Sunday, October 19, 2008

Club 33, Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) [3]

Attn: Club 33
1313 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 90803 (unofficial)
Sun 10/19/2008, 11:15a-01:15p

Since this was my third visit to Club 33, I'll skip the typical introductory material and focus on the eats. For some background on the place, please see my previous posts here and here.

To dine at Club 33, you'll need to visit Guest Relations and pick up your Park Hopper pass and tip sheet (left). Despite having a Park Hopper pass, I ended up not going on any rides or attractions that day, a waste I know! Click for a larger version.

The sheet above, placed at our table, provided the uninitiated with a quick background on the Club. Click for a larger version.

Sample lunch and children's menus are shown above. I had to pre-order my lunch, so the menu I used was slightly different than above. The price was $105, inclusive of choice of entrée, buffet, drink (sparkling wine, cider, juice, water), tax, and gratuity. Click for larger versions.

The wine list is heavily focused on California wines. Prices are quite reasonable, hovering around two times retail. Click for larger versions.

Though advertised as "Champagne," the complementary wine was actually the Bouvet-Ladubay Signature Brut, Loire Valley, France NV. It's made from Chenin Blanc, and goes for around $12 a bottle retail; it's interesting to note that the Bouvet is not listed on the wine list above. In any case, the sparkler was pretty palatable, with a bit of sweetness, nice bubbles, and soft notes of flowers and honey. In addition to the Bouvet, we could also have sparkling cider, juices, mixed juice slushes (second photo), and water. As for the water, the use of Glaceau Smartwater was a nice touch, definitely better than the tap typically served.

Unlike at previous visits, bread was actually provided at the table. The one on the left was a walnut bread, while the other was a fairly standard loaf.

The first buffet section contained four types of salad, as well as dressing.

Next, we have the makings of an insalata caprese (tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil), various cheeses, and fruit (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple).

Now come smoked salmon (with crème fraîche, red onions, and capers), grilled vegetables, and cold cuts.

The final section contains cocktail shrimp, lobster tails, and crab claws. As you might imagine, this one was my favorite!

The dessert station tempts, but you must wait until you're done with the savories!

Finally, we see the bread station with its various accoutrements.

My first and second plates from the buffet. As you can see, I've learned from my previous trips to not fill up on veggies, but instead to head straight for the good stuff!

Mickey and Pluto paid us two visits during the course of our meal. They were a big hit with the youngsters (and those young at heart!).

New York Steak, Curried Banana Ketchup, Kennebec Steak Fries
What surprised me with the steak is that they didn't ask us what temperature we wanted! Although some of my dining companions would've preferred it rarer, it turned out alright, around medium I'd say. After having my share of Wagyu beef as of late, the meat here did seem a bit tough, but it was certainly workable (I was able to cut it with my bread knife). It lacked the nice marbling I like, but the flavor was there, though not as beefy or as rich as it could've been. As for the rest of the plate, the fries were a bit soggy, and I found the ketchup far too sweet (all I could taste was banana!).

Alaskan Halibut, Meyer Lemon Risotto, Minted Tabbouleh
This was disappointing. A good halibut (see Marche Moderné) has a firm, flaky texture that I find immensely enjoyable, but this was just soft and mushy. Furthermore, the fish's taste was weak, nondescript, and got lost in all the other flavors on the plate. Fortunately, the included risotto was nice enough, and the asparagus quite crisp and tasty.

Pan Roasted Chicken, Mac & Cheese Croquette, Pickled Sweet Carrot
I only got a small bite of the meat here, but thought it was the strongest dish of the trio. The chicken was tender, juicy, and flavorful, with a delectably crisp skin.

With the savory courses dispensed with, it was now time for dessert!

This was basically marshmallows in chocolate, sort of like a s'more. Everybody grabbed this dessert first for some reason. I don't know why, as it was a bit of a letdown to be honest; I expected more.

I'm not even sure what to call this. It was a cookie topped with a chocolate dome of some sort. The chocolate portion was fairly light, not too sweet, and thus didn't overpower the cookie. Quite nice.

This was a coconut macaroon, dipped in chocolate. It had a fantastic, delicate coconut flavor, which was then bolstered by the addition of chocolate. Very nice bite and mouthfeel as well. One of my favorites.

