After making a reservation two months ago, Jarod and I finally made it to the Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure. Since it's the newest sit down restaurant experience at Disneyland reservations book fast, so make sure you plan your trip in advance!
The Lamplight Lounge has replaced what was once Ariel's Grotto and the Cove Bar. Although the outside of the building looks the same as it once did, the inside has been completely renovated. Don't get me wrong, I love the Little Mermaid, but I think this new remodel is stunning.
They have a giant bar in the middle of the lounge and the rest of the seating is beautiful leather booths and chairs. Even if you get stuck at the dreaded small two person table you are guaranteed a comfy leather chair to lounge in. Not to mention the Pixar memorabilia decorating the walls is such a fun addition. They have everything from Carl & Ellie's Adventure Book to a wall made out of glowing Pixar balls!
You have the option to sit outside on the patio if you like, but personally I think it's worth sitting indoors and enjoying the ambiance.
To start things off we ordered drinks, it's one of the things they are known for because they have so many unique themed creations that not only taste delicious but look fun too! We each tried a few different drinks because there were just too many to try one!
I started with the Scream Canister, it's like a non-blended Piña colada. It has Bacardi and Anos Rum, Cream of Coconut, Pineapple & Orange Juice with a mist of bitters. At first I didn't think there was much alcohol in my drink because it was so delicious but it definitely snuck up on me!
Jarod ordered the Sunrise Spectacular. He loves his whiskey drinks and this one had a good kick to it! If you like whiskey, this is the drink for you! It has Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Tropical Juices, Agave Nectar, and a dash of bitters.
For starters we ordered the potato skins which were not what I was expecting at all, but not in a bad way. They weren't traditional and they came with a swirl of two different dipping sauces to try. I personally liked the smoked paprika aioli the best. The potatoes themselves were light and fluffy so they didn't weigh us down too much before the main entree arrived.
This is where I think it's important to point out that you should share an entree here. I don't know about you but walking around Disneyland with leftovers just doesn't sound ideal and I hate wasting food so sharing prevents both of those situations. Plus it allows you to save room for more treats later!
We decided to try the chicken sandwich which was again not what I was expecting. I started noticing a pattern. Everything has a unique flavor and flair to it! This chicken sandwich had a spicy chili glaze with a vinegar slaw that went great with the crispy chicken. It came with a side of steak cut fries that were seasoned to perfection! All in all a great entree choice.
To wrap things up we had the only dessert listed on the menu....the donuts! Our server sold me on the fact that they come with two different dipping sauces, including a strawberry one that has Pop Rocks in it! I loved the mini donuts and the dipping sauces were the perfect touch. I really enjoyed the strawberry sauce!
Now, to take a brief tangent I also wanted to include a brief review of my experience at the new Lamplight Bar that replaced the Cove Bar upstairs. I must say that I need to experience it again on a day that is not 100+ degrees outside. The newly designed roof lets way too much sun in that it makes it miserable to be out there on hot days no matter how cold the drinks are. If you couldn't tell by now, I'm pale. Me and the sun don't get along too well. I spent half my time trying to switch tables until I found one with shade.
That being said the food was still delicious and so were the drinks. The Open Ocean with A Splash was not only pretty to look at but tasted delicious in the hot California heat. It has Bacardi Raspberry Rum, Blue Curaçao, Orgeat (Almond), Agave Nectar & Fresh Lime Juice.
Interesting thing to note: The first time we dined here we were told they no longer offer drinks to go. However, by the time we finally dined at the lounge downstairs they asked us if we wanted one to go! So I guess that ban on to-go drinks was limited and we happily ordered a Scream Canister to walk around with! I will be doing this more often now because they have some of the best drinks in the park.
For food we tried the Crispy Piggy Wings which were a little spicy and sweet. I really loved the flavor of these. They had a chili ginger glaze with a cilantro slaw.
The other appetizer we tried was the carne asada rolls. Basically sushi with southern California flair! We really enjoyed these as well. They were the perfect bite on a super hot day. They have New York Strip Steak, Roasted Fresno Chili Salsa, Escabeche and Crema.
All in all, I really do love the upgrades they have done to the restaurant and lounge. I just wish they had increased the shade for the upstairs bar because let's be honest, it's rare that it's NOT hot out at Disneyland. So don't wait! Make a reservation today and hopefully you'll make it in there soon!