even non-spicy lover could appreciate.

 

Dungeness Crab Cocktail

Lark Creek Crab Cocktail

Lark Creek Crab Cocktail

 

All fish is best when they are in season and Dungeness crab is at its peak right now. Lark Creek is currently serving hand selected Dungeness crab from fisheries along the West Coast, from  San Francisco to Alaska. Their crab cocktail is essentially a chilled half crab, served on a bed of ice and accompanied by their housemade horseradish cocktail sauce.

 

Lark Creek Crab Cocktail - As you can see I got very excited with the Crab Cocktail. I Love Crab!

Lark Creek Crab Cocktail – As you can see I got very excited with the Crab Cocktail. I Love Crab!

 

Since crab was in season, the meat is dense, sweet and full of natural flavor.  Lark creek is definitely getting the premium crab from their fish monger. I made a serious mess of myself attempting to fetch every last piece of meat from the shell. This is a mark that I really enjoyed the food.

 

Deviled Eggs

Lark Creek Deviled Eggs with Dungeness Crab

Lark Creek Deviled Eggs with Dungeness Crab

 

There were some of the better deviled eggs that I have recently tasted and I consider myself to be a deviled egg snob. The deviled eggs are constructed in the classic format, with whipped yolks piped into the egg white shell.

 

Lark Creek Deviled eggs with Dungeness Crab Close-up

Lark Creek Deviled eggs with Dungeness Crab Close-up

 

The eggs were topped with Dungeness crab meat, chipotle aioli and micro greens. The eggs had multiple flavor layers from sweet, savory and spicy and a very subtle hint of vinegar somewhere in the dish.  I would order these again. If you don’t like spicy, don’t be afraid of the chipotle, it just adds flavor. Even my spicy-phobic wife loved them.

 

Lark Creek Main Courses

 

Cider-Brined Pork Chop

Lark Creek Cider Brined Pork Chop Close Up

Lark Creek Cider Brined Pork Chop Close Up

 

Lark Creek’s cider-brined pork chop ranks on my top five all-time favorite pork chops, in good company with Michael Mina and The Playground. Lark Creek’s version is cider-brined, which helps break down the connective tissue and infuses a bright aromatic flavor into the meat. 

 

Lark Creek Cider Brined Pork Chop

Lark Creek Cider Brined Pork Chop

 

This is a good sized pork chop at 12 ounces and is served atop sweet potatoes, braised cabbage and fried sage. One of the best elements of this pork chop is the stone-fruit bourbon sherry glaze poured over top. It adds a savory-sweet flavor layer that cuts through the dish without being sticky sweet.

 

Filet with Dungeness Crab salad

The filet, like the pork chop, is cooked over a wood burning grill which infuses a smoky flavor layer, deep into the meat.  The filet was served atop a very creamy and rich potato gratin and a Dungeness crab salad on top. The dish is garnished with a very pretty and delicious persillade sauce.  The steak was cooked to a text-book medium –rare and was extremely juicy on each bite.  The crab salad on top added a wonderful sweet creaminess to each bite of steak.

 

Lark Creek Filet with Dungeness Crab Salad

Lark Creek Filet with Dungeness Crab Salad

 

Dessert

 

Croissant Bread Pudding

This was an impressive dessert.  The bread pudding is made with fresh croissants, melted chocolate chunks, butter, cream and love. The bread pudding was topped with a serving of creamy chocolate gelato. This is a sultry dish that smacks me around, called me Sally and I still keep you coming back for more. Despite the fact that I was beyond full, I had to finish the dessert.

Lark Creek Cocktails Croissant Bread Pudding with Chocolate Gelato

Lark Creek Cocktails Croissant Bread Pudding with Chocolate Gelato

 

My Final Thoughts

I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality at Lark Creek. I am always very dubious when a restaurant group opens up a new restaurant in Orange County, as quality will often drop after six months of opening.  Since Lark Creek opened in July of 2013, the restaurant continues to improve and evolve its menu. Chef Ledbetter really impressed me with the flavor layering in his dishes and unique preparations.   

If you have not yet visited Lark Creek, I would recommend a visit. The food is truly delicious, the service is highly trained and the environment is welcoming.  I would visit again.

957 Newport Center Drive at Fashion Island

Newport Beach

www.larkcreeknb.com

Facebook, and onTwitter.
Lark Creek on Urbanspoon

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

16 comments

  1. What a great review! Big foodie myself and always appreciate hearing about a great restaurant. I’m also a big lover of seafood and specifically Dungeness Crab and this looks delish! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Looks super yummy! I have heard of this place before and everything always looks amazing! If I am ever in the area I will have to try it!

  3. Next time I am near Newport Beach I am definitely stopping in for a bite! Looks incredible!

  4. wow. . .looks like some yummy stuff. Not a huge fan of having my food look me in the eye (the crab), but a big crab lover at that. I also get being dubious of new restaurants so I’m happy to hear you had a positive experience!

  5. That crab cocktail looks to die for – I get very excited about seafood too!

  6. I’d like to see you do a review of Chipotle. They stand for sustainability and serve all organic, locally-grown foods. People think it’s too hard to eat organic, but with all the “stuff in our foods,” it’s simply healthier to choose organic. Why Chipotle now? Their new TV show just premiered: “Farmed and Dangerous.” Check it out on Hulu.com.

  7. I am now officially hungry. All that food looks fabulous. I’d love the bread pudding dessert with the chocolate gelatto.

  8. OK, time to make dinner. Nothing is going to be quite as good as what I see in those photos though )-:

  9. Wow, the deviled eggs with crab meat sounds so divine and looks really delicious

  10. I love how those eggs mixed up with a crab..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge