When standing in front of Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure, you will notice three entrance doors. The two on the left lead you into the restaurant while the one on the right takes you somewhere very, very special.
, a private lounge reserved for Club 33 Platinum Members and their guests, is perhaps one of the most tranquil spots in all of Disney California Adventure. A variety of eats and treats are served here, which are also served at Carthay Circle Lounge (a spot that all park guests can access — no membership needed there).
With a simple 1901 plaque at its entrance, behind the door is a spectacular space filled with historic mementos that Walt himself would’ve probably chosen to put on display.
As with Carthay Circle Restaurant, when you walk into 1901, you are immediately taken back to the 1930’s. The colors, decor and furniture are inviting, almost as if you are walking into someone’s home.
The lounge is divided into two areas.
On one side of the room you’ll find comfy couches surrounded by some chairs, loveseats, and a few little tables with chairs.
On this same side of the room there are also a few cozy spots for parties of two. I love these big leather chairs that are tucked away in the back corner.
The other side is where you’ll see small tables with chairs and the gorgeous bar where one can easily imagine Walt sitting down and enjoying a glass of his favorite after work indulgence, scotch and water.
Or if you don’t want to picture Walt with alcohol, maybe he’s drinking his lunch time favorite, orange juice…
The detailed decor here at 1901 is really and truly amazing. It is obvious that every piece was well thought out and placed with pride.
My favorite items of decor are on the shelves in what I call the “family room” side of 1901. The shelves are lined with memorabilia that Walt might have placed himself. There’s a replica of his private plane, vintage Mickey and Minnie dolls, lots of books, and other treasures such as these cute Matryoshka nesting dolls.
The walls of 1901 are adorned with amazing photographs of everything from Walt’s baby photo and the original Carthay Circle Theatre, to Walt working with his staff and much much more.
One of my favorites is this large photo depicting some sort of office meeting with Walt and his team. Every single guy is smiling. Just makes me wonder what kind of awesomeness had just happened…
Another amazing detail? A few of the frames are digital and change right in front of your very eyes. This uses the same technology that can be found on the Disney Fantasy and Dream cruise ships.
A wall that I know is a big hit with guests is the wall that hosts the portable martini cart. Not only do martinis (and everything else on this cart) make people happy, but the tribute to Disney’s 9 Old Men makes people smile even more.
I have a handful of favorite items inside of 1901. First is the gorgeous stained glass lamp.
Second is a side table with a very fun Hidden Mickey made of crocheted doilies!
This side table also contains a hilarious memo nixing belly buttons on Disney characters!
And last but not least, the phone chargers that sit atop several tables around the room. My phone can always use a power boost!
And, before I get to what you’ve been waiting for, the food, there’s one last detail that I’d like to add. The fabulous wallpaper on the ceiling. I just love the dragonfly-spiderweby motif. The pattern is fab and so are the colors.
OK, on to the food!
Now, for those of you thinking, “Why are you sharing all this yummy food from a place I can’t get into!?!” don’t fret. Remember that although you may not have an “in” to 1901, the food offered here is also available at the Carthay Circle Lounge right next door. Everyone is allowed in there at any time!
First up, when you sit down at 1901 you are immediately greeted by a fabulous server who offers you “house olives.” I myself am not an olive fan, but my husband is and he LOVES them.
There is no charge for house olives. It’s their version of a bread basket!
There are three menus at 1901. There’s an “eats” menu that is divided into Bites, Snacks, Rolls & Small Plates, as well as a very extensive Children’s Menu followed by a “Finger Desserts” menu.
Let’s check out the main eats first…
“Bites” Section of the Menu
Fortunately I have been lucky enough to sample just about everything on the menu, so you guys are in for a treat today! From the bites portion of the menu, let’s start with the Santa Monica Deviled Eggs and Chilled Watermelon Skewers.
The Santa Monica Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Creme Fraiche are quite tasty. However, if you are looking for your Grandma’s traditional deviled eggs, these are not at all those.
These have almost a tart taste with the lemon, and the salmon is a very light flavor. I really enjoyed them, but they are for sharing. There’s no way I could eat more than one or two at a sitting.
