A Disneyland Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-19-2013
I'll get this out of the way now at the start. As a non-meat eater, any restaurant that has the word "steak" in its name doesn't particularly appeal to me.
I always worry that they won't cater to my needs, and that as their specialty is something I don't eat, then I'll be missing out, left with the poorer choices on the menu. So it was almost with reluctance that I opted to try Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel.
Disneyland Hotel - Steakhouse 55
Inside Steakhouse 55.
In truth, I find fine dining choices a little few and far between at Disneyland. We had already dined at Napa Rose earlier in our visit (and let's just say it wasn't a good experience) and the Carthay Circle Restaurant, perhaps the two other places that fall into a similar category. When we arrived at the Disneyland Hotel, I wondered how the ambience would be at Steakhouse 55, given that its entrance is around the corner from the boisterous character dining of Goofy's Kitchen, but in a perfect piece of Imagineering, they're separated by a bar area, which immediately gives the place a feeling of calm and serenity.
That feeling continues as you walk into the restaurant. Although it was busy on the night we dined there, the noise level was surprisingly low, which was a pleasant change, and we were able to enjoy lots of conversation with our friends.
In the same way as the Disney Cruise Line takes you back to a bygone era, Steakhouse 55 returns you to a time that Walt himself would have been familiar with. It's an elegant place with low lighting levels (which does make photography a bit tricky), white tablecloths, images of screen icons on the walls, and some of their plentiful selection of wine proudly on display.
So what about the food at Steakhouse 55? For the appetizer, I went with the lump crab cakes with remoulade, which were highly recommended by our server, and rightly so. My husband went for the seared scallops with citrus wasabi soy glaze and scallion cream, and while the scallops were beautifully cooked, the glaze wasn’t to my taste, but then again, I'm not a fan of anything wasabi at all.
For entree, I had the evening's sustainable fish, which that night was Mahi Mahi with beurre blanc sauce and mashed potatoes. Although I enjoyed it, I have to admit that the fish was a little tough for me, and the flavoring for a bit spicy. My friend got the broiled salmon, and I tried some of hers. I should have gone for that, as it was some of the best salmon I've ever tasted, and trust me, I've tasted a lot of salmon over the years! It literally fell apart when you cut it, which is always a good sign, while the seasoning was perfect for my taste.
My husband surprised me by not going for steak, although in fairness, he hadn’t been feeling well during that day, and instead he had the free-range double breast of chicken. He assured me that it tasted fine, although the presentation did leave a bit to be desired. When it turned up, we described it as looking as if it had been run over, as it was completely flattened, which we certainly weren't expecting!
Other options for entree the night we visited Steakhouse 55 included the pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, Porterhouse steak, New York strip, fillet mignon, and roasted prime rib, so there are plenty of meat options available. Apart from the two fish options we tried on our table, there was also cold-water lobster tail, although expect to pay a fair amount, as it was listed as being at market price. Because there were so many fish options, I didn't inquire if there were any vegetarian items available, but knowing Disney, I suspect there probably were.
Disneyland Hotel - Steakhouse 55
The entrance to Steakhouse 55.
For dessert, I went for the vanilla bean creme brulee with chocolate, orange lace, and almond cookies, which was divine, although sadly I hadn't quite left enough room to do it all justice. My husband went for the berries with mascarpone sorbet and Brittany cookie, which he really enjoyed. Also on the menu was a 24-layer chocolate cake, which had I not been so hungry I would have had, as it was made up of chocolate sponge cake, Grand Marnier, milk and dark chocolate, and nutella and vanilla ice cream. Other options included a vanilla bean yogurt cheesecake, and a "root beer" baked Alaska, both intriguing ideas.
Having dined with friends that we hadn't seen in over a year, we had plenty to talk about, and catch up on, and as such, I was delighted that we were allowed to do just that. We ended up spending more than three hours in the restaurant, something of a rarity these days, as more often than not, we feel hurried out of the door, rather than being allowed to enjoy a leisurely meal.
All in all, our meal at Steakhouse 55 was a really pleasant surprise to me, as I wasn't expecting much from it, but it certainly delivered far and above my expectations, and it will certainly be on my list of places to return to the next time we're back in Disneyland.
Updated 12-19-2013 - Article #1036
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