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Carthay Circle Restaurant's classic movie palace features casual fine dining

Carthay Circle shines among Disney restaurants as a romantic restaurant featuring casual fine dining with exceptional cuisine and friendly, attentive service.
Carthay Circle shines among Disney restaurants as a romantic restaurant featuring casual fine dining with exceptional cuisine and friendly, attentive service.
John R. Aberle

Carthay Circle Restaurant, California Adventure, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Rating:
Star5
Star
Star
Star
Star

Dorothy and I decided to finish our anniversary weekend getaway with the day at the Disneyland Resort so we could celebrate with lunch at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. I’ve wanted to review that restaurant since it opened last summer. This restaurant review is the result of that delightful experience.

Among the Disney restaurants few can rival the Carthay Circle Restaurant in California Adventure for casual fine dining with romance and exceptional cuisine.
John R. Aberle

Iced Tea (fresh brewed), $3.00

If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that my beverage of choice is fresh brewed iced tea. Fortunately for me, Carthay Circle Restaurant had fresh brewed iced tea and our server kept it refilled for me without my having to look for her. We started our dining experience with two appetizers.

Poppers (Fried Biscuits), $12.00

The Poppers had a mild jalapeño flavor, melted white cheddar filling, deep fried with apricot honey butter. The spread was wonderful and mellowed the jalapeño. Just spreading butter on them was delicious.

Firecracker Duck Wings, $14.00

Although the Firecracker Duck Wings were very hot, the duck meat was delicious. They are marinated in soy, lime, and sriracha chili sauce. Dorothy’s suggestion to take some butter between bites to mellow out the heat a bit worked. The butter cooled off the wings enough to actually taste the duck.

Bread & Butter

Carthy Circle Restaurant served bread and butter while we waited on our order. Although not sourdough, this bread reminded me of Boudin’s Sourdough because of the crisp, browned crust and the little air pockets in the bread. Dorothy thought it was like shepherd bread. Regardless, it was really good.

Tiger Prawns, $28.00

Dorothy’s prawns with fennel coulis were wonderful. The prawns were large, firm and perfectly cooked. There a broth with fingerling potato slices, leeks and thick applewood bacon pieces. The fennel sauce was very mild, more bacon flavored. We both thought it was exceptional with mild flavor.

Udon Noodle Bowl with Shrimp, Mussels and Red Thai Curry Broth, $20.00

The red Thai curry shrimp & mussels came with thin Udon rice noodles. The curry was mild. It was a delicious sauce. The shrimp were the same as Dorothy’s prawns. I loved the red curry and am eager to have it again.

Rocky Road, $11.00

Carthay Circle Restaurant’s Rocky Road desert was fabulously rich and tasty. The base was a macadamia nut brownie topped with marshmallow ice cream which was covered with caramel sauce and some chocolate sauce. The brownie had excellent flavor and texture. Marshmallow added some texture to the ice cream though not much flavor. Basically it tasted like vanilla. Nevertheless, we loved it.

Atmosphere

Because the Carthay Circle Restaurant’s is a huge restaurant, in early afternoon it didn’t seem even close to full. There was, however, at least one large party near us. The Carthay Circle Lounge on the ground floor, in contrast, appeared very busy.

My delight was getting to eat outside on the balcony so we could hear the various groups that entertained the visitors to the Disney California Adventure Park. While we dined, we heard the News Boys on the Red Cable Car and the woman jazz singer with her band when they drove up. The retaining wall was high enough that you had privacy from the crowd below but could stand up to see them.

Service

I’m embarrassed because I failed to make a note of our server’s name. Our hostess Shari, who seated us, was friendly and playful when I asked permission to take her picture. Our server and her assistant were likewise friendly and helpful. We felt that the service lived up to the fine dining atmosphere of this elegant restaurant.

World of Color Dining Package

Ariel's Grotto World of Color Dining, Wine Country Trattoria, and Carthay Circle Restaurant are the three California Adventure restaurants with World of Color Dining Packages. This incredible 25-minute nighttime spectacular weaves water, color, fire and light into an incredible show. At any busy time of the year, like summer and major holidays, you will need to get to the park early to get your FASTPASS unless you choose a dining package at one of these restaurants.

I opted to get Carthay Circle Restaurant’s World of Color dining package so we had to get two main items each in order to qualify. That’s how we selected an appetizer and entrée each. We could have gotten an entrée and dessert instead. In our case, the dessert was ‘just because’ we wanted it.

This is one of the few casual fine dining restaurants in the Disneyland Resort. It deserves the five stars I’m rating it. It goes to our list of favorites for places to celebrate an important date in style.

Please share

If you enjoyed this review, please “Like” it on Facebook or +1 it on Google+ and Share it. Oh, tweets work too. Thanks, John

Additional information
Carthay Circle Restaurant

  • Store Number 1335
  • Buena Vista Street
  • California Adventure
  • Anaheim, California

Carthay Circle Restaurant Website

Carthay Circle Restaurant location

It's located in Disney’s California Adventure Park on Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle, the traffic circle.

  • Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802: 0.5 to 1.0 mile depending on direction whether coming from or going to
  • Disneyland, Anaheim, CA: 0 miles though probably a 0.5 mile walk to Disneyland’s entrance.

Menus

Meals Served:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cuisine Type:

Multiple cuisines

  • American
  • Healthy Selections
  • Vegetarian cuisine

Service Type:

  • Table service, casual fine dining