We discovered the Napa Rose when we stayed at the Grand Californian on the opening day of the California Adventure theme park several years back. Since then, we have visited the restaurant for birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. Located on the grounds of the Grand Californian, decor is fully mission style. Tasteful rose motifs can be seen in the furnishings as well as appointments throughout the venue.
An ample wine selection complements the menu, provided by a huge walk-in wine storage room that can be seen as you enter the restaurant. The menu is creative and offers choices that can satisfy a wide variety of tastes. We particularly liked the mushroom cappuccino, which is actually a rich soup served in a coffee cup.
There are two distinct areas within the restaurant, a bar area with comfortable seating, and a full dining area. The bar menu includes a number of appetizers that can easily double as a light meal, and proves a particularly good option if you prefer lighter fare or are without a reservation.
Service in the bar was friendly and prompt, as was the service for dinner. We were greeted by the head chef on one occasion, who described to us the complex system in place at the restaurant to insure all meals ordered at the table will be presented together directly from the kitchen at peak temperature. Something they called "expediting".
Hours are restricted to dinner only and a reservation is almost a given on popular holidays or weekends. Although the Disney company welcomes children everywhere, this venue should be considered better for adults, for both atmosphere and menu. Dressy casual is generally acceptable for diners, however we have discovered those donning tuxedos and formal dresses among the crowd. Certainly a tie and jacket would not be out of place.
As with most of the dining options at the Disney Resort, be prepared to spend about fifty percent more for a similar experience away from the property. Each time I have visited the Napa Rose, I have always felt that the expense was offset by the experience and I have never regretted it, nor let is sway me from returning.
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