This review reflects our experience from March 2016.
We had not had much luck finding vegan food at Hollywood Studios during our past few visits, and agreed that it was finally time to try something new, so we made a lunch reservation at the Hollywood Brown Derby.
The Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the more sophisticated dining options at Hollywood Studios, and is an authentic replica of the famous Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. It is also quite expensive compared to other dining options on property, with entrees ranging from $29 to $40+. Hollywood Brown Derby is considered a Signature Dining restaurant, which means it requires two table service credits if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. It is also one of the options for the Fantasmic! dining packages.
Upon arrival we noticed that the menu posted outside did not match what we had viewed online. The new menu featured a dish that wasn’t like anything we had ever eaten in any of the parks or resorts before, vegetarian pho! We happily headed inside to check in wait for our table to be ready.
The waiting area/lobby is decorated with caricatures of famous Hollywood icons and features comfy chairs. Upon check in we mentioned that we were vegan, and within a few minutes our party was seated in the back of the restaurant.
When our server arrived we mentioned again that we were vegan and she asked if we would like olive oil for our bread instead of butter. She also mentioned that the new pho dish, which was described to include Ginger-Lemon Grass Broth, Mushroom and Tofu Spring Rolls with Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce. This dish is vegan as is, but she asked if we would like to speak to a chef anyway. Since the meal was already vegan, we declined the offer. We enjoyed our bread and drinks and waited for our meals.
After a short wait, our server returned with our food. We were surprised and excited to see a generous portion of pho in a large bowl and also a medium sized dish with three tofu spring rolls and dipping sauce. We dug into the spring rolls first, and they were crispy and delicious. The filling was tofu, mushrooms and cabbage. I had not had a spring roll in quite some time, and these did not disappoint. The dipping sauce tasted salty and tangy, the perfect compliment to crispy spring rolls.
Next, we tried the pho. The broth was a bit spicier than other pho we had tried elsewhere in the past, which was a nice variation. Along with the noodles the bowl also included shreds of multi-colored carrots and fresh bok choy. Even though the potion was huge, we were both hungry and had no trouble finishing it.
Would we go back?
All in all, we had a very positive experience, however, due to the expense we probably won’t be dining here again (we couldn’t afford to try dessert!).
Tara & Paul
I’m interested to try this but also a little sad. The coconut crusted tofu dish was one of my favorites!
Ah! This is the opposite experience we had there this past week. 4 of us ordered the Pho with the spring rolls, our waitress told us the spring rolls weren’t vegan because they had egg wash when they are fried. So they were brought out unfried and they were so gross, they were so sticky and waaaay too much rice paper for a roll not getting fried. I also thought the Pho was bland, I didn’t even eat half of it 🙁 I felt bad wasting, but it was just not good. Honestly 2 years ago we ate at Brown Derby and didn’t have an amazing vegan experience either. But this year we ate lunch at Mama Melrose and we had a spectacular time! They do the Fantasmic! Package for those dining at lunch. They made my boyfriend and I a delicious vegan flatbread with soy cheese and muchroom (one of the best things I ate on this trip) and then a nice bowl of olive oil tossed pasta with spinach, garlic, and tomato. I doubt I will return to Brown Derby in he future 🙁
Perfect timing on Brown Derby! Making our ADRs on Thursday &
was trying where to eat at Hollywood Studios. Veg Pho sounds
more interesting than another buffet meal as we will be going to
Tusker House, Boma & Crystal Palace too!