The Beachcomber Cafe at Crystal Cove

The Beachcomber Cafe at Crystal Cove

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Newport Coast, CA
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4.4
out of 5.0
Quality of Service
4.6
Responsiveness
4.2
Professionalism
4.5
Value
4.4
Flexibility
4.2
2.1

****This review is for the catering

Beachcomber Catering is the mandatory caterer if you are hosting an event at Crystal Cove State Park.

If this was not our dream wedding location that meant a lot to us and our family, we would have run away kicking and screaming. Instead, we hired a wedding planner to deal with the headaches.

The manager is often unresponsive for months at a time, leaving you wondering if you're going to have food at your wedding. Every time you do get an estimated quote watch your numbers - we had increases and hidden fees all over the place. We caught them all, because I was an event planner in a former life and knew to look for them (this is also why we hired wedding planner!!!). Our lanterns, while they arrived, were never hung. They tried to hang them during the ceremony, and my wedding planner stopped them before they ever started. Our desserts were all kinds of wrong, and our simple plated salad was missing items as well. We didn't have nearly enough heat lamps, and they barely worked. The extra star is because people seemed to enjoy the food, even if they were cold while they were eating it.

They were hands down the worst vendor to work with, and left a very bad taste in my mouth. The event itself went off beautifully. I would do it here all over again... but maybe just the ceremony.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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Private User
1 Review
Recently Married
3.9

The Beachcomber catering team provided what many of our guests (myself included) said was the best wedding food they had ever had. Do not miss out on the Ancho Chile Maple Glazed Salmon or the Ahi Tacos!

Jennifer and her staff were a delight to work with. The fact that they included all the rentals, setup and takedown along with the catering made the planning much easier. However, be sure the pay close attention to state park rules and permit requirements. Don't let those sneak up on you in the planning process!

Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue, Event Rentals & Photobooths
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4.3

We toured The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove for our venue in November of 2012. We received a packet listing the different types of menues and options from the catering manager, Jennifer. We went back home, and decided we wanted to procede with them as far as venue/catering went. Jennifer was very hard to get in contact with all throughout the process. Once we signed the contract with her, we didn't hear from her again until the very end when she was ready to collect the final balance. I spoke to her assistant many times, and the things that I needed or asked of her, I never got. I put in multiple emails and phone calls to Jennifer and they were never once returned. I was very worried about this, but everything that the planner needed her there for, and as far as the day of, she pulled through. On the day of, my family and I arrived a little early. The crew was still in the process of set-up, but everything was coming together very nicely. The guys even helped me get into the bathroom without being seen last minute. I think one even helped brush off my train. My only complaint would be that there was some kelp or seaweed on the beach directly behind where the chairs were facing, it was rather unattractive. Oh, and how could I forget....the trolley driver....if I remember correctly, his name was Geoff, very rude! I remembered him being rude when we toured the property, and on the day of, he was raising his voice very loudly and being very rude and sarcastic to my family, especially my grandmother. That was just one bad thing, out of so many greath things that day! Everyone couldn't get over how great the food was, and how great the staff was. They really did an outstanding job. I will say, the week before when submitting our final payment, what was sent to us, was different than our originaly contract. It made a difference of about $300.00. I refused to send in a final payment until I got an updated statement. All in all, despite the few hiccups, it was amazing!

Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
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4.3

It was perfect!!! It was just the way I envisioned it... ALthough there are a fees from the state dept that began to add up that I wasnt aware of when booking the venu! But, overall a great value!

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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4.8

Michele was really great to work with! She was very knowledgeable about the state's policies, etc. I will miss working with her :(

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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Schiffern
1 Review
10/06/2012
4.6

The event was flawless thanks to Michelle from the Beachcomber. Last minute changes and requirements were handled quickly and with professionalism and she was by our side through it all to help make it a truly wonderful experience.
There was not enough food for everyone, thus the lower score in value.

Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue, Event Rentals & Photobooths, Party Supplies, Unique Services (Other), Wedding Planning
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Alex
2 Reviews
09/29/2012
4.3

We wanted an outdoor wedding and Michelle Jenkins and the beachcomber came through. Our wedding was on the beach which was gorgeous and the reception was in the commons area. It was truly the wedding of our dreams. If you read this thank you so much Michelle.

Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

Wow!!! I can't believe how amazing our wedding was. Michelle Jenkins and Kristina Howard from The BeachComber Cafe are so helpful, they made planning our event so smooth and effortless. They made sure we had all the information we needed and covered all our bases for us. They were super flexible and easy to work with and their staff is super friendly and professional. The Beachcomber food is to die for and their pricing is amazing for the best experience you can ever ask for.

