I eat: Napa Rose [1], [2]

I opened a Disney credit card in 2007. I can’t tell you why because I honestly don’t remember myself; I was never a Disney fanatic. Over the years, I accumulated more than 400 Disney Dollars. It wasn’t until I researched the redemption policy that I find out I could use my Disney Dollars at Disney restaurants. I chose Napa Rose.

Inside Napa Rose, there is a lounge, main dining area, Dessert Counter and Chef’s Counter. The Dessert Counter seats about 4 to 5 people and is off to the right of the kitchen overlooking the preparation of desserts. The Chef’s Counter is split by the service counter (see picture below); each side seating 4. Diners sitting on the left facing the kitchen have a view of appetizers being made while diners on the right get to see the main course action unfold. Because of the extended experience, there are only two seatings per night at the Chef’s Counter/Dessert Counter, 5:30PM and 8:30PM.

IMAG0459Executive Chef Andrew Sutton

To snag seats at the Chef’s Counter, I made a reservation a month in advance for a 5:30PM seating. Henry and I were excited to celebrate our 5 year anniversary with a “free” dinner (thank you Disney Dollars)!!

The night of our reservation, we arrived early only to find out that whoever took our reservation FUCKED UP because they had no record of it.


The Chef’s Counter was completely booked that night so the only thing the manager could do was offer us seats in the main dining area. I contemplated just walking out and going home, but I remembered that I had expiring Disney Dollars to use so I reluctantly accepted.

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After being seated, we placed our order fairly quickly since we agreed beforehand that we would order the “Vintner’s Table” (Chef’s Four Course Tasting Menu). I didn’t have a chance to be my usual indecisive self!

Amuse Bouche


Pork Belly & Loin


Goat Cheese Doughnuts

My anger began to subside as we finished our first course and it all but disappeared by the time dessert was served. Instead of sulking the whole night, I actually enjoyed my meal. Every dish was well executed and delicious. I especially loved the pairing of goat cheese doughnuts and “pear soup” (I told you I love hot + cold).

At the beginning of the night, given the reservation drama, I was sure we would never, ever, ever come back to Napa Rose… EVER. At the end of the night, I was willing to come back and pay for our meal!

…And come back we did. Less than a month later! Yes, mostly for the food, but also because Napa Rose comped our first meal in attempt to make things right – we only paid for Henry’s wine pairing, tax, and tip (based on full dinner amount, of course). That meant I still had expiring Disney Dollars to use.

For our second visit, I was only able to reserve seats at the Dessert Counter.

View from the Dessert Counter

See the empty seats on left? That’s the Chef’s Counter. Since all 4 of those seats were empty and it was well past 6PM, I asked Sous Chef Gloria what the deal was. After speaking with the manager, she explained that the party cancelled and offered us the seats. HELL YEA! Not only did our view get upgraded, Sous Chef Gloria also told us about another tasting menu, one in which you relinquish control of your meal over to the chefs; we had no idea what our next course would be. This option had more, smaller portion courses and costs the same as the “Vintner’s Table”. I highly recommend it if you are able to sit at the Chef’s Counter.

View from the Chef’s Counter

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We LOVED every dish, but the highlight of our meal had to be the mushroom soup. AMAZING. The “Best Hot Chocolate” was a close second 🙂 I can’t wait to return for another meal.

Verdict [1] & [2]: 4.5/5
Napa Rose (@ Grand Californian)
1600 S Disneyland Dr
Anaheim, CA 92802


I eat: Henry’s Bday Food Fest

I absolutely love the last four months of the year. Why?

September: Henry’s birthday
October: My birthday
November: Our anniversary & Thanksgiving
December: Christmas

How do we celebrate our birthdays and anniversary? Eating, of course!

For Henry’s birthday, we revisited two restaurants: Animal and Providence. We had such a good experience the first time around, we were a little nervous that our second experience wouldn’t live up to the first. Fortunately, the food was just as good as we remembered. Animal and Providence have firmly secured their place on our favorite restaurants list.

At Animal, we had a party of 4, which allowed us to try a LOT of dishes – 12 to be exact!

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Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) may have mentioned Animal’s Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, but if it were me, I would have raved about this: “Foie Gras Loco Moco”. Foie gras, hamburger, egg, spam, rice, sriracha… how can you not love all that on a plate?



Three years ago, Henry took me to Providence for my birthday. Three years later, I returned the favor ♥

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We decided to order the full tasting menu (+ wine pairing for Henry), just like we did last time. The meal started with an amuse bouche trio and the BEST BREADS EVER: bacon brioche & nori focaccia!!


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I enjoyed every dish on the tasting menu, though in terms of creativity, the dishes didn’t compare to the extraordinary meal we had at Alinea (Chicago, Il); let’s face it, after eating at Alinea, nothing else compares. The first time we dined at Providence, we didn’t have a clue about cheeses so our server chose our cheeses based on what he perceived to be the best/best tasting. Well, surprise surprise, we didn’t like any of our cheeses. But what a difference three years make. We’ve now figured out what kind of cheeses we love/hate and we were able to guide our server in the right direction this time around. End result? We totally cleaned off our cheese platter.

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While the food was excellent, the service at Providence was sub par (and not at all what we remembered it to be), considering it’s two star Michelin restaurant. The wait staff looked confused for most of the night, Henry was given the same wine twice and when the birthday dessert was brought out, it was placed in front of me instead of Henry. These are basic tasks that a server at any restaurant should be able to execute! My only consolation was that Chef Cimarusti came out of the kitchen to talk to us and sign my menu. 🙂


Verdict: 4.5/5
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Verdict: 4.5/5
5955 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038