I’ve been meaning to visit DivBar since it opened a year ago and never went until recently. Then, I had two opportunities to experience DivBar in one week. First was with a group of friends at the restaurant, and second time, we picked up dockside while on a pontoon ride on the bay.
I am familiar with Chef Kris Kirk from his days back at ECCO and was excited to try his menu at DivBar. We started with a bunch of cocktails before launching into the great bites on offer.
Chef Kris’ Firecracker Grilled Shrimp ($14.95) was one of my favorites. Spicy BBQ shrimp were really good. I loved these so much I actually requested them on our boat ride. Served with shishito peppers and hot sweet corn relish, it makes a great appetizer to share, or a light entree for one.
Everyone at the table loves calamari and the Crispy Calamari ($10.95) here nice and crispy with a lightly sweet chili lime sauce coating. They serve the sauce separate for the boat ride and I suggest you enjoy these at the restaurant because dipping them into the sauce is not quite the same as having them serve it tossed and hot at the table.
I loved the Ahi Poke ($14.95) with a delicious avocado salsa and hints of sesame oil. The use of taro chips was really unique and a nice change from the usual.
When I saw DB’s Smoked Duck Fries ($7.95) on the menu, I knew I wanted them. They weren’t exactly fries, but more like crispy home fries. The duck was flavorful and the shallot aioli made the whole dish come together. I would’ve liked the fries to be smaller pieces as some of them weren’t crispy enough.
And, who doesn’t love mac n cheese? We shared the Macaroni and Cheese ($8.95) made with Taleggio cheese, dotted with crushed truffles and a parmesan bread crumb crust. Beautiful flavors, rich, creamy and something I would absolutely order again.
Now, I probably wouldn’t crave a salad when I come to a joint like this, but the Thai Chicken Salad ($12.95) was seriously good. It was a huge portion, which I doubt I could finish on my own even as an entree. Marinated chicken breast, cashews, crispy wontons all tossed in a ginger dressing — like a Chinese chicken salad, but without the strong sesame oil throughout. Everyone enjoyed this! We got some for the boat ride too!
My favorite of all — on both occasions — was the DJ’s Broasted Chicken ($13.95). This is the perfect item to order for a boat ride because it travels so well. Even after an hour, the chicken still retained its crispiness on the outside and moistness on the inside. Accompanied by smashed potatoes and country chicken gravy and jalapeno corn bread (see below for more) I can positively say, this is some of the best chicken I’ve had in a long time!
If you have kids, or are just a pizza lover in general, you can’t leave without ordering one of their pizzas. Thin crust pizza — again, perfect boat ride food — is the only pizza I’ll eat. White Chicken ($13.95/10 inch or $22.95/18 inch) pizza topped with chicken, mushroom, corn, ricotta, mozzarella was one of my faves.
And don’t forget to taste the Jalapeno Corn Bread ($3.95) because it is quite addicting! I like mine slathered with butter!
After two very successful experiences with DivBar, I’ll have to say this is a winner in my book. Come with friends to best experience this dock side restaurant. Take advantage of the valet parking or park in a lot one street up from the restaurant, it is well worth it!
2601 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663