= Cara's Favorite
Craftsman-style poolside lounge at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel®. Lunch and dinner.
Goofy hosts a breakfast and dinner buffet at the Disneyland® Hotel along with his pals.
California farm-to-table cuisine at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel®. Breakfast with Disney princesses and at dinner a la carte dinner without the characters.
For almost two decades, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel has been known for innovative cuisine at the exceptional Napa Rose. Chef Andrew Sutton’s contemporary cuisine is its claim to fame, making it a must-do on your Disneyland® Resort list. Focusing only on what is fresh and seasonal, guests dine in a lovely Arts and Crafts-style room with murals of the California wine country, an exciting exhibition kitchen, and massive windows overlooking Disney’s California Adventure park.
Begin by ordering the ridiculously delicious Smiling Tiger Salad composed of greens tossed with baby radishes, spicy dried filet mignon (almost like a jerky), a vibrant coconut milk vinaigrette spiked with pesto and Sriracha topped with a savory lobster shrimp fritter—definitely lives up to the hype. Salmon served three ways: roasted with Meyer lemon, escabeche-style (like a ceviche), and tangerine cured sashimi with dill (much like gravlax) was a big hit as was the sublime seared diver scallop appetizer bathed in a bed of lemon sauce with diced tomatoes, just a hint of vanilla, and accompanied by chive potatoes speckled with lobster. Or choose the portobello mushroom bisque “cappuccino,” so rich it’s served in an espresso cup, then topped with brandied thyme “froth.”
A seared halibut was nice and light sitting on a brothy mixture of cannellini beans spiked with chopped carrots and celery and dabbed with pesto, the bonus being a succulent stone crab claw topping. While not particularly bad, it just wasn’t exciting. Instead, go for the always great rack of lamb rubber with oregano and lemon servied with Sicilian salsa verde and a taste of white lentils.
You could also go with the tender filet mignon, its preparation changing with the seasons; ours served with a highly flavored braised oxtail ragù in a vibrant Cabernet jus with precious baby corn fritters. And speaking of another must, it’s the truffled mac and cheese served piping hot in a miniature copper pot!
If you love to watch the action in the kitchen, consider the restaurant’s Chef’s Counter accommodating up to eight people with two seatings per evening. At the counter are three menu options: the regular dining room menu, a four-course Vintner’s Table pre-fixe menu that changes weekly, or simply have Chef prepare a multi-course meal according to his whim and your taste. Feel free to chat up the kitchen staff, asking any questions that might come to mind.
If you arrive without a reservation, it’s possible to dine in the restaurant’s spacious lounge where a full menu is served along with cocktails and the award-winning California wine list. And don’t hesitate to heed your server’s wine suggestion since, believe it or not, every server in the restaurant is also a sommelier.
Dine alfresco in a tropical hideaway at Disneyland Hotel®. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.