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Local Ocean Seafoods

213 SE Bay Boulevard, Newport, OR - (541) 574-7959
Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on 7/26/2012 8:05:00 PM
If you plan to spend time in Newport, Oregon, you plan to eat seafood. Local Ocean Seafoods is the best seafood restaurant in Newport. Ergo...

Your first challenge will be to secure yourself and your dining companions a table. This is not a large restaurant, word is out, and they take no reservations. Our first visit, on a Saturday evening, would have required a one hour and twenty minute wait. We passed on the opportunity and returned during the week, when waiting times were much more reasonable. So plan your approach: dine early or during the week, if you can. If not, you can pass the time strolling along the waterfront, inspecting the fishing boats berthed for the evening.

The menu is divided between small plates, sandwiches, and big plates, and this is one restaurant where you would do just as well to order a series of dishes that catch your interest, until you are satisfied, rather than follow the traditional appetizer/entree approach. Yaquina Bay is across the street. Let that be a clue: order some meltingly tender pan-fried oysters, either a small or large order. These are not the crunch-crusted deep-fried oysters you'll encounter in a New Orleans po' boy, but they are just as delicious in their own way.

If you like smoked fish, get the smoked salmon salad, which is a mammoth green salad so well-laced with chunks of the hot-smoked fish that every bite seems infused with smoky savor. As if that's not enough, the salad is topped with toasted local hazelnuts. Excellent fish tacos made with local rockfish can serve as a starter or an entire meal. Steamed local clams will keep you happily occupied for a while, even when the clams are gone, as you dip the accompanying garlic bread in the garlicky clam broth.

As you enter the restaurant you'll pass by the raw fish case (Local Ocean is also a fresh seafood shop). Notice how each sparkling-fresh layout is fronted by a card that not only tells you where the fish was caught, but how it was caught (hook & line, longline, etc.), and even the name of the fishing vessel from which this particular batch was procured. You can enjoy some of that provender on big plates that feature seared king salmon, grilled halibut, a whole Dungeness crab, or anything else that was hauled from the sea the day you arrived. Whatever you order, if you are a fan of thin and wispy onion rings, you must place an order for Frizzled Onions.

Our only quibble with Local Ocean is this: they would do better to exercise a little more restraint in the conception of the dishes. Sometimes, they do so much, garnishing the plate to a fare-thee-well, that the luxuriously fresh seafood can get lost in the amalgam. With seafood this gorgeous, less is more.

Dessert? There's only one, and it's a good one: a shortbread parfait featuring crumbled cookies and local berries.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Pan-Fried Oysters
Shortbread Parfait
Frizzled Onions
Smoked Salmon Salad
Los Fish Taco
Coconut Prawns
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Roasted Garlic & Dungeness Crab Soup
Steamer Clams
Hotlips Blackberry Soda
Crab Po' Boy
Green Chile Prawns
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Halibut's dizzyingly good panzanella salad is made with skewers of grilled halibut, scrumptious, crisp-cooked ciabatta bread and roasted vegetables, crumbly local cheese, and greens in a tangy vinaigrette.
"Halibut's dizzyingly good panzanella salad is made with skewers of grilled halibut, scrumptious, crisp-cooked ciabatta bread and roasted vegetables, crumbly local cheese, and greens in a tangy vinaigrette."
Michael Stern





There is no variety to the dessert menu, but that's OK, because the one dessert (other than house-made ice cream) is terrific: lemon shortcake smothered with local berries and whipped cream.
"There is no variety to the dessert menu, but that's OK, because the one dessert (other than house-made ice cream) is terrific: lemon shortcake smothered with local berries and whipped cream."
Michael Stern


Local Ocean is also a seafood market. Each label for the super-fresh fish notes where the fish was caught, how it was caught, and which fishing bought caught it.
"Local Ocean is also a seafood market. Each label for the super-fresh fish notes where the fish was caught, how it was caught, and which fishing bought caught it."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Steamer clams around here are quite different from steamers in the Northeast. These siphonless clams are served in a heady broth with garlic bread for sopping.
"Steamer clams around here are quite different from steamers in the Northeast. These siphonless clams are served in a heady broth with garlic bread for sopping."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The crab po' boy is dressed with a green chili avocado puree, and the roll is grilled and crusted with parmesan. We added a grilled poblano to the mix. Wonderful!
"The crab po' boy is dressed with a green chili avocado puree, and the roll is grilled and crusted with parmesan. We added a grilled poblano to the mix. Wonderful!"
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Frizzled onions are simply some of the best onion rings to be had anywhere!
"Frizzled onions are simply some of the best onion rings to be had anywhere!"
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Local Ocean faces Yaquina Bay. No surprise: pan-fried Yaquina oysters are stunningly good.
"Local Ocean faces Yaquina Bay. No surprise: pan-fried Yaquina oysters are stunningly good."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Of the many dishes we sampled at Local Ocean, none surpassed the salad laced with house-smoked salmon and topped with toasted hazelnuts.
"Of the many dishes we sampled at Local Ocean, none surpassed the salad laced with house-smoked salmon and topped with toasted hazelnuts."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


There is one, and only one, dessert in the house: a shortbread parfait rippled with local berries.
"There is one, and only one, dessert in the house: a shortbread parfait rippled with local berries. "
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


There are a few seats facing the open kitchen, along with tables inside and, if the weather cooperates, outside.
"There are a few seats facing the open kitchen, along with tables inside and, if the weather cooperates, outside."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Local Ocean is the best seafood restaurant in Newport.
"Local Ocean is the best seafood restaurant in Newport."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


If you have to wait for a table (and you will), pass the time inspecting the fishing fleet across the street.
"If you have to wait for a table (and you will), pass the time inspecting the fishing fleet across the street."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


There is a breathtaking freshness about the pearly white meat in Local Ocean's crab cake, its ocean brio accentuated by the crunchy fennel slaw that comes alongside.
"There is a breathtaking freshness about the pearly white meat in Local Ocean's crab cake, its ocean brio accentuated by the crunchy fennel slaw that comes alongside."
Michael Stern


Stylish, brash, and on the verge of arrogant, Local Ocean really does serve some of the best seafood along the coast.
"Stylish, brash, and on the verge of arrogant, Local Ocean really does serve some of the best seafood along the coast."
Michael Stern


A seat at the bar provides a fantastic view of the open kitchen.
"A seat at the bar provides a fantastic view of the open kitchen."
Michael Stern


It was mesmerizing to watch the creation of Fishwives Stew, a slumgullion of crab, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, etc., etc.
"It was mesmerizing to watch the creation of Fishwives Stew, a slumgullion of crab, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, etc., etc."
Michael Stern


Fish tacos are made with the day's local catch, whatever that may be. On this day, it was ling cod, the creamy sweetness of which was so nicely framed by hot salsa.
"Fish tacos are made with the day's local catch, whatever that may be. On this day, it was ling cod, the creamy sweetness of which was so nicely framed by hot salsa."
Michael Stern



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