Best Restaurant Décor Orange County 2009 - Don the Beachcomber
This joint on Pacific Coast Highway is famous for its swordfish-shaped neon sign and entryway that resembles that of a South Pacific longhouse. It was once Sam's Seafood, and then it changed ownership and became Kona. Now, it's changed its name again. But the interior décor has remained constant, looking like something off a Bob Hope movie set in Honolulu circa 1959—pure Polynesian schmaltz down to the bamboo siding on the wall and the tiki mask hovering above the aptly named, well-stocked Tiki Lounge bar. While it was sad to see Sam's Seafood disappear, Don the Beachcomber earns our praise for actually improving the menu and, more important, for preserving this important OC landmark.