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downtown disney

we're going to be in downtown disney and/or disneyland for our anniversary- where would you suggest going?
how about brennans' in downtown disney? what's good? or isn't there a nice italian place? would like to stay out of the parks and hotels for that dinner
thanks!

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  1. I know you said you want to stay out of the hotels, but The Napa Rose at the Grand Californian hotel is really terrific. I don't think you can have a discussion about the best fine dining restaurant in Orange County without giving Napa Rose some serious consideration... it really is that good. The Grand Californian is connected directly to Downtown Disney... you can enter through the breezeway right next to Libby Lu's, and the restaurant is WELL WORTH IT. Call now for a table. Totally head and shoulders above anything in the Disney complex.

    3 Replies
    1. re: woojink

      Also, Yamabuki in the Paradise Pier is really very tasty. All Disney reservations (including Downtown Disney) are made through Disney Dining at 714-781-DINE, but be prepared for extended hold time.

      In Downtown Disney itself, I've never eaten at Napoli (so! expensive!) but Brennan's is not bad, I actually like Tortilla Jo's as long as you stay away from combo-glop platters, and we often have a good time at Uva Bar, just snacking on "small plates". The larger restaurant connected to Uva Bar, Catal, is just OK.

      I concur with woojink -- Napa Rose, or Yamabuki.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I concur on the recommendations of Yamabuki & Napa Rose. I found Yamabuki to be surprisingly good. I found the atmosphere to be Zen-like in that it was serene and peaceful with an understated (or austere) elegance.

      2. re: woojink

        i agree with everyone...for anniversary go napa rose!

      3. I like Brennans a lot, mostly for the beignets and red beans and rice, but also I go there, the cafe side, because it's quick and I can zip back to the happiest place on earth.

        1. I would join in and highly suggest you dine at The Napa Rose! I am a frequent Disneyland visitor and I have never had a bad meal at The Napa Rose. I have heard from the waiters at the Napa Rose that their brownie recipe has been requested by celebrities who frequent the restaurant. Of course the recipe is never disclosed. If you are into cheese, start off with the cheese appetizer platter. It is not on the menu, but you can request it. Simply amazing! Have fun and Happy Anniversary!

          1. I would avoid Catal (though the Uva bar outside is nice for a cocktail before or after dinner) as my experiences there have been very poor. Napoli is just so-so. To be frank, in our experience the food at Downtown Disney itself is not great. Sounds like the prevailing suggestion is Napa Rose.

            1 Reply
            1. re: johnglowacki

              Definitely don't bother with Catal! The food is so mediocre; however, sitting out on the patio can be nice in the summer evening.

              I wholeheartedly agree with the recs for Napa Rose. I did a birthday for my mom there a few years back, and we had a simply lovely time. I remember the carapaccio being very good, and my stepdad really liked his lamp chop. Mom liked her apple tarte tatinish dessert... Service was attentive and the ambience quite refined.

            2. I'll pile on about Napa Rose, unless cost is an issue. If that's the concern, they do a lounge menu, and there's a four course menu thats a good value at $75 (often we'll just order one of those and share the app and dessert, adding a second main and a side).

              I've also liked the Uva Bar although the service can be not the best and I wouldn't say it's an anniversary experience.

              I haven't been impressed with Yamabuki. It reminds me a lot of Thousand Cranes although I'd rather eat at the latter.