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Rusty Pelican Restaurant Review: This Newport Beach establishment has served up large doses of romance and good continental fare for more than three decades. And like many of Orange County’s classic restaurants, Rusty Pelican has modernized both its menu and interior, which now features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking scenic Newport Harbor. In-the-know locals get a seat at the upstairs bar at least an hour or so before sunset to catch the orange-and-purple vistas while the harbor’s blue waters sparkle. If you are ready for a fine dining experience, however, start with a glass of wine from the smart by-the-glass list and order the spicy Cajun shrimp appetizer or refreshing ahi poke or salmon tartare. The menu mostly features pan- and oven-roasted seafood dishes, but there are also three cuts of steak for those who seek a surf ‘n’ turf combo. We enjoy the chargrilled mahi mahi served in a spicy ginger glaze and accompanied with jasmine rice. The swordfish, which marinates in brandy and herbs, is also a good choice, especially when smothered in basil butter. Lobster is usually a hit-and-miss menu item in OC, but the tails here are poached in butter for unusual tenderness.