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Catal Restaurant at the Downtown Disney District encompasses everything you need for a night of fine dining at the Disneyland Resort. No park admission is required and guests can park for free (with validation) at the Downtown Disney parking lot.
I am still in awe over our experience at Catal Restaurant at the Downtown Disney District. My husband and I invited our friends to join us for a double date at Catal in Downtown Disney and the four of us had an amazing time. None of us had ever been to Catal, so everything was completely new. After a day of touring Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Resort Hotels, we headed home to freshen up and then came back for our dinner reservation. View our entire series on best places to eat at Downtown Disney here.
Catal Restaurant: Basics
If you’ve been to Downtown Disney, I bet you’ve walked right by Catal without even noticing it. Their quick service UVA Bar in the center of Downtown Disney’s walkway area kinda pulls the attention away, but nestled above it all is where the spotlight really shines—Catal.
Catal Restaurant is elegant, old world romance with Mediterranean and California fare infused with tastes of Spain. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and reservations are recommended. You’ll head in the door and go upstairs to check in. Make reservations online or by calling 714-781-3463.
Catal Restaurant: Atmosphere
Catal is fine dining, but being in the middle of the busy Disneyland Resort, guests can enjoy a meal in anything from casual to cocktail attire. They know that people may be coming from the parks for a break and what you’re wearing is just fine at Catal.
Seating is spaced appropriately so you’ll really feel like you have your own area to converse and visit. We hardly noticed the other company around us and felt like we had plenty of space to ourselves. On top of that, the wait staff was on point, attentive and exactly what you would expect at a fine dining establishment.
The decor is elegant and sophisticated with dim lighting and rich colors. Catal is an excellent choice for couples or groups who’ve been enjoying Disneyland all day but want to slow down for a bit. You’ll quickly forget you’re surrounded by Disneyland and California Adventure’s crowds and lines when dining at Catal.
Catal Restaurant: Menu
One of the best parts about Catal was its impressive menu with fresh ingredients, Spanish inspired cuisine and familiar favorites. The prices are inline with a fine dining experience and the atmosphere is simply perfect for a special date night, anniversary or event.
Don’t forget, Catal hosts Happy Hour with daily specials from 3 to 5 pm.
Catal Restaurant: Drinks
Catal has an extensive drink list along with bar seating inside. As always, I opted for the mocktail variety. I am a huge lover of Mojitos and really anything with fresh mint, so I tried their Berry Mojito which was deliciously fresh and flavorful.
Catal Restaurant: Appetizers
We began our meal with Stuffed Piquillo Peppers which is a sweet red pepper stuffed with goat cheese, pine nuts, currant and herbs. If I’ve used the word “fresh” too many times to describe the food at Catal, that is simply the standard they set. This was my favorite appetizer choice and suggested by our server for good reason.
The chef also sent over a second appetizer, Ahi Bruschetta. This appetizer features blackened pacific ahi, Mediterranean salsa, avocado, Sriracha, and balsamic reduction. Beyond a beautiful display, it tasted superb!
Catal Restaurant: Main Course
Moving on to the main course of the evening, we each selected a different dish and not one of us was disappointed. Be aware that because everything is so fresh, some menu items may not be available later in the evening.
Famous for their Paellas, my friend ordered the traditional version with mussels, shrimp, clams, roasted chicken, chorizo de bilbao, saffron bombs rice and peas.
Also at our table was an order of Diver Scallops (butternut squash puree, mushrooms, crispy kale, olive vinaigrette) and Slow Roasted Prime Rib.
As I typically do when eating out, I ordered fish. This time I went with the Alaskan Halibut. It was slightly overdone and less flaky on the inside, but the crispy texture of the outside made it all work together.
Catal Restaurant: Sides & Dessert
We decided to share two side dishes among the four of us—Bacon Mac’n’Cheese and the chef’s suggestion, Potato Gratin.
We were excited to try a little comfort food in the mac’n’cheese but the white cheddar lacked an impression. It was the only thing we didn’t completely finish.
The Potato Gratin on the other hand we could have easily handled a second serving, it was so delicious!
While we were certainly reaching capacity, we could not pass up dessert.
Three out of four chose Creme Brûlée and I went with a sorbet. Judging by the lack of pictures, it’s safe to say the Creme Brûlée was a hit. I managed to snag this last photo of my sorbet before I finished it off and called it a night.
Unlike the rush of the Disneyland parks, we felt completely at ease at Catal. I highly recommend booking a reservation during your next Disneyland visit. Set the time aside to unwind and relax while enjoying some incredible culinary delights and fine service. You may even catch the Disneyland fireworks from the balcony seating area if you time it right.
We love exploring different restaurants near Disneyland, at Downtown Disney and of course, inside the parks. Let us know when you dine at Catal Restaurant, we want to hear what you think of one of our top picks for dining at Downtown Disney.