Exterior Carthay Circle Theatre

Anchoring Buena Vista Street in Disney’s California Adventure Park, you can experience the Golden age of Hollywood at Carthay Circle Restaurant. Modeled after 1920’s original Spanish Revival architecture, the building is based on the iconic central tower of Carthay Circle Theater.

As one steps inside, you are transported to the magic of Disney’s movie-making throughout the decades.  The interior is elegant, ornate warm and rich.  Artifacts and photographs of Disney’s premier of their first feature-length animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” line the hallways.  You can’t miss those beautiful, giant, black and white photographs of Shirley Temple and Walt Disney as you make your way upstairs to the dining area.

Main Dining Room Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge

Although, the ambience of the restaurant is movie-premier elegant, Disney dining has figured out a way to make families and tourists feel comfortable in a warm, social and informal hospitable setting.  The lounge and restaurant are perfect getaways from the excitement of the park.

The restaurant accommodates up to 200 guests with a terrace and its beautiful views of Buena Visa Street that seats 56 guests.  Perfect for people watching and an excellent view of Disneyland’s fireworks show.

Yes, this replica of the famous movie-house is beautiful and radiant but the food in this case, is the star of the show.  Chef Andrew Sutton, the acclaimed executive chef at Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, also is executive chef of Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. By his side, Gloria Tae, Sutton’s protégé at Napa Rose, and chef de cuisine at Carthay Circle Restaurant.  We could not have asked for a better culinary duo.

Carthay Circle food

The menu, best described as “Modern Southern California Fresh” is comprised of wild and farmed sustainable fish and hand picked seasonal vegetables from local markets.  It’s modern, breezy, light and fresh. The dishes boast in diverse flavors with ingredients from local ranchers, artisans and farmers. Menu includes sushi-grade yellowtail grilled with jerk spice, topped with a tropical salsa of pineapple, mango, black beans and lime, and Sierra Golden trout roasted with couscous, lemon and oil.  The lunch selection includes an udon noodle bowl with red Thai curry broth, and an Angus burger with Tillamook cheddar cheese.

There is something for everyone!  Kids can choose from fun creations such as sloppy joes with house-made slaw, pasta and mini crispy tacos, or a beef filet or fish for dinner.

The lounge area offers a relaxing atmosphere for small bites.  Appetizers are paired perfectly with classic cocktails, California craft beers and world-class wines. Appetizers include hot shrimp with a chilled spicy tomato shooter to duck confit sliders with apricot conserve, watercress, crisp onions and Taleggio cheese.

One of the wonderful things about The Carthay Circle Restaurant is that each guest who orders an appetizer and entrée or an entrée and dessert will receive complimentary, center-stage viewing for the “World of Color” nighttime, water spectacular on Paradise Pier Bay. Lunch guests and guests who have dinner before 7 p.m. will receive tickets to the first “World of Color” show; guess who dine after 7 p.m. will receive tickets to the second show.

Don’t miss this extraordinary culinary journey next time you visit Disney’s California Adventure.  Hours are from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

For reservations: 714-781-DINE or email dine@disneyland.com with date, time and contact information.

To give you a sneak peek to what to expect, Chef Sutton has shared with us his recipe for Halibut Ceviche. This is the perfect dish for the warm summer months.  Enjoy!

Halibut Ceviche

Halibut Ceviche with Avocado, Tomatillo-Cilantro Essence, and Crisp Plantain Chips

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Disney California Adventure® Par

Serves 4 to 6

Halibut Ceviche

  • 1/2 pound sushi-grade halibut, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 pound yellowtail, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Generous pinch coarse salt

Tomatillo-Jalapeño Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced with seeds
  • 3 tomatillos, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Coarse salt, to taste

Plantain Chips

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 green plaintain, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Coarse salt, to taste

For Serving

  • Halibut ceviche, drained
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 Haas avocado, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 julienned radishes, for garnish
  • 1 thinly sliced red jalapeño, for garnish
  • Micro-cilantro, for garnish

For halibut ceviche:

Mix together ingredients in a glass bowl, stirring to coat fish. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.

For tomatillo-jalapeño sauce:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add jalapeños and tomatillos, cover with water and simmer until tomatillo is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and drain.
  2. Puree mixture with cucumber and cilantro in a blender. Strain through a fine strainer and season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For plantain chips:

  1. Preheat 1 inch of oil in a deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat to 350˚F.
  2. Slice plaintains into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
  3. Add to oil in batches and fry until golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Spritz with lime juice and season with salt.

To serve:

  1. Drain ceviche and stir together with tomato, cucumber, half of chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice of 1 lime, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix avocado, onion, remaining chopped cilantro, remaining lime juice, remaining olive oil, and salt.
  3. To serve, spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of tomatillo-jalapeño sauce onto each plate. Top each with equal amounts of avocado salad, then ceviche. Garnish with radishes, jalapeño slices, and micro cilantro. Serve with crispy plantains and lime wedges.

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