Matt and I are big fans of California Grill. It’s a restaurant we don’t visit often enough, but we recently stopped by after Outer Rim drinks with family. It was late and a work night, and neither of us were looking for anything heave, so appetizers at the bar were the perfect fit. Duck in All Its Glory, which we had during our first visit after the restaurant’s refurb, is no longer on the menu.
We were brought some bread to enjoy while we waited for our order, and the Herb Focaccia is as delicious as it was back in December. The Whole Wheat Sourdough doesn’t do it for me, though.
For his meal, Matt ordered the Pork Belly Nigiri, which features House-cured Pork, Bacon and Yuzu Rice, and Spicy Teriyaki sauce. Matt’s not crazy about wasabi, so the bits placed on the pork belly were promptly removed.
Matt gave me one to try, and the pork was smoky and very tender. While Matt loves teriyaki sauce, I do not, and fortunately the piece I grabbed had very little on it. He wasn’t crazy about the flavors in the rice portion of the roll, so ordering this particular dish again are a bit on the fence. I don’t think it will be made a meal again, but sharing between a few people is a possibility.
I was torn between two dishes: the Three-Meat Signature Meatballs and the House-mad Charcuterie. The meatballs won out when I placed my order, though. The meatballs are a combination of pork, lamb, veal. The lamb is the dominant flavor here, and it’s a bit on the gamey side. They reminded me more of kefta flavor-wise.
The meatballs are served with Piquillo Pepper and Parmesan Grits, Eggplant Piperade, and Tiny Basil. They had a mild heat to them, but the grits were probably my favorite part of the dish. I found the meatballs to be tough, and the temperature at which they were served was a bit lukewarm. I had some buyer’s remorse for not ordering the charcuterie.
Here are the menus from our visit:
While the dishes we ordered weren’t favorites, there were things we did like about them. I’ll be passing on the meatballs in the future, but the Pork Belly Nigiri is still a viable option. I’m looking forward to our next visit, as California Grill remains high on our list of favorite places to dine.
On a side note, I really wish they’d enforce the dress code a bit more. Granted, we’ve been there post D23 Scavenger Hunt to have some food and a cocktail or two at the bar, and we certainly were not at our best in t-shirts and shorts, but wearing a v-neck undershirt and shorts to dinner in the actual restaurant is a different story. Then again, at least he was covered, unlike a female guest who left very little to the imagination. Sorry for the tangent; I guess I just saw too many people at the restaurant that were dressed for Tomorrowland Terrace and not California Grill.
Have you been to the California Grill since it reopened? What is your favorite dish?