A long time ago, I was a guest a Five Crowns. I remember the Old English decor and servers dressed in period costumes serving me food at a large round table. They should have kept it that way.
Not remembering that the restaurant changed hands some time ago, I thought it would be a good place to revisit during restaurant week. Although the service was fairly good from the wait staff, it was a below average dining experience.
First off, there are two options for parking here. You can park on the street for free, or use the adjacent valet lot for $4. You walk across the small residential street to get to the entrance, which is no big deal, but the purpose of valet parking is defeated when it doesn’t put you right at the front doors.
There was a sign on the side of the restaurant that says “Sidedoor.” Not realizing that it’s a separate gastropub located in the same building, we walked in and told the host about our reservations. It probably happens often, because he directed us down the hall where a few young girls were working the reception area of the actual restaurant. The girls cooed over our daughter and then directed us over to our table. Once inside, I realized that there was no longer any Old English decor and costuming, so I was a bit disappointed. I was kind of looking forward to the cheese.
We came for crab cakes. The waitress told us they were sold out. We thought that maybe they had a limited supply dedicated to sell for the restaurant week menu, so when she came back we asked if they were available to order from the regular menu. She gave us a little attitude, treating us as if we were stupid, “Sold out is sold out.” Ugh!
Halfway through our meal, the waitress came back to inform us that they were out of creme brulee and they would have to substitute it with an ice cream sundae. With the crab cakes, I can understand having a limited supply of crab meat. Now, I was starting to smell a lazy kitchen staff or a poor supply chain. Needless to say, for the mediocre food I won’t be coming back anytime soon.
Five Crowns – Corona Del Mar
The menu is what drew us here.
The Sidecar was decent. I love Mexi-Coke and was pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant serving a Mexi-Sprite. I don’t believe in the health debate over high fructose corn syrup, but it just tastes better with real sugar.
What a Sidecar is.
Some rolls and bread made with star anise. I think they were a little heavy handed on the star anise. The sea salt on the side was a little weird.
The ingredients on the salad were all fresh, but it was overdressed and too lemony.
Beautifully presented. I only had a spoonful and it wasn’t memorable.
I think this is the “California Cut” on their regular menu. Served with creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding (the bread puff thing). The prime rib was OK. I’m not sure if it’s a normal thing, but I really didn’t like that the waitress took it upon herself to douse my meat in Au Jus. The creamed corn was delicious, the gravy tasted like it came out of a jar, and I don’t get the Yorkshire pudding thing at all.
A part of the porkchop was still showing a good amount of pink. We’re not complainers unless the food is completely out of line, so Jeannie just ate around it.
It was good. The golden raisins were a nice touch.
This ice cream sundae was not on the restaurant week menu. Like the crab cakes, the creme brulee we ordered was sold out. I guess it was getting towards their night so they didn’t feel like making anymore. This was our consolation prize.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews on Yelp saying that this place is a good place to go for a romantic meal. I am going to have to disagree. There are a lot of choices for intimate dining out there and this isn’t one of them. The closest you’ll get is the table by the fireplace. The food isn’t spectacular and nothing really stands out.
Five Crowns seems to have become a local dining hub for the older Newport/Coronal Del Mar crowd. If that’s your scene, by all means, but that’s when I know a restaurant has gone stale.