Arts & Leisure

Italy meets Ireland and more at Finbars

FINBARS has a New York/Brooklyn vibe, but its menu is more more wide-ranging than that (Orange County Tribune photos)/

By Jim and Marilyn Tortolano

The hottest genre in dining these days is “fusion.” That is, a blend of culinary tastes such as Chinese-Japanese, Tex-Mex and others.

How about something more along the lines of Italian-Irish-Asian?

That – sort of – describes Finbars Italian Kitchen in Seal Beach, an iconic eatery just a breadstick north of the Main Street in that seaside town not far from Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster.

The name is Irish, referring to a church in the heavily Italian district of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York. While the cuisine leans heavily toward the inner paisano in most of us, there’s a glittering array of food choices served in a simpatico atmosphere for locals and beach visitors, too.

Taking a look at the menu underlines the fusion idea. In addition to excellent dishes from The Boot, there is an excellent Asian chicken salad (“The Marco Polo”), a Chicken Tequila Fettuccine and a Jambalaya version as well.

Jim got the chicken piccatta ($14.50) with Sicilian rice and spent a lot of time making inarticulate moans of pleasure. Marilyn went with the Marco Polo ($11.75 for a big “half-size”) and praised the dressing and the generous amount of chicken.

You can get everything from steak to fish to burgers to veggie dishes, served quickly and by earnest and friendly staff. Of course, there’s pizza and pasta and a fully-stocked liquor bar. The atmosphere is laid-back and spot-clean.

After three visits to Finbars, the only demerit we could come up with is that it’s not located closer. If you’re headed to Huntington’s smaller and less-crowded cousin, going to Finbar’s is one of the best dining choices you can make.

Finbars is located at 1041 Pacific Coast Highway (Seal Beach Center), Seal Beach. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  Sunday to Thursday hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (562) 346-2277. Website: finbars.com .

CHICKEN PICCATTA and bread and The Marco Polo salad at Finbar in Seal Beach.

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