Lucky Fortune Cookery Review

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Lucky Fortune Cookery is a counter service restaurant in Disney California Adventure’s Pacific Wharf at Disneyland Resort. This review features photos of the food and ambiance, plus my thoughts on this restaurant. The menu is very basic, consisting solely of made-to-order Asian rice bowls. You start by choosing a protein: chicken, beef, and tofu. Then you choose a sauce: Mandarin Orange, Spicy Korean, Thai Coconut Curry, or Teriyaki.

Much like the entire Pacific Wharf “land”, the restaurant here is also very simple. It’s an outdoor ordering area with limited seating adjacent to the restaurant plus a ton more in the middle of the restaurant area. Think of it as a glorified mall food court.

As far as Disney California Adventure dining goes, Pacific Wharf is often overlooked. Despite the limited menu here, Lucky Fortune Cookery is actually a bit of a hidden gem… (more…)

Smokejumpers Grill Review

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Smokejumpers Grill is a counter service restaurant in the Grizzly Peak Airfield area of Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort. This restaurant replaces Taste Pilots’ Grill, and is the counter service restaurant in the park with a safe menu of standard burgers that will appeal to a broad cross-selection of guests.

The restaurant is themed and decorated to the smokejumpers who have protected California National Park Service (and other) areas since the 1930s. Like most Disneyland Resort restaurants, Taste Pilots’ Grill accepts Disneyland Annual Passes for discounts ranging from 10 to 15%. We previously were not too kind to Taste Pilots’ Grill, lamenting that its menu was totally uninspired. We’ll get to the food at Smokejumpers Grill later in the review, but let’s start by checking out the new-look of the restaurant.

Theme-wise, Smokejumpers Grill is designed to look like a hanger from maybe the 1940s or so that is owned by Herb and Millie and opened to pay tribute to, and serve, the local Bearpaw Basin Smokejumpers. You can read more about this backstory in the photo below. This backstory is a clever way to side-step having the inside be a virtual museum honoring the smokejumpers while also being a hangar–if it were an active hangar, it probably wouldn’t go to such great lengths to tribute smokejumpers, unless the smokejumpers there were serious narcissists! Besides the smokejumping motif, this is actually somewhat similar in base structure to the previous backstory in this location (you can read more about Imagineering’s backstory for Condor Flats here).

It seems as if the conversion from Condor Flats to Grizzly Peak Airfield is a continuation of the “hip” layer being removed as part of the Disney California Adventure overhaul. Imagineering continues to do a pretty good job with this… (more…)

Steakhouse 55 Breakfast Review

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Steakhouse 55 is a fine dining restaurant in Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Resort. This review features food photos of breakfast served at this dining spot, along with some tips, and thoughts on the ambiance. Steakhouse 55 is open for breakfast and dinner, and is one of the more expensive dining options at Disneyland Resort for the latter, but seemed fairly priced (to us) for breakfast–certainly cheaper and less chaotic than the nearby Goofy’s Kitchen. The restaurant offers discounts for Annual Passholders, too.

It’s technically a “Signature Restaurant” at Disneyland, and is definitely one of the more refined dining options at the resort. If you question this classification, there are a slew of awards on the wall, including one slightly comical one from Zagat that’s similar to the one they have posted online: “Walt Disney would still be proud” of this “special-occasion” chophouse in the Disneyland Hotel offering “cooked-to-perfection” cuts and “great wines” in a “beautiful” setting where “the children are usually well behaved”; service is “terrific” too, so “make a reservation as this place fills up.”

Okay, first of all, what’s with all the random quotations? Is Zagat actually quoting someone, or is Zagat mocking someone with air quotes? Second, the line about children differs from the restaurant version, which almost reads as a tongue-in-cheek knock of Steakhouse 55 (I wish I would’ve taken a photo of it). Regardless, the restaurant has been praised by real critics, not just random bloggers like me who don’t really have “refined palates.”

Let’s take a look at the ambiance and food… (more…)

Cove Bar Review

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Cove Bar is a bar and restaurant in Disney California Adventure overlooking Paradise Bay. This review features photos of drinks served at Cove Bar and some of the foods you can order from the bar menu. Cove Bar is best described as the epicenter of fun in DCA, and the park’s biggest E-Ticket. I don’t mean to overhype it by saying that, but it’s really, really great. We highlight it in our Disneyland Resort Bar Crawl Guide, and it’s a must visit spot for us when we visit Disney California Adventure, and that’s not (just) because we’re lushes.

Rather, Cove Bar really offers it all, from a solid menu of bar foods to fun mixed drinks (and not just the Generic DisneyParks® Drink Menu®) to a great view of Paradise Bay and Paradise Pier. The downside to all of this is that word has really gotten out about Cove Bar, and that coupled with the rising popularity of Disney California Adventure means this is no longer a spot you can just stroll up to and have your pick of tables. Now, it’s busy just about any day of the year, and even in the middle of the day during the offseason, you’re likely going to have to wait in line for a table. On busier days of the year, we’ve seen that line with several switchbacks, and likely exceeding an hour wait (we love us some lobster nachos, but not quite that much).

Speaking of those lobster nachos, we might as well cut to the chase and discuss the greatest thing about Cove Bar: the Lobster Nachos. These are one of the pinnacle achievements of mankind, and a big reason why drinkers and teetotalers alike should unite in delightful harmony at Cove Bar. Not only do I praise these nachos in our Bar Crawl Guide, but I also list them as one of the Top Snacks at Disneyland Resort, place them as a must-do on our 1-Day Disney California Adventure Plan, and sing their praises in our Ways to Avoid Crowds in Disney California Adventure post. Suffice to say, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, the glorious Cove Bar Lobster Nachos should already be on your radar.

Why are these nachos so life-changing? Let’s carefully examination this deeply philosophical question… (more…)

Village Haus Restaurant Review

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Village Haus Restaurant is a counter service restaurant in Fantasyland at Disneyland. This review features food photos from Village Haus, our take on its ambiance, and other random thoughts about it. The restaurant is fairly reminiscent of Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in atmosphere, and in terms of the somewhat similar menus.

It had a classic look to it, but at the same time was a little drab and dreary (the drab and dreary day outside may have intensified this impression). Village Haus had its menu refreshed in 2011, and we first dined there shortly after the new menu debuted.

At the time, this started a sort of renaissance for Disneyland counter service dining, and this location was–to my knowledge–the first to see a gourmet burger and flatbread. The menu includes a premium cheeseburger (the Pastrami Cheeseburger), chicken sausage sandwich, veggie burger, BLT flat bread pizza, pepperoni pizza, cheese pizza, and apple cheddar salad. In addition to these entrees, desserts on the menu include a black forest cupcake and apple strudel. This menu has been virtually unchanged, outside of the addition of seasonal items here and there, for the last 4 years.

We’ve dined at Village Haus several times in the past few years, and here are some thoughts from our visits… (more…)