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Disneyland area help - great restaurants nearby

barry May 19, 2009 10:46 AM

We're going to Disneyland next week and we're looking for some dinner options outside Disney itself. We have two kids, 7 and 5, but they can find something they like pretty much anywhere. Any type of food is fine, but we'd prefer something good. We don't have many options for Korean food in Phoenix (and little for Vietnamese), so we'd enjoy something like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



  1. wienermobile May 19, 2009 11:02 AM

    Napa Rose inside Disney's Grand Californian Hotel is one of the best in the area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile
      josephnl May 21, 2009 10:26 AM

      We had a very poor meal at Napa Rose recently and definitely would not recommend it. It is rather expensive, and in our opinion was clearly not worth it.

      I would definitely take note of Das Ubergeek's recommendations for Korean or Vietnamese food. He (or is he a she?) know his stuff!

      1. re: josephnl
        Das Ubergeek May 21, 2009 10:40 AM

        "She"'s a MAN, man!

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          josephnl May 21, 2009 03:40 PM

          Thanks MAN!

      2. re: wienermobile
        mikester May 22, 2009 09:00 AM

        Absolutely agree - I've been numerous times and Napa Rose has been consistently excellent - food, wine, service and ambience are top-notch, IMO. For my wife and I, it's our hands-down favorite for special occasions, in the OC.

      3. Das Ubergeek May 21, 2009 09:17 AM

        Well, happily, you will be just a few miles from the largest collection of Vietnamese businesses in North America, and a few miles from a pretty significant collection of Korean.

        For Korean, if you want barbecue, my recommendation is either Cham Sut Gol or Shik Do Rak (both on Garden Grove Blvd.). For soon tofu (spicy tofu stew, with or without barbecue) go to Kaju, on the corner of Garden Grove Blvd. and Magnolia St.

        For Vietnamese, it's hard to choose, but here are some options:

        1. Xanh (Brookhurst/Edinger, Fountain Valley) is an upscale place with excellent Viet- and Viet-inspired food, family style. It is one of the most expensive restaurants in Little Saigon but it's not expensive -- expect to spend $15-$25 per person (exclusive of drinks, tax and tip).

        2. Vien Dong (Brookhurst/15th, Garden Grove) is a mid-grade place, the kind where you go up and pay at the cashier at the end. The things to get are cha ca thanh long (catfish marinated in turmeric and grilled with onions and dill), bun cha Hanoi (pork and pork meatballs in a thin papaya-based sauce eaten with herbs, vegetables and rice noodles), and the fried sweet potatoes with shrimp. Excellent, excellent egg rolls (cha gio or nem ran). Expect to spend $6-$12 per person for food.

        3. Pho Thanh Lich (Brookhurst/Hazard, Westminster) for beef pho. Get the rare pho on the side so you can cook it in your broth and keep it rare. Expect to spend $5-$7 per person for food.

        4. Dakao for chicken pho. Expect to spend $6-$8 per person.

        5. Com Tam Tran Quy Cap (McFadden/Ward, Garden Grove/Fountain Valley) for com tam, which is broken rice with toppings -- good toppings are lap xuong (sweet pork sausage), cha (Vietnamese pork quiche), bi (shredded pork tossed with toasted rice powder). Many people like the tau hu ky (tofu skin stuffed with shrimp paste) but I prefer it at Com Tam Thuan Kieu. Expect to spend $6-$10 per person.

        6. Quan Minh Ky (Bolsa between Brookhurst and Bushard) for excellent grilled lemon leaf chicken (ga ro ti la chanh) and interesting skewers (venison is tasty) as well as mi quang (egg noodles in pork-bone and crab soup). Expect to spend $8-$15 per person.

        7. Newport Tan Cang Seafood (1st/Newhope, Santa Ana). Get house lobster and maybe bo luc lac (shaken beef). You buy a lobster and the price includes the preparation. The smallest lobster I've ever seen there is 3 1/2 lbs., so expect to spend $20-$30 per person if you buy one lobster and another dish, plus soup and rice.

        8. Pagolac (Brookhurst/Hazard, Westminster) for seven courses of beef (bo bay mon). Beef prepared in the traditional ways, from soup to grill (Google "bo bay mon" for help). Expect to spend $12-$18 per person.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          Das Ubergeek May 21, 2009 09:20 AM


          Vien Dong
          14271 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843

          Pho Thanh Lich
          14500 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

          Newport Seafood Restaurant
          4411 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

          9691 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

          Kaju Tofu Restaurant
          8895 Garden Grove Blvd Garden, Grove, CA

          Xanh Bistro
          16161 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

          Cham Sut Gol
          9252 Garden Grove Blvd # 10 Garden, Grove, CA

          Pagolac Restaurant
          14580 Brookhurst St, Westminster, CA 92683

          Minh Ky Quan Restaurant
          9741 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

          Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
          10522 McFadden Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92843

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            barry May 21, 2009 10:49 AM

            This is great. Thank you.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              Kitchen Queen May 21, 2009 08:08 PM


              Again - You pull thru for more than you know. I'll be going to Disnelyand next month and looking for an interesting meal stop!
              Thanks for always your knowledge and inspiration to reach out along the culinary rainbow!
              KQ :)

            2. re: Das Ubergeek
              Bjartmarr Jun 3, 2009 11:18 PM

              I've got a friend in Anaheim whose idea of adventurous dining is the Mexican place in Disneyland. I'm going to blow her mind next time I'm down there.

