57. Clam Chowder at Billy's at the Beach

The number of choices for clam chowder in Newport Harbor is nearly endless. You could grab that imposter Manhattan-style stuff they ladle out at the Crab Cooker or you could literally have a chowder crawl, walking from the pavilion side of the peninsula all the way up and around to the Balboa Bay Club.

You'll find a bowl of the cream-based stuff at nearly every restaurant you'll encounter, but you'll find no chowder finer than the one served at Billy's at the Beach, an oft-forgotten upscale-ish Hawaiian-themed restaurant on West Coast Highway near Joe's Crab Shack and DivBar.


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We're not sure what's good on the rest of the menu because we've never ordered more than a bowl of the chowder with an extra side of croutons. It's more of a thin soup than thick porridge, with large chunks of potato and slices of celery big enough to chew into, not through. The clam content is better than most others on the water; Billy's chowder is teeming with the seafood, which makes a noticeable appearance in every bite. By the time you get to the last several sips of this soup, the sapor of that salty ocean brine only intensifies.

But it's the croutons that are the star of this show. A simple twist–they're made from Hawaiian bread–makes all the difference in elevating this bowl past the others. They're crunchy, but still softer than the house-made croutons or simple oyster crackers at other restaurants. Over time, they'll soak up a lot of the liquid and bring the flavors of this soup together with a sweet, unusual finish.

The list: 

58. Volcan at Tacos Ruben y Mulitas
59. The Burger at ARC
60. Chocolate Chip Cookie at Crave
61. Lime Curd At Playground
62. Every Damn Thing at Mochi Cream
63. Most Things at Devilicious Donuts
64. Robiola Bosina at Provisions Market
65. Bite-Sized Stinky Tofu at Tofu King
66. Tacos Dorados at Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos
67. Tlacoyo at El Rincon Chilango
68. Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub
69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ
70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground
71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish
72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market
73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul
74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege
75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17
76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen
77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille
79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla
81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore
82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking
83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar
84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai
86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express
87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo
88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House
89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar
90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House
91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market
92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro
93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe
94. Coney Dog at LinX
95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas
96. Clayuda at El Fortín
97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express
98. The Meats at Darya in Orange
99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 
100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco

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