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Oak Grill Restaurant Review: At Island Hotel Newport Beach, the tropical oasis of Palm Terrace has given way to the Oak Grill. The sleek, completely redesigned dining space encompasses a bar area, dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, two private dining rooms and a huge patio that is quite popular. Guiding the culinary program here (and at the adjacent Aqua Lounge) is executive chef Marc Johnson, who worked with James Boyce at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach and Cotton Row Restaurant in Alabama, before moving on to Mastro's Ocean Club in Newport Beach. His interpretation of contemporary California cuisine is built upon refined techniques and strong relationships with local purveyors. The menu is short and rather simple, beginning with flatbreads and a California cheese trio with charcuterie to share. Our meal was off to a strong start with the hamachi crudo and the grilled calamari with mascarpone gnocchi, chorizo and pesto, but the grilled pork chop and roasted Alaskan halibut main dishes didn't quite keep up pace. The latter was on the bland side even with a fennel and lemon beurre blanc. Pastry chef Andy De La Cruz has been part of the team at Island Hotel Newport Beach for several years, and we're glad for it. His creations include an elegantly presented cheesecake and a Rocky Road Bar composed of Gianduja chocolate mousse with marshmallow and crispy rice pearls. There's a great selection of local craft beers on draft, along with craft cocktails and more than 50 California wines available by the glass. "Fireside Sessions" on Wednesdays bring live acoustic guitar to the patio from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.