Best thing I ate: A great burger in a beautiful Newport Beach steakhouse

The original Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at Fashion Island recently emerged from a total interior revamp. The facelift was long overdue. The steakhouse scene in Orange County has evolved dramatically since Fleming’s opened here in the late ‘90s. The decor here seemed to age by the minute in recent years. I’m happy to report that Fleming’s looks competitive again.

They serve lunch now, too. Surprisingly, though, the lunch menu doesn’t include steaks, although you can order a steak from the dinner menu at lunchtime if you wish. Instead, the lunch menu focuses on salads and sandwiches, the real star of which is the California Burger made with USDA Prime beef, plus bacon, avocado, arugula and smoked jalapeño aioli. And when you ask for the burger to be cooked medium rare, that’s exactly how it will arrive.

It’s served with delicious hand-cut fries that occupy a middle ground halfway between skinny fries and shoestrings, with several deep-fried green olives thrown into the mix.

The original Fleming's Steakhouse at Fashion Island recently emerged from a long-overdue refurbishment. (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The original Fleming’s Steakhouse at Fashion Island recently emerged from a long-overdue refurbishment. (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Where: 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

When: Lunch and dinner daily (and Sunday brunch)

Cost: $15

Phone: 949-720-9633

Online: flemingssteakhouse.com

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