“The Register’s Icon Award honors a restaurant that’s been open for 10 years or more and continues to set standards for others to follow. Founded in 1926, A Restaurant in Newport Beach has had a serious head start on the competition.
Most restaurants of that age, frankly, survive on nostalgia alone. But A Restaurant continues to reinvent itself and remain not just relevant but absolutely essential.
A total remodel six or seven years ago helped breathe new life into the historic building’s old bones. The addition of A Market next door has been a boon as well. But much of the credit lately goes to chef Jonathan Blackford, who has completely revitalized the kitchen over the past few years. The steaks are superb, especially the prized Japanese Satsuma beef on the occasions when it’s available. But what might be even more impressive is what Blackford does with that beef while it’s still raw. The beef tartare is sublime.”