I was invited to a preview of Bonefish Grill months ago and returned again because what little I tasted was only a teaser and I wanted to try more before giving a verdict. Although the restaurant is part of a chain out of Florida, the restaurant does not have a chain feel to it. In fact, each location has its own unique design and this particular one is no different. I especially love the bonefish design on the back wall created with little pieces of metal components.
Start with a non-alcoholic refresher such as the Blackberry Smash ($3.50) in lieu of the regular soda or iced tea. We loved this fruit-filled drink which isn’t overly sweet either.
We started with Bang Bang Shrimp ($10.90), something I tasted at the preview and is Bonefish’s signature dish. The lightly battered shrimp are tossed in a creamy sauce with a hint of spice and they remain crispy even till the very last one. It reminds me of a very good honey walnut shrimp — a dish I really dislike — without the cloying heaviness of mayo overuse. This is highly recommended.
Singapore Calamari ($9.90) is another great appetizer to share. The calamari is flash-fried with thin strips of red and green peppers and served with a sweet spicy Asian-inspired sauce.
I love soup and naturally, Corn Chowder + Lump Crab ($6.90/cup or $7.70/bowl) caught my eye. It was a little thick for me, but the flavors were incredibly rich comprising a smokiness from the bacon and a subtle sweetness from the corn. There were bits of crab in every mouthful, leaving you feeling extremely satisfied indeed.
On Tuesdays, there are lobster specials and I wasn’t about to forego the Lobster Sliders + Fries ($7.90) I was teased with at the preview. These sliders are served on brioche rolls and there is a generous portion of lobster sandwiched in between. I like how it is not mayo-heavy and the bits of crunchy celery makes for delicious eating with great textural contrast. I was told they weren’t going to be on the Tuesday menu for much longer, so I hope you get a chance to try these before they disappear completely.
Our server suggested the Tilapia Imperial ($20.50), stuffed with a mixture of shrimp, scallops, crab meat, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses drizzled with lemon caper butter. It was a bit heavy for me and the portion was pretty big so it can easily be shared.
If you are into surf and turf, the Lobster and Steak Duet ($16.90) off the specials menu may be the best bet. For under $17, you get a 6oz sirloin steak and a cold water lobster tail complete with a butter dipping sauce on the side. For $6 more you can upgrade to filet mignon.
With your entrees you also have your choice of sides. Butternut Squash Ravioli ($3 extra) are four raviolis stuffed with a sweet butternut puree enveloped in a brown butter sage sauce.
The Garlic Whipped Potatoes is a must because it is light and airy, yet decadent. I am always surprised when potatoes blow me away because the only potatoes I like are crispy French fries.
Those with a sweet tooth will love the desserts. I’m partial to the Key Lime Pie ($6.70) with a roasted pecan crust. The filling is wonderfully tart, just the way I like my sweets, and the crunch from the crust adds a fantastic component to the finished product.
If you’re a chocolate fan, Macadamia Nut Brownie ($6.70) is the one you must choose. The flourless brownie comes with raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream and is sprinkled with crushed macadamia nuts.
Bonefish Grill is located at the Tustin Marketplace and there is ample parking so take your family for dinner because it’s definitely a family-friendly establishment.
3040 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782