The Chilled Watermelon Skewers with Mango Lime Sorbet are one of my favorite items. They are a fun, healthier alternative for dessert, and consist of a juicy cube of cold watermelon with a perfect mini scoop of mango lime sorbet on top.
If you do order these, I recommend eating them immediately or order them just before you are ready for them. The sweet yet tart sorbet melts quickly.
“Snacks” Section of the Menu
From the “Snacks” section of the menu, you’ve got three different options: The Vietnamese Twice Cooked Beef Tacos, Warm Spanish Pimentos, and Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs.
My absolute favorite item on the entire menu are the Vietnamese Twice Cooked Beef Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Mint Salsa. Not only is the presentation perfect, the portion size is great for a stand alone meal.
The beef on these has an amazing flavor — it has a bit of a kick, but not at all what I’d consider spicy. Plus, the sweetness of the pineapple mint salsa tones it down a bit. The dish comes with four mini tacos served in a fun stainless steel taco tray. This is my go-to dish at 1901.
Next up we have the Warm Spanish Pimentos with Imported Chorizo, Mahon Cheese, Pine Nuts & Sultanas. This dish was very interesting; I’ve never had anything like it and was a bit scared of it to be honest with you. To my surprise though, it was really nice.
The Pimentos were served warm, stuffed with all of the said ingredients. The chorizo had great flavor, and was not spicy at all. I love pine nuts, so they’re always welcome in my meals.
Also, I had no idea what a sultana was, so I looked it up and apparently it’s a fancy word for a grape/raisin.
The Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs were also a hit in our dinner party. Served with Tzatziki and Pepperoncini, the meatballs come skewered between crouton-like cubes of bread. They were devoured.
“Rolls” Section of the Menu
Moving on to the Rolls, we have 4 options: The Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll, the Spicy Chicken Roll, the Warm Barbecue Pork Roll, and the Ebi Shrimp Roll. Of these four rolls, I have personally tried two of them.
The Warm Barbecue Pork Roll is served with Crispy Onions, Pea Shoots, Daikon (white radish), and Sesame Paper. This roll is amazing.
The pork is sweet and the crisp onions compliment the flavor perfectly. I also love the sticky rice in this dish. I’d say this was most definitely one of my favorite items.
Although I tried the Spicy Chicken, I do not have a photograph of it. I will tell you this, though, it had way too much cilantro for my liking.
A friend of mine ordered both the Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll & the Ebi Shrimp Roll. The Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll is served with sweet Cashew Tamarind Sauce while the Ebi Shrimp Roll contains Red Jalapeno, Soy, Lemon Aioli, Avocado & Cucumber.
I didn’t try them, but both plates were empty at the end of the meal. So if you’re a seafood roll fan, order away!
“Small Plates” Section of the Menu
The Small Plates portion of the menu includes Jumbo Asparagus, a Butcher’s Plate as well as Duck Confit Sliders, and the Market Soup of the Season.
I love love love asparagus, pine nuts, and parmesan, so when I saw the Jumbo Asparagus on the menu, I knew it would make me happy. The dish is served with American Prosciutto, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Parmesan Aioli. Heaven on a plate.
Another tasty menu item? The Duck Confit Sliders. Before trying Carthay’s Firecracker Duck Wings, I was not a duck fan. Cooked in the same kitchen, I thought I’d give these sliders a try — and I’m so glad I did! They are really amazing.
Served as a pair of two, the sliders are garnished with Apricot Conserve, Watercress, Crisp Onions, & Taleggio Cheese. Pretzel type buns are the perfect accompaniment, and they arrive to your table warm with perfectly melted cheese.
I have not tried the Butcher’s Plate nor the Market Soup of the Season…yet!
The Children’s Menu at 1901 is the exact menu that is served in the Carthay Circle Lounge. Technically, it is for “guests” ages 9 and under, but at 1901 they let adults order from it, no questions asked.
I’m not sure about the policy at Carthay’s lounge, but I’m telling you, every single item on this menu is top notch and delicious.
When I ordered the Grilled American Cheese Sandwich, it was not served with the veggie Crudite Chips and Ranch. It was even better because it came with a cup of tomato soup. Yes. Please.
