SteakHouse near DisneyLand (plus other dining recs)
Hi, I have family (parents, sister and niece (6) and nephew (10)) coming to visit (I live in the Marina) in a couple weeks and we are going to DisneyLand for a few days, and it will be my Mom's b-day and she made reservations for the SteakHouse in the DisneyLand hotel, but I was wondering if any hounds had recommendations for good steakhouses around DisneyLand. I am kind of expecting the DisneyLand steakhouse to be average and overpriced, so I would like to hopefully find a better option - unless I am completely wrong about my assumptions (am I?).
Also, as we will be there for a few days, I would also like recommendations for good eating in the area (as last time I was there, it was average and overpriced), that is preferably affordable. (I did a search and found some recs, but not many) I will definitely be going to Blue Bayou for the Monte Cristo, and probably eat a corn dog on Main St.; any other suggestions?
I'll 2nd that if Steakhouse 55 is as good or better than Granville's (I haven't been since the name change), there is no reason to go anywhere else for a steakhouse-type place...it was very good. If you are NOT staying at the DL Hotel, then I would even recommend it more, as especially with kids, the hotel has a lot to see and do for kids of all ages.
I believe that Blue Bayou just revamped it's menu, like within the past month. Don't know if it's better, worse, or the same. If you're jonesing for the Monte Cristo, you might want to check to see if it's still on the menu (or check to see if it's on the menu for dinner as well.)
I would suggest Cafe Orleans over Blue Bayou, if you want the monte cristo. I believe they serve it for lunch and dinner (BB is lunch only now), but you can also get a plain chese one and the PB and J one for the kids. The food is cheaper and there's a better selection.
I have heard good things about Steakhouse 55 but haven't tried it yet.
I second the Cove Bar and also reccomend Whitewater Snacks - it's at the Grand Californian. Food tastes good and is as reasonably priced as the rest of the resort. You can get the massive nachos as well - chicken or beef. Great selection of cold and hot foods, plus their chocolate dipped strawberries are cheaper than in DL itself. Service can be slow, though.
I went to Steakhouse 55 (it was called Granville's until recently) a couple times in the last six months and it was remarkably good; not quite as good as Morton's (and certainly below the very top-tier places that serve dry-aged, Wagyu, and other ultra-premium steaks)...but actually quite good. The ambience, service and wine list are great and the food is good enough without having to add "for a theme park" as a disclaimer. Prices are no higher than any other high-end steakhouse, especially for one in a hotel. Actually, I believe Morton's is more expensive. I believe Steakhouse 55 still offers a prix fixe dinner for around $30: a small steak, salad, potato and dessert (but I'd check first).
As far as Morton's goes, I don't think the new location serves lunch. Mr. Stox might be a bit too formal for the youngsters (unless they're used to that sort of thing). Steakhouse 55 is very kid-friendly.
Other Downtown Disney food: Tortilla Joe's is decent though not always consistent and Naples is "eh" and overpriced. In the summer, I had a truly TERRIBLE meal at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. A fluke perhaps, but I have no desire to return.
Inside Disneyland, the snacks are better than the meals (although the fried chicken at Plaza Inn is excellent). I liked Blue Bayou when I was a kid who didn't know much about food, but I think it is quite terrible for the most part nowadays. The location is charming, but the food is a wild crap shoot: might be good, might be passable or might be virtually inedible. Now that the famed Monte Cristo (lunch only) is $19 and a possibly bad filet is $34, I don't bother.
The Cove Bar in California Adventure (outside/above the Ariel's Grotto restaurant) is my favorite in-park eats. Lobster/black bean nachos, BBQ chicken pizzas, crab cakes, buffalo wings, etc.,served in rather large portions for reasonable prices (at least in Disney terms). It's a full bar and the drinks are big and moderately priced...and the bartenders are some of the nicest people in Disneyland.
As others have noted, Napa Rose (Grand Californian Hotel) is not only the best place by far in the Disneyland Resort, it's also one of the very best in all of OC. Executive chef Andrew Sutton was at Napa valley's vaunted Auberge du Soleil prior to taking up with the mouse. NR is upscale and expensive, but not too formal. BTW, the ribeye steak is outstanding, and the menu is also offers something for more adventurous palates. I had a sweetbread and veal cheek appetizer at Christmas that was a complete knockout. Amazing by-the-glass wine selection, too.
Mr. Stox is a very good restaurant, and they do have steak, but they are not a steakhouse.
My usual recommendations near Disneyland: Carolina's Italian (Chapman/West), Merhaba Ethiopian (Ball/Dale), Park Avenue (Beach/Katella), Jagerhaus (Ball/57 Fwy), Mr. Stox (Katella/Lewis), Original Pancake House (Lincoln/East).
At Downtown Disney, Catal is quite good (but I like Uva Bar better, get to sit outside and have small plates and very nicely made drinks), Tortilla Jo's doesn't suck, Brennan's is OK too, never been to the Italian place, and Rainforest Cafe is a must-avoid. ESPN Zone is usually a must-avoid too but only due to the massive crowds.
A hint for you -- make your dining reservations at Blue Bayou ahead of time by calling 714-781-DINE (or 8232-DINE from your hotel room if you're staying in the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian or the Paradise Pier). I'm not sure how far in advance you can make reservations for the in-park options but you can also get reservations for Downtown Disney restaurants.
I have never been to Steakhouse 55 at the DL Hotel but Napa Rose, while expensive (but not moreso than it would be were it not at Disneyland), is in the top 10 of most people's Best Fine Dining In Orange County lists.