Tips for Dining at Napa Rose's Chef's Counter at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel

Photos by the Elmo Monster
Collage of creative comestibles
This is it: Your Disneyland summer. You bought an Annual Passport, and not just the Southern California Pass--you splurged for the Premium, the one that includes free parking and not a single blockout date. You've been to the parks so many times you've memorized the parking-tram announcements--both the English recording and the Spanish translation. And earlier in the summer, you managed to stay awake for the entire duration of Disneyland's 24-hour event and have the stinky pile of sweat-stained clothes to prove it. Now what? How do you continue to make the most of your summer at OC's most iconic landmark during its 60th-anniversary year?

At the best restaurant inside Disney's property: Napa Rose. And the best way to dine there is at its Chef's Counter, where you get a front-row seat to the kitchen action while chef Andrew Sutton and crew cook a multicourse meal customized just for you.

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The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich at Downtown Disney Is the Most Disappointing Thing I've Ever Eaten

Categories: Dishney

Photo by Charles Lam
This picture holds false promises

[Note: Disneyland doesn't actually run the California Churro Cart. The ice cream sandwich is still pretty horrible, though]

The Churro Ice Cream Sandwich at Downtown Disney is served with a napkin, a spoon, a knife, and a fork. That should be your first warning.

Standing in line at the California Churro Cart in front of the Lego Store, you'll feel a little uneasy. You'll see the stacks of hockey puck-esque rolled churros sitting in the display case distinctly without ice cream between them -- your second warning. The people ahead of you ordering the sandwiches will walk away with two separate containers, one full of vanilla ice cream scooped from a cooler that sits to the side of the cart and the other containing two churro wafers, re-dusted in cinnamon and sugar after being removed from the display case by the always exceedingly polite person working there.

That'll be your final warning before you step up, order, and realize that the churro ice cream sandwich might not be as good as it looked on Instagram.

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10 Great Desserts to Try at Disneyland

Categories: Dishney

Photo by Arnold Gatilao

As much as Disneyland is about rides, fireworks, and World of Color, it's also about eating great dessert. But when it comes to Disneyland, eating great dessert doesn't just mean taste; it means visual appeal, too. In a land full of Mickey-shaped treats and Olaf-inspired candy apples, there isn't a better place to feed stomachs and eyes at once. If you need some help on getting started, here are some noteworthy ones not to miss.

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5 Fancy Foods to Feast on During Disneyland's Dapper Day

Categories: Dishney

Thumbnail image for 24-layer-cake-creative-commons.jpg
Creative Commons
To my stomach... and beyond!

This Sunday is Dapper Day at Disneyland, which means guests will be visiting the park in the vintage remix of their Sunday best. Now, it'll be exciting to see modern-day Sandra Dees, suspenders, and poodle skirts, but let's talk about something just as important: food. Specifically, the kind that's just as fancy as how you'll look.

Pinky's up! Here are five fancy feasts to eat on Sunday...

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5 Holiday Foods to Try at Disneyland

By Justin Shady
Disneyland's open on Christmas, y'know

A change in season calls for a change in clothes. For Disneyland, that means wreaths, garlands, and lights in blue, red, and green hung on every building. Oh, and holiday food offerings.

But we're not talking about the gingerbread cookies and homemade candy canes all along Main Street. That's easy. We're talking the special stuff -- festive foods that take festive to a whole new level. Here's what I mean.

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Mickey Mouses with Disneyland's Club 33 Platinum Memberships Privileges

Categories: Dishney

Photo by Mxreb0/Wikipedia Commons
Occupants mysteriously disappear from their strollers at the Club 33 entrance.

Ferguson-worthy protests have surprisingly not broken out among the well-heeled who are apparently pissed that Disneyland's exclusive Club 33 has tightened membership rules.

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Disney California Adventure's "Big Hero 6 Teriyaki Street Dog"; How Does It Taste?

Categories: Dishney

Edwin Goei
Is this hot dog a wiener?

It's probably not the first time that the Disney Company has used a food tie-in at one of its parks to promote one of its movies, but this is probably the first time it has done it with wasabi mayo-topped hot dog.

Big Hero 6, the new Disney CGI flick that's set to open everywhere this Friday, is set in a fictional future city San Fransokyo. And so, in line with the blending of San Francisco and Tokyo in the story, the hot dog stand in DCA's Hollywood Studios Backlot called Award Wieners is currently serving a "Big Hero 6 Teriyaki Street Dog" ($8.19 with a bag of chips) which merges the all-American with the pseudo-Japanese.

The all-beef frankfurter is dipped in teriyaki sauce, tucked into a garlic-chive roll, then topped with "ginger carrot" and cucumber slaw before being drizzled in wasabi mayo.

Is it good?

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10 Great Restaurants to Try Near The Disneyland Resort

Photo by Dave Bloggs
Yep, this but worse

Now that Show Your Disney Side is officially going on, I have some bad news for you guys: The parks are (and are going to stay) super crowded. The lines are going to be worse than ever, the crowds are going to be super dense, and even if you show up at 3 in the morning, I'm pretty sure you're going to run into some traffic.

Disneyland has some pretty awesome food, but today (and tomorrow) is not the time to try it. Give the cast members a break, head off the resort to try some food, because there's a lot of good food vaguely near Disneyland.

In no particular order, here are 10 great restaurants to try near(ish) the Disneyland Resort.

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Napa Rose Chef Competes In (And Wins!) Skuna Bay Salmon Challenge

Anne Marie Panoringan
Southwest Kentucky Derby Chef Challenge winner

Our setting: The Catch in Anaheim. Judges included Marche Moderne's Florent Marneau. And the lone Orange County competitor was Napa Rose's Andrew Sutton. We assisted with judging duties at this special event, focusing on craft raised, Skuna Bay salmon.

Skuna Bay is located along Vancouver Island, where waters are glacier-fed and the fish used in their feed are from sustainably certified fisheries. The fish are always 10 pounds in weight, packed in recyclable corrugated cardboard packaging.

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Beauty and The Beast Restaurant Opens at Walt Disney World

Categories: Dishney

It'll probably be decades before anything resembling Walt Disney World's new "Be Our Guest Restaurant" will come to our local Disney parks in California. The eatery has a space designed to look exactly like the ballroom where Belle and her beast waltzed into movie history. It seats 500 and has soaring ceilings and those grand chandeliers.

It held its official grand opening yesterday even though it's been taking reservations since late August and served its first dinner on November 19th during a soft opening.

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