Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Take the Side Door

As a family we have patronized the Five Crowns in Corona del Mar for years.  A great "English" restaurant, based on Ye Olde Bell Hurley in Berkshire, which we frequent whenever in the "home country", it has always satisfied us limey's when we were in the mood for some roast beef and Yorkshire pud.  So with friends and a gaggle of kids in tow, we decided to try out the Side Door, the newest addition to the famous Corona del Mar eatery. A self-described as English "gastropub", the Side Door is located exactly where the name implies, at the "side door" to the Five Crowns.

Seating, we found when we called ahead, is first come first serve basis.  We did mention on the phone that we had a large party and when we arrived they already had a table set-up for us, which was wonderful as we had hungry children in tow.   

The pub has a wonderful ambiance.  The decor, exposed beam ceiling, wood floring and comfy seating, a mixture of round tables with Windsor chairs set around an old fireplace and tables surrounded by sofas and soft armchairs, creates a casual and cosy "English" atmosphere.  

We found the level of service to be exemplary.  Our waiter Ryan a self-described "foodie", led us through the menu and made suggestions not only for us, but for the children as well.  While our children (aged 8-11) were the only ones in the restaurant, the atmosphere, casual and relaxed, didn't make us feel out of place. While this wouldn't be the restaurant to take wee ones, the menu offers some great options for older children like Fish'n Chips and a Stilton Cheddar Mac'n Cheese.  

According to our server the menu is constantly changing depending on the season, and the whims of the chef. The food comes out tapas style, rather than all at once, so make sure you go with people who like to share their food!  The menu is eclectic, a mix of traditional British Pub food like Fish and Chips and items including Duck Confit and Lamb Sliders with mint.  We enjoyed Pork Loin Sliders, Filet Mignon and deep friend edamame, all of which were excellent. The restaurant also has a charcuterie station with a selection of cheeses and cured meats.  In addition to a diverse food menu, the Side Door has an amazing selection of specialty beers and wines and our server helped us all make the appropriate selections to accompany our meal.

For more information about the Side Door visit their website here.  And if you are in the Corona del Mar area, be sure to give it a try. You'll be glad you did!

Notes: Pictures from Side Door.

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