The sandwich is served on mini sourdough slices and is perfect for dipping. It also come with a side of really nice fresh fruit. And when I say nice I mean no honeydew or cantaloupe — we’re talking blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and orange slices. Yum!
The Mini Hot Dogs are also amazing. Described as “wrapped with puff pastry,” really we’re talking Pigs in a Blanket. You know the awesome ones your mom used to make with the Pillsbury canned dough? Yeah. Those.
Here they are served with a “Trio of Dipping Sauces” which consist of ketchup, mustard & BBQ Sauce. The Mini Hot Dogs also come with a small side of fresh fruit. Another practically perfect meal.
Next up? The Udon Noodle Bowl with Beef, Snow Peas and Broccoli. This one is also fabulous, but I’m saying that as an adult, not a kid. I know my kids wouldn’t eat this; it’s the same beef used in the tacos on the regular menu, and it has a bit of a kick to it.
The flavor is amazing and this is actually one of my husband’s favorite dishes.
And finally the last entree on this menu, the Mini Crispy Chicken Tacos with Black Beans, Rice, and Grated Cheese. Seriously, so good.
Two cute little tacos served up with generous portions of black beans and rice along with a small side of fresh fruit. I honestly believe that the Carthay Lounge/1901 Children’s Menu is the best menu for kids in the park.
Both kids and adults have plenty of desserts to choose from. The “Adult” Menu has a dessert page with four sweet items entitled “Finger Desserts.”
I was really looking forward to the Trio of Cake Pops, but once they were in front of me and I tried them, I really wasn’t all that impressed. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious, but for $9, just not spectacular.
The three flavors include Double Dark Chocolate Chunk, Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake, and Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. All of the cake pops were moist and the cheesecake was very smooth. My favorite pop was definitely the Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake. I also thought it was the most unique flavor of the three.
The Mini Mousse Cones are my favorite item on the Finger Desserts menu. Again served as a trio, you get three adorable little cones served on a fun arched acrylic display.
The cones come in Chocolate Fudge Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache, Coconut Lemon Custard Snow Ball, & Tiramisu with Frangelico Chantilly and Hazlenut Brittle. The Chocolate Fudge and Salted Caramel, and Coconut Lemon Custard were my favorites. Such a great idea to serve up the mousse in mini sugar cones. I love this dessert!
The Chocolate Truffles and Assorted Petit Cookies are really nothing to write home about. Two tasty items, but for the price, you’re way better off going with the Mousse, Cake Pops, or Kid’s Menu desserts.
For $8 you can get a “Duo” (yes, only two) of Chocolate Truffles. One dark and one milk. They are good, but not $4 each good. AND I apologize for the photos, apparently I’m not great at photographing chocolates or cookies.
The Assorted Petit cookies will also set you back 8 bones, so unless you’re a big fancy cookie fan, these aren’t for you. Normally I AM a cookie fan, but these were not the soft chewy types of cookies I’m fond of. More like macarons and dry crunchy style cookies as well as two of the chocolate chocolate chip cookies that are used in the kid’s ice cream sandwich (which are yummy!).
ANNNNND…the desserts on the kids’ menu rock!
I love the Green Apple Caramel Parfait Push Pop. It’s a fun “Push Up” style dessert (think orange Flintstones ones) but with alternating layers of green apple and lemon raspberry sorbet, and caramel. Such a fun and unique treat.
Chocolate lover? The Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich will be right up your alley. Two chocolate cookies sandwich a generous portion of chocolate ice cream. The whole thing is served with chocolate dipping sauce. Chocolate x 3!
Although I’ve never tried the Seasonal Berries with Whipped Cream, I’m sure they are fantastic. But personally, Push Pop trumps berries…
I absolutely love 1901. Its atmosphere can’t be beat and the menu is wonderful too. The fact that you can get all of these great eats right next door at Carthay Circle Lounge is really nice.
AND Just for fun. If you’re in the area, see if you can spot this awesome & very Hidden Mickey on the ground in front of the 1901 door.
I can’t wait to hear your reviews and feedback on this 1901/Carthay Circle Lounge menu!
Have you been lucky enough to step into 1901 or have you tried any of the menu items at the Carthay Circle Lounge? Do you ever order off the kid’s menu, or is it just me? Let me know in the comments below!