A visit to Tommy Bahama Island Grille is always pleasant. Service is always great, and the food is consistent. We are here for an early dinner, and start with a couple of refreshing cocktails — Strawberry Ginger Caipiroska with Grey Goose Citron, Canton Ginger, strawberry, mint, lemon juice; and St Croix Cooler with Cruzan Mango, Cruzan Guava, Triple Sec, scratch sour, cranberry juice. I love the latter with two tropical flavors of rum, a tart composition which makes my mouth pucker a little.
There are new menu items for the Spring season, and we want to try them all – we don’t of course, since there are too many to choose from.
Fried Green Tomatoes ($11) are a must. The tomato slices are coated with a plantain crust, and fried to perfection. They’re crispy of course, drizzled with a jalapeno cilantro aioli, and topped with a delicious charred corn salsa, adding a little sweetness to the mix. We agree on how the flavor profiles marry together so perfectly, creating a very pleasant eating experience.
If you’re a meat lover, try Filet Mignon Flatbread ($16), topped with medium rare steak, bacon, garlic aioli, honey roasted onions, gruyere, crispy shiitakes, and finished with a handful of fresh arugula.
Grapefruit & Jicama Salad ($8) is lovely, however, I would have liked a lot more grapefruit and jicama and not so much baby greens. Red cabbage and macadamia nuts add crunch and textural contrast to the salad. The mojito vinaigrette is light and never overpowers.
I’m not a big fan of burgers, but we want to try Bungalow Burger ($16), a well composed offering with perfect bun to filling ratio. Monterey Jack cheese, smoked bacon, avocado, pineapple relish, and made-from-scratch Thousand Island dressing complete this fabulous burger which is served with outstanding French fries.
Don’t miss out on the Brussels Sprouts ($10) tossed with caramelized apples, bacon, fried capers, and shaved parmesan. They’re crispy and absolutely addicting!
If you order one thing on the Spring menu, make it Pan Seared Whole Branzino ($32). A whole fish, sans head, is served de-boned and accompanied by jicama hash, and finished with jalapeno brown butter. The branzino is moist and tender, the flesh succulent and cooked to perfection. Everything about this dish is spectacular!
I’ve been eating at Tommy Bahama Island Grill for years and this is one of the best seasonal menus I’ve experienced. The fried green tomatoes and whole branzino are enough to bring me back again! Do visit before the menu changes again, it’s well worth it.
Tommy Bahama Island Grille
854 Avocado Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92660