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Great food around Disneyland?

vierra Oct 29, 2013 01:28 PM

4 foodie girlfriends travelling down from SF to go to Disneyland for a friend's b'day. We like innovative American New, but are open to any great food (except Japanese) as long as it's delicious. Cost isn't a concern but we will be pretty casual since we'll be coming from Disneyland. Looking for something within 20 minutes driving from Disneyland. All recs appreciated!

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  1. JAB RE: vierra Oct 29, 2013 01:40 PM

    The Playground in downtown Santa Ana.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JAB
      PHXeater RE: JAB Oct 29, 2013 01:48 PM

      Definitely the Playground. It's eclectic and the chef is unapologetic about not cooking meat well done but it just works. Bold, strong flavors without beng heavy. Had my first meal there last week and can't recommend it enough.

    2. n
      ns1 RE: vierra Oct 29, 2013 01:41 PM

      captain kid across the street is always a hit


      (if you couldn't read the sarcasm, don't go there no matter how desperate you are)

      3 Replies
      1. re: ns1
        JAB RE: ns1 Oct 29, 2013 01:42 PM

        Boy, your chow cred took a hit there for a sec.

        1. re: JAB
          ns1 RE: JAB Oct 29, 2013 01:44 PM


          1. re: ns1
            bringiton RE: ns1 Oct 29, 2013 01:59 PM

            Goofy's Kitchen....Disney characters walking around.......plus all you can eat buffet...two hallmarks of a Chow worthy restauarant!!!

      2. v
        vierra RE: vierra Oct 29, 2013 01:54 PM

        Thanks - sounds great!
        ns1-you had me going with the rec.....I'm completely out of the food scene down there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vierra
          ns1 RE: vierra Oct 29, 2013 02:09 PM

          in all seriousness, for "american new" I would agree with the Playground rec above.

          here's an old review:


        2. n
          newport5 RE: vierra Oct 30, 2013 10:18 AM

          Napa Grill in the Disney Hotel. It is a really good! Don't have to go anywhere since it is right there.

          4 Replies
          1. re: newport5
            JAB RE: newport5 Oct 30, 2013 10:20 AM


            1. re: JAB
              newport5 RE: JAB Oct 30, 2013 10:44 AM

              It has always been a great place to go. they have a great wine list. Another place to go is The Ranch in Anaheim. The food is very good and so are the drinks. There is a cowboy bar next door that is just fun.

              1. re: newport5
                ns1 RE: newport5 Oct 30, 2013 10:46 AM

                you pretty much dodged the question.

                1. re: ns1
                  newport5 RE: ns1 Oct 30, 2013 12:45 PM

                  I think they are pretty innovative but not outrageous. It is a solid restaurant and always good (as is the Ranch)

          2. PeterCC RE: vierra Oct 30, 2013 02:30 PM

            For something completely different, I can't resist going to Ma's Chinese Islamic after leaving Disneyland, if we're not too tired. Great lamb dishes, sesame bread.

            Not innovative, and I'm sure fueled more by nostalgia than anything else, another place we like to go to after DL is Clearman's North Woods.

            5 Replies
            1. re: PeterCC
              jessejames RE: PeterCC Oct 30, 2013 02:58 PM

              always wondered about that place Peter, snowy roofline and all--what do you like there?

              1. re: jessejames
                Jack Flash RE: jessejames Oct 30, 2013 03:21 PM

                You didn't ask me, but Clearman's is basically a steak-and-potatoes kinda place. Very greasy, totally bad for you garlic cheese bread; cabbage and iceberg lettuce salads with sort of a thousand island dressing (best if mixed together); throw peanut shells on the floor.

                The sort of place where the only things that have changed since about 1958 are the prices.

                1. re: jessejames
                  PeterCC RE: jessejames Oct 30, 2013 03:24 PM

                  It's no Shunji. ;-) I like their cabbage salad. My wife likes the tossed salad with blue cheese dressing. Everyone likes the cheese bread. Their shrimp used to be good, now they're just decent. Steak's nothing to write home about.

                  And like I said, nostalgia (for my wife) is probably the driving factor. It's the kind of place people who don't frequent Chowhound might go for a special occasion steak-and-lobster-tail dinner with a giant baked potato on the side. Nothing wrong with that once in a while. :-)

                  1. re: PeterCC
                    jessejames RE: PeterCC Oct 30, 2013 03:25 PM

                    thanks guys!

                    1. re: jessejames
                      kevin RE: jessejames Oct 31, 2013 06:05 PM

                      If it beats the fatty garlic cheese bread at Tana's, then I may have to give a whirl.

              2. l
                latindancer RE: vierra Oct 30, 2013 04:14 PM

                Catal....part of the Patina Group. Downtown Disney.

                Excellent food and service.

                1. m
                  Michelle RE: vierra Oct 30, 2013 04:18 PM

                  Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel (downtown Disney) - a little more upscale, wonderful tasting menu, it's the kind of place we go to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Michelle
                    PeterCC RE: Michelle Oct 30, 2013 04:21 PM

                    The Craftsman architecture and Art Deco/Nouveau decor of the restaurant (and the hotel) gets me every time!

                    1. re: Michelle
                      latindancer RE: Michelle Oct 30, 2013 09:44 PM

                      I agree.

                      Although I love Catal I'm a sucker for the suites and Napa Rose at the Grand Californian...
                      What a great place.

                    2. s
                      set0312 RE: vierra Oct 31, 2013 06:47 PM

                      Zait and Zataar is quite good casual Lebanese. And very close. Was suggested to me by a fellow hound and I've been back a few times since.

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