Today is: Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bluewater Grill Restaurant Review

Bluewater Grill's mission is to provide their guests with the highest quality seafood, classically prepared, at a fair price, in a friendly, casual atmosphere. They source
the globe for the highest quality fresh seafood, develop and maintain relationships
with reputable seafood suppliers. They adhere to a daily ritual of controls and
systems to ensure the integrity of our seafood. Situated in Southern California,
they have two locations in Orange County ("the OC"), Newport Beach and
"The District" in Tustin, and one in Redondo Beach on King Harbor.

Bluewater Grill's newest restaurant in Tustin is now open at The District, in
Tustin at the corner of Jamboree and Barranca at the former site of
the Marine Corp. Air Station, where we recently had dinner.

When it came time to design the Tustin location, Jim Ulcickas (Founder) says the destination nature of Bluewater Grill – specifically the fact that many of his most
loyal customers don’t live in Newport or Redondo – prompted the management
team to consider taking the concept to non-waterfront locales like The District that offer a strong retail and restaurant mix. Other areas being studied for a Bluewater
Grill include Pasadena, south Orange County, Woodland Hills and Santa
Barbara. A Bluewater Grill operated in South Coast Village in
Santa Ana for several years, and closed in 2007.


Bluewater Grill is the perfect spot for a casual afternoon or evening combined with
a trip to the beach, a stroll along the boardwalk, or a day out shopping.
Bluewater is casual, fun, owner-operated, offers a kid's menu,
oyster bar, patio dining, and much more!

Main Dining Room                                  Outside Patio Area 

As part of this long-term expansion vision, Bluewater Grill also recently upgraded
the Newport and Redondo locations, including remodeling the Redondo bar, and
outfitting both restaurants with new furniture, china and interior appointments.
Ulcickas says that, despite the changes, he and his team were careful to
preserve the authentic “premium fish house” feel that Bluewater Grill regulars
at both locations have come to expect. The team also introduced a new
“Small Plate” menu, and expanded the Bluewater Grill calendar of regional
seafood events, wine and oyster tastings at all three restaurants.

  Blue Shark Martini                                 Key Lime Pie Martini

Making good on its promise to bring its premiere fresh seafood concept to Southern Californians that don’t happen to live at the beach, Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant opens a 7,250-square-foot restaurant today at The District at Tustin Legacy, the destination lifestyle dining, shopping and entertainment center that debuted in
summer 2007 in central Orange County. Beyond its distinction as the third
restaurant in the Bluewater Grill family, following the original in Newport
Beach’s Cannery Village in 1996 and a second at King Harbor in
Redondo Beach in 2001, the new Tustin facility has been
intentionally designed as a more stylized prototype for
possible future Southern California locations.

     Champagne by the Glass                              Cadillac Margarita          

The striking “high style meets the beach” design theme represents a dramatic
departure from the look and feel of the Newport and Redondo
waterfront restaurants yet retains enough of the spirit of the
original to make it an authentic Bluewater Grill.

Coconut Praws and  Panko Fried Shrimp

We started our meal with a selection of drinks and appetizers. The menu is thoughtful and inventive in the way it continues this balance between the ethereal and masculine, the Coconut Praws and the Panko Fried Shrimp appetizers positions two large shrimps of each that is refreshingly cool against a sweet mango chili
sauce dressing. The menu and decor offer a cohesive gesture
of sophistication that may just leave you swooning.

Our appetizers arrive all at once, an artful collection of culinary
presentation and they were simply fantastic without any exception.

      Oysters Rockefeller                          Ponzu Sashimi Sea Scallops

We tried their magnificient Oysters Rockefeller served baked on the half shell with cream spinach bacon and romano cheese. Also the most amazing way to enjoy Scallops is the Ponzu Sashimi Sea Scallops in the shell topped with wasabi
aioli seaweed salad and masago. I would say that it was the
best way to enjoy Scallops, simply divine!

Tenderloin Taster

If you like meat, their Tenderloin Taster which consisted of tender cuts of
beef pan seared with salt and pepper served with horseradish
sauce. It was truly delicious and very tasty.

Clam Chowder                                        Lobster Bisque

The service was outstanding our waiter Megan was simply one of the best servers
we could ever asked for, she brough us a taste of their 3 amazing soups that
would satisfy anyone, the Clam Chowder, the Lobster Bisque
and the special Seafood Soup were truly outstanding.

Also, the Scallop Scampi made with brandy, sherry and
garlic butter was another divine way to enjoy Scallops!

Seafood Soup                                       Scallop Scampi

The wine list is an extensive multi-page assortment of predominantly California wines, with a smattering of Australian and European vineyards to round out the collection.