Again, I'm flummoxed as to what this was. I appeared to be some sort of chocolate cup, with a cream and cake filling. Decent, but nothing special.

A dark brownie-esque chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream and peppermint. We were told by the chef that this was the most chocolatey dessert, and he was right. It was also one of the best.

This was some sort of lemon pastry, with a tart lemon filling. I liked the texture and consistency of the dessert and its creamy interior, but the taste was far too sour for me.

Panna cotta above a fruit gelatin. The panna cotta itself was fairly mild, so it worked well with the sweeter gelée layer. Not bad.

The blackberry tart was, as expected, quite tart, though balanced somewhat by the use of chocolate.

This was a financier, a semi-spongy tea cake similar to a madeleine. Apparently, the name "financier" is said to come from the pastry's traditional rectangular mold, which resembles a bar of gold. It was fairly dense, with a mild sweetness to it, backed by a rich buttery flavor.

The mango pie had a rather bracing, delicious mango flavor that made it one of the strongest desserts.

The chocolate mousse cake was light and subtle in flavor, though sadly a bit nondescript.

Finally, the fruit-based cake was palatable but forgettable. At this point, we were getting so full that all we could handle were "slivers" of cake!

The Club 33 mints to close out the meal were a new addition on this visit. Taste-wise, they reminded me of Andes chocolate mints.

The Club 33 matchbook. We asked the hostess on the first floor for them as we were leaving. She seemed a bit hesitant in giving them to us, and asked who our server was (hopefully he didn't get in trouble!). She then went on to explain that the supply of the matches is quite limited.

As you can see, food-wise, Club 33 certainly isn't going to be winning any awards. Though certainly not atrocious by any means, the cuisine is rather tired and really only a notch above typical "hotel fare." But if you're focusing on the food, you're missing the point. The point of the Club is the exclusivity, the experience, and by that criterion, Club 33 certainly measures up. I'll definitely be back if I have the chance.


Blogger Mike said...

You beat me to a post! I'm totally behind.

Anyways I'm agreement with everything you said. Seems we think alike.

I will mention that I thought the fries with the steak were probably some of the worst I'd ever eaten. Basically like uncooked potatoes.

All in all I had a blast though, and would certainly go back. That dessert bar was killer!

Friday, October 24, 2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Great minds think alike eh?

The fries were pretty weak indeed, but I'd be back in an instant!

Friday, October 24, 2008 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger Epicuryan said...

Interesting to see how your tastes have changed. Your first review of Club 33 was quite positive.

Friday, October 24, 2008 4:24:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I thought the food was better on my first visit. It's probably a combination of my tastes improving and the food declining.

Friday, October 24, 2008 5:15:00 PM  
Blogger mstinawu said...

HahaHA. Those blurred out kids pictures makes Micky and Pluto looks like pedophiles!

Friday, October 24, 2008 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Well it would be a great job for pedophiles now wouldn't it. ;)

Friday, October 24, 2008 9:28:00 PM  
Blogger kami girl said...

This reminds me.. my teacher actually mentioned this place in my marketing class.. and I was sitting there thinking "why does it sound so familiar??" and then I remembered that it's because of your blog! Haha..

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Cool! What did she say about the Club in your marketing class???

Sunday, October 26, 2008 3:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would rather be at cut then exclusive at disneyland anyday! i would have just had the crab and macaroons at club 33.


Monday, October 27, 2008 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I agree Paul. But going to Club 33 once in a while isn't too bad. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008 6:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tubs said...

Kevin, you should read your first post for this place you made it sound like a fairyland and I was green with envy!!!

Now I think I would only go for exclusivity. Tsk tsk somebody's taste has evolved :P

Ok that's my 5 minute break back to the grind

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your blog through Very interesting stuff. In response to this post, I am surprised at how much dessert you can eat...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:51:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Tubs: My palate has evolved indeed, but I truly believe the quality of the food has suffered somewhat!

anonymous: How did you find me through Yelp? I've been banned from that site ( As for the dessert, I definitely had help! ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one get banned from Yelp? That is quite funny though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Apparently it's quite simple to be banned.