              Not that I get down there that much. :(

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                too_hungry Aug 11, 2009 10:22 PM

                Will keep this Viet resto list handy for our visit next week. Any recs for Japanese nearby?

                1. re: too_hungry
                  Das Ubergeek Aug 12, 2009 06:16 AM

                  Tsuruhashi (yakiniku), Kappo Honda, or Shinsengumi (yakitori/ramen) on Brookhurst in Fountain Valley; the food courts at Marukai and Mitsuwa markets in Costa Mesa; Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    too_hungry Aug 12, 2009 01:10 PM

                    Excellent, thanks!

              2. g
                gwleong May 21, 2009 10:26 PM

                Any suggestions for good restaurants within walking distance of Disneyland? (ISO 'reasonably priced', any ethnicity, good quality, clean establishments)

                Thanks in advance!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: gwleong
                  Das Ubergeek May 22, 2009 12:02 AM

                  Um... there's downtown Disney, Marri's and -- this is a big stretch walkingwise -- Mimi's, k'ya Ruth's Chris and Morton's. That's, um, it. Most of the stuff on Harbor is mediocre at best and borderline poisonous at worst.

                2. b
                  barry Jun 3, 2009 11:17 AM

                  Thank you all for the recommendations, especially Das Ubergeek. We went to Vien Dong and ordered everything you recommended (yes it was too much food, but so good). Everything was great. We really liked the cha gio egg rolls (incredibly good!), the catfish, pork and the shrimp. The kids loved the giant fish tank and tried pretty much everything (I think they sensed how excited we were). The owner spoke with us throughout dinner, explaining the menu and showing us hot best enjoy each dish. He liked hearing that we were referred to his restaurant (I don't think he knew about Chowhound, but he said he's had a lot of Arizona people coming in). Everyone was incredibly friendly. What a great find. We will definitely be back on our next trip.

                  We also picked up a bunch of sandwiches at Lee's on our way out of town. Interestingly, there is a Lee's in Chandler but I didn't know it was part of a chain. The sandwiches were incredible, very inexpensive and with such incredible flavor. And the bread is awesome. Lee's was pretty crowded on a Saturday afternoon, and I imagine it is packed quite often. The great sandwiches are mostly $2.75! I would eat there 5 days a week if it was close by.

                  Finally, we ate dinner at Catal in downtown Disney one night. We ate upstairs on the balcony. The food and service were excellent. I had the flat iron steak (very good) and the scallop dish was excellent. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a nice dinner without leaving Disneyland proper.

                  Thanks again for your help.


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: barry
                    Das Ubergeek Jun 3, 2009 11:23 AM

                    Thanks for reporting back!! I'm glad you ate well. I'm actually leaving for Vien Dong in five minutes... need a fix of that bun cha Hanoi!

                    I forgot to give you recommendations for banh mi shops -- that was my miss. There's lots better than Lee's, but at least now you know what to look for in PHX!

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      josephnl Jun 3, 2009 02:28 PM

                      I often go to Lee's near UCI and would love to hear where one can get better Vietnamese sandwiches not too far from Irvine.

                      1. re: josephnl
                        Das Ubergeek Jun 3, 2009 04:18 PM

                        How about Tustin? There's Zon Baguettes. The sandwiches are very expensive by banh mi standards (OH NO THREE FITTY!) but they're better filled and the bread is great.

                        Or right off the 405 on Brookhurst, just 10 minutes north of the Jamboree exit, there are a couple of branches of Banh Mi Che Cali.

                        Finally, I have enjoyed -- but not for a long time -- the dac biet at Le Diplomate in the same plaza as the UCI Lee's. The other sandwiches are not good, but the "everything" sandwich has been very good, especially if you ask for extra pate.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          josephnl Jun 3, 2009 04:36 PM

                          Thanks...will try these! You are certainly the all-time maven of OC asian cuisine!! Is there anything asian in OC you haven't tried? Thanks again!

                          1. re: josephnl
                            Das Ubergeek Jun 3, 2009 06:45 PM

                            That's the nice part about OC... there's ALWAYS more Asian to try. :)

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