The Perfect Set

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Chefs Perfect Set- Steak Group 1_set steak & sushi
Perfectly cooked steak and other dishes | Photo by Set Steak & Sushi

Pendry’s new restaurant pairs steak and sushi for the ultimate dining experience.

By Sharon Stello

 

Flame-broiled steaks come together with fresh, handcrafted sushi in the aptly named Set Steak & Sushi at Pendry Newport Beach, which opened recently in the reimagined Fashion Island Hotel space.

Operated by Clique Hospitality, the restaurant’s menu was designed with James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader JoJo Ruiz to highlight the creative culinary style of Executive Chef James Jung. Dishes use organic and locally sourced seasonal and sustainable ingredients, so guests can feel good about what they’re eating.

While indoor seating is available, diners will be drawn to the delightful patio, which features large trees strung with lights above. Settle in and order a cocktail, like the gin-based Green Flash with cucumber, mint, lime and basil or the Yuzutopia, which mixes silver tequila with lemongrass, blood orange liqueur, pomegranate, lemon and yuzu.

SET Steak _ Sushi- PATIO_credit Set Steak & Sushi
The patio at the restaurant | Photo by Set Steak & Sushi

Sip away while perusing a menu of creative appetizers including the bluefin tuna pizza, which layers thinly sliced tuna on a crispy tortilla base and expertly blends the flavors of red onion, shallot, shiso, truffle oil and ponzu aioli. Or consider the beet tartare, which features roasted beets served with dukkah and scallion cashew yogurt with bagel chips. Other tempting selections range from wagyu beef carpaccio with chimichurri and Parmesan aioli to whole lobster tempura with garlic ponzu and yuzu kosho (a citrus-chile paste) aioli. There are also lamb lollipops, half a Peking duck and Bang Bang Shrimp to start the meal. Or indulge with The Clever Caviar Fox experience.

When it comes to sushi, a must try is the Surf and Turf specialty roll. This delicious creation brings together tender lobster with avocado, asparagus, negi (leek) miso and garlic ponzu, topped with a delicate slice of wagyu beef for a divine bite each time. Specialty negiri flights are also available: a chutoro cut of bluefin tuna, king salmon or kanpachi.

Those craving seafood have seemingly endless fresh, sustainably caught options, from East and West Coast oysters to Maine lobster, New Zealand green-lipped mussels, Mexican shrimp and market crab. But the piece de resistance is the Ultimate Caviar Tower, piled high with Iranian caviar, lobster, king crab, toro sashimi, oysters, blinis and accouterments.

While other entrees range from roasted Mary’s Chicken to eggplant Parmesan, pan-roasted branzino, gochujang-miso king salmon and pasta like rigatoni alla vodka and fromage blanc cheese gnocchi, the real star of the main dishes is unmistakably the steak. Set utilizes prime cuts from Cedar River and Snake River Farms, Double R Ranch and other top purveyors. Classic steaks include a prime filet mignon, prime bavette and bone-in New York as well as dry-aged New York, bone-in ribsteak or a pork chop. There are also wagyu options and large-format steaks, such as the 26-ounce wagyu eye of rib-eye, 32-ounce porterhouse chop and the impressive 40-ounce wagyu tomahawk. Choose from sauces like huacatay chimichurri, bearnaise, bordelaise and galbi cucho (a Korean barbecue sauce).

Baja Trio 3_Set Steak & Sushi
Striped bass and shrimp in leche de tigre (used to cure the seafood) | Photo by Set Steak & Sushi

Of course, man—or woman—does not live by steak alone. Round out your meal with sides such as Yukon Gold whipped potatoes, wagyu steak fried rice, truffle macaroni and cheese, grilled broccolini, wild mushrooms or creamed market greens.

Or hand the reins over to the kitchen by choosing the Chef’s Perfect Set—either the chef’s sashimi selection or steak cuts of the night. Whichever steak option you choose—or let the chef choose—the staff is ready to offer expert recommendations from the curated wine list to accompany your dinner.

Finish the meal with a sweet treat, like carrot cake with jasmine tea ice cream; “You Had Me at Coconut,” which includes coconut mousse, chocolate financier (a small almond cake) with amaretto-chocolate fudge sauce; or a towering blue dessert called The Wave, which will no doubt elicit oohs and aahs as it arrives to the table. This sugary finale features pineapple upside-down cake, coconut ice cream, passion fruit sorbet and blue curacao anglaise, which gives the dish its signature hue. It’s perfect for sharing, so order one for the table and dive in together.

Set Steak & Sushi
at Pendry Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive
949-688-8005; setnewport.com

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