We went to Taps Fish House & Brewery in Irvine at The Market Place and decided to check it out. They opened recently after they took over the Bucca di Beppo location.
Helen liked it a lot more than I did. For me, the place left a little bit to be desired.
The food was good, but their happy hour prices were not very impressive. The prices for the items we ordered are closer to regular price than happy hour.
"It was good, I'd go back. I enjoyed it. The oysters were a little small, but maybe that was the type of oyster." Said Helen.
We tried a few things:
The fish tacos, the ceviche and the jambalaya and the calamari along with the happy hour oysters.
The oysters were too small for my taste, and another item where the price wasn't right. 4 pieces for $8 at happy hour? Not so much. I've come to expect $1 to $1.5 oysters for happy hour and much better than these ones.
The beer, we tried Citrus California and Belgian White and both were really good.
I felt the service needs a kick in the but too, a few things took a really long time to come out when they should have been 3 minute items. Like a refill on our beers.
The one thing that was irritating the most was the so called "ceviche." They serve this in a small bowl and it has shrimp and scallop but someone needs to let the chef know that ceviche isn't the same as cocktail which is what this was.
I'm not a chef but I've had ceviche from south america all the way up to Mexico.
The basics for ceviche are... fish or seafood cooked & seasoned with lime/lemon and it's seasoned with fresh veggies but it's clear and juicy. Tangy, a little acidic, a little salty perhaps, but never sweet and saucy like this was.
Total disappointment on that one. Call it shrimp & scallop cocktail and we are golden but ceviche... nah.
And don't give me that interpretation stuff. I can't give you a taco and call it a burger because I interpret it differently.
The food is pretty decent minus the things I mentioned but they do have about 8 big screen TVs with all kinds of sports going on.
There is a bar area and a formal dining area as well. It reminds me of a mix between BJ's Pizza and King's Fishhouse but much more open, lively and I would say even classier than either one of them.
Overall I would rate this place at a three and half stars with a very solid chance to go up to 4.5 once they get into the groove of things at this new location.