Thank you so much Beachcomber. You've made our special day a moment we'll never forget!

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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Anonymous
2 Reviews
2+ years ago
4.7

I recently had my ceremony and reception here and it was amazing! The spot is beyond beautiful and my guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to. The food was great; crab cakes were a HUGE hit! I would highly recommend this spot especially if you want a Cali beach wedding, although keep in mind that music can be a little difficult to coordinate since it's all outside and you have to compete with the waves.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

this is one of the most beautiful venues in california

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

Michele Jenkins of the Beachcomber Cafe is a model of professionalism, efficiency and flexibility balanced with artistry, discretion and class. Would that all wedding coordinators look to her for inspiration.
The food at the Beachcomber is AMAZING, the menu had compliments from many of our guests who discern gastronomy from merely good food.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

We had a truly amazing wedding at Crystal Cove! Our wedding was on South Beach and our reception was at the Beaches Cottage. Michele Jenkins from The Beachcomber Cafe was incredible to work with! She was very responsive and helpful throughout the process and made planning from a distance with a short time frame much easier. I also really appreciate the help from Kristina the week of the wedding and all of the staff support the day of the wedding. I was very focused on the details and everything went perfectly the day of the wedding. I couldn't have asked for it to go any smoother. I would highly recommend having a wedding and reception with The Beachcomber Cafe.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

We had an incredible experience with the Beachcomber and would highly recommend them and use them again as a wedding venue suggestion for others. Very friendly, very helpful, very accomodating and easy to work with. Most beautifuly venue in Orange County if you are looking for a romantic beach wedding in my opinion. I've had many friends ask about the site since seeing photos and hearing aobut our experience. I had never been to the Beachcomber prior to our engagement and it is now a regular restaraunt we visit.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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4.2

Crystal Cove Historic District is a beautiful and unique ocean front venue! We knew from the minute we emerged from the tunnel under PCH that we had truly found our dream venue. From the rustic and charming historic cottages, to the one of a kind 360 degree view of the Pacific Ocean, Crystal Cove is undoubtedly the most romantic place I can think of to be married. The catering services provided by The Beachcomber were first class. Michelle (the catering coordinator) was always available to answer our questions; usually responding within 24 hours. She was able to accommodate every suggestion and request that we had, and the finished product was better than I could have ever imagined. The catering staff at our event was polite, helpful and worked hard to make sure our guests felt welcome and taken care of. Many of our guests (even though they are OC “locals”) had never been to Crystal Cove before and were blown away when they arrived. Our out of town guests commented that they truly got the full “California” experience, and many plan to visit Crystal cove again in the future. All in all, it was absolutely the wedding of our dreams!

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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5.0

We had an amazing experience planning our wedding with the Beachcomber team at Crystal Cove!

My husband and I would like to extend a huge, heartfelt thank you to Michele and her team for making our wedding day absolutely perfect. Every single detail was exactly how we envisioned (if not better!), and Michele and her team did a truly phenomenal job to ensure that everything went smoothly and no one missed a beat.

Michele made the process easy and enjoyable! She was on top of every detail, and full of good ideas and vendor recommendations! The set-up the day of the wedding was incredibly organized and flawless, the food was delicious (the Chef was so fun to work with), and best of all -- it was all stress-free. Michele was flexible and adapted to last minute changes we needed to make, and made the entire wedding planning process easy and fun.

We are forever grateful to Michele and the Beachcomber team for orchestrating such a perfect day on our behalf. Michele was not only super organized, but calm, sweet, caring, and thoughtful throughout the entire process.

So many of our guests said that this was the best wedding they had ever been to, and some of the best wedding food they had ever had.

Thank you Beachcomber for making our day so special!!

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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2.4

We got married and had our reception up on the deck which was beautiful, but working with the State Park was a bit a nightmare. To begin with we had trouble just getting in contact with someone and over the course of a year while we were planning our wedding we worked with three different event planners for the site and they never told us we would be working with a new one, so it seems like they cycle through them. We were promised access to the room where the food would be served the night before the wedding and then the person at the front desk refused to let us in to decorate. They also threw away the top layer of our cake with the cake topper my Mom handmade which was very upsetting. They did compensate us, but that certainly doesn't replace it. You have to use their vendors and the sound system we rented through them was terrible, so barely anyone was able to hear the ceremony or the toasts. The food was great and the chef was flexible. I had my heart set on this location, but there is a lot to contend with when working with this venue.

Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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