Sunday, August 24, 2008

Napa Rose (Orange County)

Good food at a Disney resort? Is that even a possibility? I asked myself this question when my friend suggested we eat at Napa Rose at the Disneyland resort. I mean, I love my turkey legs as much as the next person, but when it comes to fine dining I prefer eating somewhere else.

Luckily for me I decided to go with my friends to Napa Rose. Located in the Grand Californian, which is an absolutely huge hotel, the restaurant is known because all of their waiters are certified sommeliers. The restaurant is very wine oriented, nice glasses, great service when serving and caring for the wines, and no corkage (at least for us.. your mileage may vary!).

The restaurant is large, like a camping lodge, it's filled with dark colored frames with a large open dining room. As well there is an open kitchen, you can see all the prep work.

We decided to go for two appetizers per person instead of an entree because we wanted to concentrate on the wine (and we had another event to attend). If you want to see a more complete meal, check out The Fifth Deadly Sin by Roger.

The first appetizer was shared between the table of 4. The Seven Deadly Sins.

(going clockwise from the bottom)
Spicy Tuna Hand roll: A well made handroll with thick meaty pieces of fresh tuna mixed in with a light spicy sauce.
Curried Lobster taco: Thin strips of lightly cooked and spiced lobster mixed with cilantro and scallions in a small crispy taco shell. There's a light white sauce over the taco, very good!
Grape leaves wrapped with ground pheasant.
Thin sliced cucumber wrapped over ahi tartare: refreshing and light with a sweet ponzu sauce.
Very middle, potato pancake with curried salmon: a light puff pastry with salmon cooked via lemon juice.

Ebi Shrimp shooter: a pureed shrimp mixed with a light brothy foam. A mix of warm and chilled, the shooter is exciting due to the contrast of temperatures.

Tangerine Grilled Scallop with a tropical mango, tomato basil topping. A great scallop, meaty scallop with a sweet and fresh (thanks to the basil) sauce. See the salt? It's like a beach! how cute heh.

The next appetizer was the Wine Country mushroom risotto.

Well cooked risotto, the rice was perfectly cooked, with a nice balance between "moist" and solid. A very rich earthy flavor with a bit of a dusty finish with an enriched truffle butter sauce. The shavings of thick meaty mushroom were the highlight of the dish. I could eat those mushrooms for days, they were full of flavor and the strong taste let it stand alone against the richness of the sauce.

Heirloom tomato/beet salad.
Refreshing , large pieces of sweet heirloom tomatoes. With olive oil and pesto.

Grilled Rabbit Bratwurst

The dish is served with braised lentils and carmelized fennel. The fennel is cooked to a point where it's soft enough where the fennel has no more crunch. The lentil is a bit undercooked for my tastes, I would prefer a more stewed lentil.

The rabbit wasn't as gamey as I expected. When I think of rabbit I don't expect it to taste like a richer version of chicken. This dish was good.. if you had called it a chicken sausage on semi cooked beans.. but too bad that's not what it's called!

Fried Squas blossoms.

The blossoms are stuffed with goat cheese and served in a light cream sauce with peas and cherry tomatoes. Like I always say, as long as it's fried its going to be good, no exception here. To add on to that, anything fried and stuffed with cheese is x2 better than good. It's great!

Kona "Kampachi" Carpaccio & Ahi Tartare

The kampachi is served with a grapefruit vinaigrette and an avocado reduction. The dish is served along with a slice of ruby red grapefruit and avocado under a handful of wild greens.

All in all an enjoyable meal. We did have a hard time finding our waiter for the check, but otherwise the service was pretty spot on. It was fun to watch the kitchen prep all the dishes, one of the lines chefs was pulling some refined sugar into mini lollipops. I wanted to ask for one.. but I couldn't find our waiter.

The dishes were well prepared, a good amount of rich flavors, I'll have to come back another time for a full meal.

Napa Rose at the Grand Californian
1600 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802



Roger. said...

Hot damn the new items look fantastic. I gotta make another trip to Napa Rose...soon as I find someone to foot the tab. :D

Nancy Deprez said...

Great review. I've always wanted to go there. You might have encouraged me to take the plunge!

Charlie Fu said...

Roger: good luck =P
Nancy: It's definitely worth a shot!

Nicole said...

I just tried the bar area/food the other day. It was goooood!!! And for not much more than the (over)price of all the food inside the park! I am allllll for Napa Rose.

Now I have to try the dining room itself.