Citysearch Editorial Review.
This casual dining restaurant offers a well-edited one-page menu wherein just about every dish is simple yet appealing. From the caprese salad with burrata to the six artisan flatbread pizzas (try the prosciutto with asparagus, tomato, mozzarella and an egg in the center) and the pasta and secondi courses, each dish maximizes the flavors of Tuscany and California-grown produce, herbs and meats. You'll know this isn’t just another hotel restaurant when you try the homemade pasta dishes. Even though it often caters to kids and Disneyland tourists, the pastas don’t come drowned in sauce. Brown butter, sage and cheese veloute lightly accompany the homemade spinach ricotta gnocchi, and the spaghetti alle vangole is tossed simply with clams, pancetta and garlic. As for the secondi course, selections cover the gamut: bistecca, roasted chicken, pork chop, seared halibut and an Italian vegetarian casserole dish. Breakfast leans more towards the “CA” part of the restaurant’s name, with an American style buffet and a la carte ordering. Paninis, salads, and a burger replace the secondi dishes on the lunch menu, which otherwise remains the same as dinner. Of course, all the results of the hotel’s $25 million renovation might go unnoticed by unsuspecting locals who deem this hotel-lined strip of Harbor Blvd as no-man’s land for foodies. But if you can overlook that, your palate will be rewarded. After all, your average Garden Grove restaurant doesn’t grow and use herbs from their own rooftop garden, do they?