Appetizers for Dinner at California Grill

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-made 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?


8 responses to “Appetizers for Dinner at California Grill

  1. I’m really sorry to hear that the Duck in all in Glory is no longer on the menu. I had that last year & both my husband and I loved it. That being said, I like the fact that they change the menu to reflect seasonal offerings. While my beloved duck isn’t on the new menu, I saw a bunch of new things I’d be happy trying. (Drives me crazy when people say, “I’m not going to X anymore because they took Y off the menu!”) On the same visit last year, we also tried the Pork Belly Nigiri. We had a similar response. We enjoyed it and would certainly try it again, it’s not really a “go to”. I’d rather have a combo sushi plate with a piece or two of the Pork Belly accompanied with something else.

  2. Totally agree with you – I may mourn the loss of a great dish, but I love having new items to try! A combo is a great idea for the pork belly. That’s one of the things I love about sushi. I always always always get some eel, but I enjoy tasting a few other options!

  3. I’m sad to hear about Duck in All its Glory b/c I never had the chance to try it! 😦

  4. That stinks. 😦

  5. Haha! I love how we both randomly mention proper dining attire in our posts on the same day… 🙂

  6. Like you, I’ve been to CG in casual shorts and a t-shirt for the bar, right after it opened for a quick cocktail (several post-Scavenger Hunt people had that idea). But an undershirt and shorts for the dining room? That wouldn’t fly at Palo or Remy. We also saw a woman in a dress that left little to the imagination, with a sheer top and strategically placed panels on the front of the top. 😳

  7. Such a great place, I wish I went more often.
    I found it interesting that a number of the beers are almost the same price as the cocktails. So hard to pay theme park prices for beer.

  8. I totally agree with you on the beer prices; a cocktail often makes more sense. That’s why we have to counteract when we indulge with beers at our local watering holes and home! 😉