The LaughingPlace Store
Disneyland Hotel's Hook's Pointe Restaurant Review
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The day after Hook's Pointe opened to the public, the LaughingPlace.com staff had their first dinner there. Subsequently, Indigo wrote this review of the Disneyland Resort's newest restaurant.
Disneyland Hotel Opens Latest in Food Fare. Hook's Pointe offers well designed food at resort prices in an environment that is wondrously themed.
- Open Nightly 5pm to 10pm. Should be opening soon for lunch as well
- Located at the former location of the Shipyard Inn which is directly behind the south end of the Sierra tower next to the Lost Bar and Tinkerbell's Treasures.
- Reservations recommended and can be obtained by calling (714) 956-6755
Last weekend I had the chance to sample the savory selections at the most recent restaurant on the scene at Disneyland resort. On the night I attended Hook's Pointe a dentist's convention was in town and the place was packed. Which is amazing since the restaurant is a little hard to find; tucked away, as it is, behind construction walls for the soon to open Neverland Pool. Hooks' occupies the building of the former Shipyard Inn and therefore has a lot to live up to. Thankfully all expectations were met or exceeded.
I arrived a few minutes before 7pm and am glad I did. The wait time for tables was already 40 minutes. When the rest of my party arrived at 7:10pm we huddled near a space heater for warmth. At 7:30, ten minutes before the estimated wait time, a host dressed in a red "pirates" jacket came over to escort us into the dining room.
Immediately upon entry you are exposed to unique Neverland Island flavors. The grand entry of glass etched waves guide you toward the open kitchen area. Watch out! That glass in front of the mesquite grill might be hot. The carpets contain crystal blue colors of the Caribbean sea. Those colors then rise up the wall to meet with earth tones, whimsically carved and themed wood, and brass sculpture. Don't forget to spot the signature Neverland map on the ceiling.
Space in the dining room is very limited. The close seating that results, combined with the sounds coming from the open air kitchen, raises the volume of Hook's Pointe. There are always staff moving nearby navigating carefully amongst the tables; therefore carrying a conversation requires slightly louder than normal tones. That said, once the food arrived at the table, everything else can be forgiven.
Bread arrived at our table with the drinking water. The basket contained four tasty varieties. I was particularly struck with the cornbread. The cheese bread, though a little tough, was wonderful too. We started our meal with some Bruschetta. The surprise here is the olive tapenade (spread) it comes with. My only complaint was the small number of bread slices that accompanied this appetizer. The Bruschetta was $6.50.
Two of us sampled the Wild-Mushroom Soup. It was advertised on the menu as being vegetarian. When it came to the table, it was clear from the color and the smell that some meat stock had been used. I had mine returned to the kitchen and its price was deducted from the final bill with no questions asked. I was also assured by more than one supervisor that the menu would be changed to accurately reflect what was vegetarian (no meat stock) and what wasn't. The soup was $4.75.
For my meal I had the Day-Boat Scallops. The menu describes them as "always fresh, never frozen sea favorites with cumin basmati rice, chili oil and saffron cream." I didn't taste any of the chili oil, but the scallops where surprisingly tender and flavorful. The saffron sauce was served on the side so I could control how much I wanted on each bite, a nice touch. The cumin basmati rice also had a surprising taste and texture to it that seemed odd at first but grew on me as the meal went on. The cost of this meal was $21.50.
I was able to sample the salmon dish one of my fellow guests enjoyed. The salmon is already the most popular creation and it is easy to see why. The flavor, texture, and temperature were all perfect. Like the scallops, the sauce was served on the side. And the Garlic Potatoes made a perfect compliment to the seafood. With the main courses demolished we moved onto dessert.
With all the desserts available for under $5.00 we decided to try one of each. One of each means: Warm Chocolate Souffle Cake with toasted pistachio ice cream; Golden Delicious Apple Tartin Creamy vanilla bean ice cream, topped with warm caramel sauce; Creme Brulee Trio A sweet melody of chocolate, vanilla and coffee; and Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding Enlivened with Wild Turkey Bourbon vanilla sauce. If these descriptions don't make you want to run out and visit Hook's Pointe right away, take my word on it, the desserts are worth the price of admission.
In addition to those desserts there is also a selection of sorbets and cookies. Sharing a cookie plate and some coffee might be the perfect way to end the evening. If wine is more your style the selection is varied and recommendations are made for each entree. Something unique about the wine list is that all glasses one price, same for bottles.
The night on which we went was a soft opening. The menu was still undergoing revisions and the table service was being fine tuned. A few items on the menu seemed a little over board to me. Although I found my meal enough food, Hook's has a selection of sides you can order for $3.25 each. For the price I paid, I felt the side should have been included in the meal. Also, the restroom availability is limited, a problem with the Shipyard Inn as well.
Our total cost for three meals, four desserts, three soft drinks, one appetizer, and one soup was just under $100.00. Certainly not the cheapest meal at the resort. That price lands it in the range between PCH Grill and Granville's. Not affordable enough for every week, but quality enough to be perfect for that special dinner.
-- John Frost