Dining in California Grill’s Lounge

California Grill is often a sought after location due to it’s great views from the top of the Contemporary Resort. While it’s encouraged to have a reservation at this Signature Dining restaurant, you don’t necessarily have to have one. If you don’t have a reservation you are definitely taking a chance on getting a table in the bar/lounge. The bar is first come, first served. Depending on time (closer to fireworks) it may be harder to come by. This is definitely a better risk during the less busy times.

Our view for dinner

We were able to get a seat in the lounge when we went. Our waitress was very nice and knew exactly what the vegan options were for us off of the Vegetarian Menu. We ordered our food and soon after she gave us warm sourdough bread with sun-dried tomato olive oil. It was so good, I couldn’t stop eating it. Looking back I wish I would’ve saved more room for our meal and not eaten so much bread, but I just couldn’t help it.

California Grill Veg Menu (September 2019)
California Grill Veg Menu (September 2019)

My husband and I shared a vegan unplugged entree, which allows you to choose 4 snack sized portions. We chose the Forbidden Vegan Roll, Vegan Fried Rice, Vegan Black Truffle Selezione Pasta, and the Tomato Pizza.

Vegan Unplugged
Vegan Unplugged

The first thing that hit us when our food was placed was the smell of the pasta. We like truffle so we didn’t mind how much was used in the dish. But if you aren’t a fan then don’t order it. This dish is packed with black truffle flavor. It reminded us of a mac and cheese due to the creaminess. The serving of pasta is large, so if sharing this is a good option. We have had this in the past and it can be hit or miss in flavor too, so be warned.

Vegan Black Truffle Selezione Pasta

The sushi was really good, but hard to eat. It fell apart as I was picking it up. In the roll is black rice, shiitake mushrooms, pickled mango, and fried sweet potato. It was also filled with cucumber and carrot.

Forbidden Roll

The fried rice was just okay, we both got tired of the flavor after a few bites. The vegetables in the fried rice change depending on night and what is available. The serving for the fried rice is about as big as the pasta. Lastly, the pizza was great! It was very flavorful for as simple as it was.

Fried Rice
Tomato Pizza

Our server ended up boxing up the truffle pasta and fried rice for us. We were both full and happy with sharing the unplugged. We couldn’t leave California Grill without ordering dessert. The last time we were here we had the vegan cheezecake. It was good, but we were looking forward to trying the new Lavender Donuts this time.

Lavender Donuts
Lavender Donuts

They did not disappoint! The blueberry “faux yo” frozen yogurt was super smooth and delicious. The donuts were fresh and warm, so mixed with the cool “faux yo” was a delicious. This is my new favorite dessert on Disney property. If you feel like you just want the dessert, don’t make a reservation, head to the lounge and be prepared for heaven on a plate.

Price $$$
Review from September 2019.

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