These are the must try meal deals for 2018 – Orange County Register

As the Food team sets out to give you our best picks for Newport Beach Restaurant Week (NBRW), I am approaching this year’s recommendations with slight trepidation. Two restaurants on our 2017 NBRW list have since closed: The Ritz Prime Seafood and Sweet Lady Jane.

Is the Register a jinx, or was this a last-ditch effort by already failing restaurants?

That brings us to the age-old question: Why do restaurants participate in these events? Restaurants don’t make bank from offering deeply discounted meals at marketing events that often require a participation fee.

Restaurant owners say they are, instead, hoping to attract new customers and convert them to regulars. (Some restaurants just want customers. Period.) In the case of Newport Beach, the local restaurant association smartly established its restaurant week in January  — traditionally a slow time as consumer spending drops after the holidays, said Jim Walker, owner of The Bungalow in Corona del Mar.

With the influx of restaurants in recent years to Newport Beach (now at 450 establishments), Walker said the event also helps spur diners from outside the coastal area to venture into Newport…

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