Fireworks and food. It’s a great combination and one you can find in Downtown Disney at Catal Restaurant. Residing on top of the other places in the Disneyland resort shopping district, this offering from Patina Restaurant Group features what they describe as Mediterranean cuisine with modern interpretations. Above the Uva Bar which resides in the middle of Downtown Disney, Catal is high enough to see the fireworks from Disneyland, especially if you’re sitting on the balcony. But we were sitting inside and could still see them going off. A nice bonus to some very good food.
Location: Downtown Disney, Anaheim
Type: Table service
Specialty: Modern cuisine with a Spanish / Mediterranean flair
Cost: $30-50 for entrees; $10-20 for appetizers
Craig’s Favorite: Oxtail ragu and gnocchi
Getting together with friends during the New Year, we decided to try something different and went to Catal. We are all fans of Uva Bar which serves some amazingly tasty food. But in all the time its been open we haven’t gone upstairs to Catal until now. So glad we did. It’s very pricey so unless you’re prepared to pay around $50 per person, don’t go. They do have a kids menu but they aren’t smaller portions of the food served to adults. Instead its a menu of basics like chicken fingers and fries, but at very reasonable prices. The adult menu though is filled with anything but basic food. Ahi Bruschetta, Lamb Meatballs, and Spanish Tortilla Frites are only some of the inventive appetizers offered at the restaurant. Four different kinds of paella, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Oxtail Ragu, Steelhead Salmon, and Lamb Roulade are just some of the entree offerings.
I ordered the Suckling Pig Paella which was this pile of pork slow roasted for 48 hours and then compressed into a block in the center of the paella. The paella itself was spicy, rich, and full bodied. A few too many peas for my taste, but it is paella after all. The meat itself was wonderful. Two of my friends, Mark and Crystal, had the Spanish Tortilla Frites which they said were just the right amount of crispy and tasty. They also ordered a salad with hanger steak which looked delicious. And my friend David ordered the Oxtail Ragu which was the highlight of the meal. He let us try some and wow. Rich in flavor, deep in detail, and with gnocchi that was light but crispy and fluffy at the same time.
The restaurant had a great selection of beverages, too – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I had the strawberry lemonade which had just enough strawberry to make it sweet and with bits of strawberry that made the flavor clear. They also had a nice selection of desserts, but we opted to head over to Joe’s Italian Ice instead (a cast member favorite). And of course there was the fireworks show. What a nice addition to a great meal. If you’ve got the time and can afford the meal, this is a great place to go for a wonderful, comfortable dinner.