For example, if I were to post a review of Club 33 on Yelp, I would include a link to this very post. Said link would be deemed "irrelevant" and "spammy" and that's enough to be banned. It's BS if you ask me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats where i draw the line. a yelp ban is in protest!

chowhound or kevineats!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:07:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Paul, I've had plenty of posts deleted on Chowhound as well!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:42:00 PM  
Blogger kami girl said...

she said its the only place that sells alcohol.. LOL & thats its exclusive..

Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:52:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Both of those things are true...I just wish the food was more outstanding.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


when are you going to try out some restruants in cluver city/marina del rey and santa monica. they look lonely in your map.


Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I lived out in Marina del Rey for a while, and unfortunately there just wasn't much that appealed to me in that area.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilary R said...

Hi Kevin,

My husband stumbled across your blog over a year ago while googling Sushi Wasabi. We now check your blog before trying out a new restaurant, and have followed several of your recommendations - they never disappoint!

I just wanted to thank you for the detailed photos of the desserts in this post. It's such a cute Disney touch to include chocolate Mickey ears on the blackberry tart and chocolate cup thing. Now if only I can figure out if I know someone who has a membership with Club 33.... For now, I'll settle for your entries. : )

Thanks for all the great photos and reviews!

Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:06:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

You're quite welcome Hilary! Which restaurants on the blog have you tried?

Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

Sorry for not replying sooner - I'm a bit of a foodie and have actually been to a whole bunch on your list: Angelini Osteria, The Counter, Craft, Father's Office, Ford's Filling Station, Houstons, Joes's, Mashti Malone's, Pizza Mozza, Spago, L'Atelier, Restaurant Charlie, Bouchon (Vegas, Napa and NY) - ohmygoodness that's some fine eating right there - but we specifically visited Napa Rose, Urasawa, Saam, Sushi Zo, Cut (Vegas), and of course Sushi Wasabi because of your reviews. may want to start charging the restaurants referral fees : )

Also, I'm originally from NYC and if I can be so bold would recommend you plan another trip there to try some more places because you've barely scratched the surface....

Thursday, August 06, 2009 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Impressive list Hilary. Perhaps you need to start a blog of your own! I'm glad that I've been able to steer you to some good places though. And you're not the first to suggest referral fees... ;)

As for NY, I'm well aware that there's much more the City has to offer. On my next trip, I'll probably do Babbo, Blue Hill, Daniel, and WD-50. Any thoughts on those?

Thursday, August 06, 2009 3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

Thanks - I have thought about doing a food blog but it seems so time consuming to do with a full time job. Perhaps you can tell me how you've managed to do it!

As for NY, Babbo is a definite must. It can be difficult getting a reservation, but the bar area is first come first serve (line starts about a half hour before they open) and offers the same menu. I'd also add to your list of musts Union Square Cafe, Spotted Pig and Momofuku Ssam. Also, Peter Luger Steakhouse and Grimaldi's Pizzeria are well worth the short trip to Brooklyn. Oh what I wouldn't do for a slice of NY pizza right now.... : )

Thursday, August 13, 2009 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

I also work full time, and you're right, it's incredibly time-consuming. I often find myself staying up to 3:00am or later to finish up a post!

Thanks for the recs for NY. I'm at least superficially familiar with all of them, though Momofuku doesn't allow photography, so that's probably not going to happen (that's why I haven't been to Masa yet).

Friday, August 14, 2009 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

Wow yeah. Well at least you know you have an audience that really appreciates your hard work.

That's too bad about Momofuku and Masa. Their loss!

Monday, August 17, 2009 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Funny Girl said...

Hi...just stumbled upon your blog...LUV yours posts and the pics are fantastic!!!

I see that you've been to Club 33 three times already. I heard it was hard to get into. I am a Disney fanatic and will be going to Disneyland for 1st time since being 5yrs old and would LOVE to go to Club 33...could you please help me by letting me know how to get in? PLEEEEZ :o)

Friday, February 05, 2010 3:54:00 AM  
Blogger kevinEats said...

Thanks Savitre. Club 33 is very hard to get into. Basically, to go, you need to have someone who has a membership take you. For me, I was able to go because of a corporate membership. ;)

Sunday, February 07, 2010 4:24:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home