Baked Stuffed Maine Lobster with Buttery Bay Shrimp Stuffing

As far as our entrees, our server Megan gave us couple suggestions and we
certainly followed her advice, the Baked Stuffed Maine Lobster with Buttery
Bay Shrimp Stuffing and a touch of sherry with choice of two sides was
a wonderful and new way to enjoy the amazing lobster meat.

Spinache & Five Grain Rice                        Crab and Avocado Salad

I had the Australian Lobster Tail broiled to perfection. These both dishes revealed
the unexpected complexities and sense of culinary opulence conveyed by
high quality ingredients. The side dishes were also great I loved the
sauteed spinach and the five grain rice mix served cool.

Australian Lobster Tail Broiled to Perfection

Despite the growing mountain of takeout containers we are accumulating, we can’t resist sampling one of their sweet confections. In the spirit of overindulgence that
has characterized the rest of our meal, 4 fried bananas with caramel and vanilla
ice cream arrives to the table, tempting us with its virtues, and sinful
attractions. This is a delicious dessert that shows of the
diverse possibilities of sweet tooth satisfaction.

Bananas Foster  (Fried Bananas with Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream)

Like its Newport and Redondo counterparts, the Tustin restaurant adheres to a number of time-honored Bluewater Grill traditions: print new lunch and dinner menus daily featuring up to 40 varieties of fresh seafood; make all of its chowders, soups, dressings and sauces from scratch in an open display kitchen; hand-shuck every
oyster and clam to order; serve only fresh San Francisco Sourdough® bread;
and tap eight draft beers using a state-of-the-art draft beer system that
delivers 32-degree beer directly at the tap handle.

Collectively the three Bluewater Grill restaurants purchase more than $3 million in seafood annually directly and indirectly from fisherman, a sheer quantity guaranteeing that Ulcickas and partners Richard Staunton and Robert Hyman continually receive the very best quality. In fact, the three take pride in their close relationships with
their seafood vendors – from their harpooned swordfish supplier aboard the
Captain Hook to their local lobster fisherman in Redondo Beach
to their shellfish growers in Washington’s Puget Sound.

             20 Year Tawny Port                    Megan (Server) and Tyler (Bartender)

Reflecting the global reach of Bluewater Grill’s suppliers, the Tustin Bluewater Grill serves such daily fresh fish as Mississippi Catfish, Idaho Rainbow Trout, Australian Barramundi, King Salmon from British Columbia, Ahi Tuna from Fiji, Alaskan
Halibut, Golden Tilapia from Costa Rica and local Red Snapper and Broadbill Swordfish (seasonal availability varies). Other menu highlights range from Eureka Sanddabs, Mahi Mahi and Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops to San Francisco
Cioppino, an Ahi Tuna Burger, signature Bluewater Fish Tacos and premium
shellfish including Australian Lobster Tail and Alaskan King Crab.
Free-range Chicken, Rib Eye Steak Filet and a Frenched Pork
“Rib” Chop cater to the non-seafood lover.

The modern new restaurant has also given Executive Chef Brian Hirsty the
opportunity to experiment with a number of new specialty dishes, including
Crispy Skin Barramundi with fennel and olive reduction; Alaskan Halibut with
a yam-tempura crust, sweet chili glaze and glass noodle salad; and a
“Small Plate” menu listing sliders, oyster shooters with Absolut®
Pepper vodka, and Salt and Pepper Shrimp.

Tustin’s circular Live Seafood Bar, situated at the front of the restaurant, boasts a constantly changing menu of oysters grown and harvested exclusively for Bluewater Grill and served on the half-shell, plus Sashimi, an “Ichiban” of Seared Ahi Tuna, Oysters Rockefeller, Mussels and Clams. Also featured on the menu are appetizers, including Smoked Albacore and Salmon, Crabcakes, Calamari Fritti; entrée
seafood salads; Bluewater Grill’s signature Clam Chowder and Lobster
Bisque, a kid’s menu; specialty desserts; a full bar and extensive wine list,
including California and French varietals by the bottle and glass.

For Tustin, that local integrity means a design theme by Bitton Design Group
of Agoura Hills that is noticeably more cosmopolitan.  The partners
call it more “current” than the Newport and Redondo locations.

The Tustin Bluewater Grill seats 280, which is similar in size to the Redondo
restaurant and slightly larger than the Newport Beach location. Chris Rock
is the managing partner. The restaurant officially opened to the public on
April 28, 2008, following a week of grand opening festivities including
preview events for existing customers, the media and local VIPs. 

The restaurant is now open daily for lunch and dinner. Operating hours are
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The address is 2409 Park Avenue at The District at Tustin
Legacy. Complimentary valet and self parking are available. The phone
number is (714) 258-3474. Reservations are encouraged.

For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their website at

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx

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