Reviewed May 10, 2004   »   |     

McCormick & Schmick's

2000 Main St., Main & Gillete - Irvine, California
Fried Calamari | with 3 kinds of sauce, $6.95. Although portions are on the leaner side, and the size of each piece wasn't eye-popping by any means, where it lacks in size and stature it makes up with quality. The calamari was definitely fresh, very tender inside with a nice, very light crispy exterior, giving it a nice light salty taste. The cocktail of sauces gave the appetizer a nice variety of taste, anywhere from sweet and sour to hot. The sauces aren't particularly needed, but are a nice touch. Overall, a good appetizer.

Ono | Macadamia Nut-encrusted filet served with tropical fruit salad and basmati rice, $18.95. This daily special wasn't on the regular menu. The filet portion was quite big, almost dwarfing the accompanying side of salad and rice. It had a nice firm texture, yet not to the point where it had a rough interior by any means - it had a great smooth salty taste, and the macadamia crust added to its package very well. The basmati rice, I thought, was just an amazing side. My only complaint here is I wish they gave me more of the rice. Overall, a great entree.

Bay Scallops & Rock Shrimp Fettucini | Scallops and Rock Shrimp sauteed with Pesto Cream Sauce, $10.75. Taste was off-the-charts for this entree, incredibly tender and bursting with flavor in every bite. If you're a fan of scallops, you can't go wrong here. Overall portions weren't bad, either - and it wasn't like the scallops were swimming in the fettucini; there was a nice healthy balance of portions. Overall, a very good entree.

Conclusion: Word of warning: although McCormick & Schmick's is a chain restaurant, they don't have a standard across all their restaurants; for one, the menus may vary, as they print daily menus according to the local fresh seafood. For another, taste has been known to vary even for the same dish; so the disclaimer here is that this review only applies to the Irvine/Newport location. With that note, this was one of the better seafood restaurants in its value class. While M&S doesn't have exceptional value, it still ranks pretty high in that regard. Service was merely average; we didn't particularly feel taken care of, with the exception of their rushing for us because we were on a tight schedule. Ambience was decent, but nothing special. Valet parking, $10. Or you can get away with parking at the Embassy Suites across the street for free. A restaurant I would definitely return to.


out of 5.0


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