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The Gossiping Gourmet: Bear Flag Fish Co. expands to Newport Coast

May 30, 2012|By Elle Harrow and Terry Markowitz

It's really nice to find a cioppino that has veggies and fish added at the end of the cooking so that the vegetables remain crunchy and the fish is not overcooked, especially when they come in a very pleasant, fresh-tasting tomato broth.

Tacos are the big draw here — and rightly so.

The lightly panko-crusted fish is grilled. There are no fryers on site. It is served with basa, but, for an extra charge, you can substitute several other fish if you choose.

However, we found the generous portion of moist basa to be just fine, especially when the very good and soft tortillas are crammed full of pico de gallo, shredded cabbage and Tommy sauce, a flavorful combination of mayonnaise, lemon and hot sauce that adds a creamy kick.


Not spicy enough for you? Take your choice of the array of hot sauces at the end of the table.

There are four types of fish to choose from for the grilled fish entrée. We opted for the recommended ono, a very firm, fleshed, flaky whitefish. It was flavorful though a bit overcooked. It comes with brown or white rice and an amazing medley of perfectly cooked fresh vegetables and Tommy sauce. It was flavorful and healthy too.

We'll definitely be back for those tacos and to try the smoked fish, burritos and fish sandwiches.

Editor's note: Last week's About Food column should have made clearer that the number listed for the Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop in Costa Mesa, (949) 200-3957, was for phone-in orders only. The main number is (949) 200-3950.

ELLE HARROW and TERRY MARKOWITZ were in the gourmet food and catering business for 20 years. They can be reached for comments or questions at

Bear Flag Fish Co.

Where: 7972 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Coast

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Mondays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays


Appetizers: $3.50-$14.95

Entrées: $2.95-$14.95 or market price


Glass: $8.95

Bottle: $28 to $32

Corkage Fee: $15

Contact: (949) 715-8899;

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