Everyone is surprised when I tell them I’ve never been to R+D Kitchen. With so many people bugging me about it, I had to bookmarked it as one of those must-try places.
Austin and I arrived at noon one glorious day and it was already hustling and bustling. There weren’t any tables left but the hostess informed us we can sit at the bar or on the patio. We opted for the latter, taking advantage of the beautiful clear sky above and a chance to people watch.
I was really happy to see a simple menu, one that doesn’t require page flipping or one that takes 10 minutes to look through. It isn’t bogged down with so many choices making it difficult to decide.
After the delicious deviled eggs at Nick’s Laguna, I thought we should try the ones here. Deviled Eggs ($4), is a side order portion with four halves of boiled eggs stuffed with a mixture tasting very much of relish.
Although the pickles enhanced the textural factor, giving it a slight crunch, the egg yolk mixture was underwhelming and excessively bland. I left the second half untouched.
Both Austin and I wanted to try a mix of items so we ordered a salad and a sandwich to share. R+D Chicken and Spinach Salad ($17) is filled with vibrant spinach leaves, thinly sliced apples, cashews and smoky bacon with a generous portion of chicken breast for good measure.
All of the items are tossed in a slightly tart dressing, albeit a little TOO much dressing — weighing the spinach leaves down — but it had good flavors and many components to make it a low carb lunch entree if you so choose.
French Dip Sandwich ($18) served with a bit of mayo on the bun and a side of slightly under-salted au jus, is decent. A generous amount of thinly sliced prime rib is sandwiched between the bun, but there are no side of fries or onion rings unless you order them separately.
As far as French Dips go, I wouldn’t say it blew me away, especially not at $18 without any sides. The meat was moist but not exceptionally flavorful. It was good but not spectacular.
And speaking of fries, how could we go without some when we’re having a sammie? Hand cut fries ($4) are served with ketchup — no aioli or specialty dipping sauces — and while respectable, again, did not wow. Some were limp and soggy while others remained firm and crispy throughout.
I must point out that while ordering, I had failed to look at prices because I was too busy chatting with Austin and in hindsight (after we received the check), it hit me that the price tag of the two main items did not justify the end result served. Nevertheless, the meal was enjoyable and service very pleasant.
We enjoyed the atmosphere and from our vantage point, we were able to people watch perfectly. A $53 check before tip (we also had a coffee and tea) for lunch is a little hefty especially when it was salad and sandwich, even though, apart from the bland deviled eggs, we had a good time. The food was fine, service was attentive, and the company…. superb!
555 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660