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California Grill Review

January 15, 2014

California Grill

We decided to head back to the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on our latest vacation. I wanted to check out the renovations and new decor and Drew wanted to have the sushi again so we were really looking forward to our reservation. Unfortunately it will probably be the last time we visit for a while.

California Grill

The restaurant is gorgeous. I love the new carpet and light fixtures. They also added seating which is nice but also made it feel a little cramped. Our table was right next to the door to one of the observation decks so every time someone opened the door there was breeze. And not a little one. It was a hold on to your napkins kind of breeze. ­čÖé I’m usually the the last person to complain about situations like this but if it had been any colder I think we would have asked to move. But let’s move on to something we did like.

California Grill Bread Service

First up was the bread service. The bread was a little boring on our first visit but the whole-grain sourdough roll was yummy and the lavender-infused focaccia was amazing. I really wish I would have eaten more.

California Grill

Drew started with the Baby Romaine Salad with roasted garlic dressing, boquerones, sun-dried tomatoes, and brioche croutons. He said it was really good and he loved the dressing.

California Grill

After all the hype between us over the visit I really wasn’t that hungry. I also wasn’t really that interested in the vegetarian option on the menu so I decided to have one of the flatbreads as my main course. The oven-dried tomato flatbread with beefsteak tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, and aged balsamic. It was beautiful and tasty but overall not that impressive.

California Grill

Drew decided to have the sushi he had been craving as his entree. The spicy kazan roll with crab, shrimp, scallops, tuna and fireball sauce was as good as he remembered.

California Grill

To celebrate our first nigh back at Walt Disney World we decided to have some champagne. It and our desserts ended up being the highlight of the night.

California Grill

Drew went with the chocolate pudding cake. The menu describes it as luscious chocolate cake with nutella filling, meringue kisses, and mint chantilly. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, it was absolutely beautiful. And Drew said it was delicious as well.

California Grill

I decided to splurge on dessert since I had only ordered the flat bread. Heather’s Holiday Tasting was so good! It is named after the California Grills amazing pastry chef. It included a pumpkin cupcake with ginger cream cheese icing, spiked egg nog br├╗l├ęe, toasted pecan shortbread cookies, and peppermint cake pop. It was Christmas on a plate! The cream cheese icing on the cupcake was probably the best I have ever tasted. The cookies were a deconstructed pecan pie and were the perfect blend of soft and crunchy. I’m a sucker for cake pops and this one definitely didn’t disappoint. After I finished the entire plate (it was that good) I was really glad I decided to make dessert my main course.

California Grill

So dessert was amazing, the service was spectacular, and the decor was a major improvement. But after visiting two other signature restaurants that week I have to say that as far as the food went the California Grill is a little overrated. Yes the ambiance is nice but for me it doesn’t make it worth visiting often. I do still think that everyone needs to visit at least once but if you are at Walt Disney World often there are other signature experiences that I would recommend over the California Grill.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

  • HeidiPortzlineStrawser
    January 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve never eaten at California Grill, mostly because it is Signature Dining and I’m too cheap! LOL ┬áThanks for sharing your thoughts and excellent pictures. ┬áI’m posting my review/thoughts on another dining option in the Contemporary tomorrow – Chef Mickey’s. LOL

  • RoeMo326
    January 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I was slightly afraid of this. Cali Grill used to be my favorite restaurant in the World but I was skeptical of the new menu and decor. I will try it probably (at least once) but this sounds disappointing.