is a terrific place to dine if you’re looking for a little Hollywood Flair at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the best part is that there’s no ADR required!
San Angel Inn Restaurante
That’s right! You can saunter up to Brown Derby Lounge on a whim and experience the understated elegance and tasty menu that so many have lauded in the Brown Derby Restaurant proper.
We’ve enjoyed our visits here, where Margarita and Martini Flights rule and you almost can’t go wrong with the menu of Brown Derby Restaurant-approved eats. And with outdoor seating on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s a great place for people watching!
During a recent visit to the World, I dropped in for a few plates of food — and left having eaten the best thing I ate in my entire visit! I love being surprised by awesome food — even more so when it’s served in such a great location!
Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is a relaxed, mostly outdoor location (seats are on the patio of the Brown Derby). In the past, they have offered indoor seating at times.
Outside, tables are close, but it’s a nice little getaway for a last-minute meal or drink.
Seating is at both standard height tables and tall bar tables.
If they ARE offering inside seating on your visit, this is the gist.
But let’s get to the most important part of this!
The menu at the Brown Derby Lounge is packed with tasty beverages and app-sized bites, so it’s a fun place to try a few new-to-you things.
We love the flights here. It’s a delicious way to sample various drinky drinks! The margaritas are yum!
The eats here are listed as Small Bites, and they include The Famous Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad and the lauded Derby Original Grapefruit Cake (served as part of the Dessert Trio).
I opted for three dishes — one an old standby and two new additions.
First up, the old standby: Derby Sliders. This duo includes a beef and a duck option.
The Wagyu Beef slider is the better of the two — by far. It’s Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aïoli, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon, and Avocado. The beef is flavorful, and the toppings are balanced and high quality.
It’s a delicious burger, with that Smoked Gouda taking on a starring role.
The Duck Confit slider is okay. It’s topped with Taleggio Cheese, Chipotle-Vegetable Slaw, Sweet Onion-Orange Conserve, and crispy Leeks. Although the ingredients should be stellar, they’re just not that exciting to eat, unfortunately. There’s little spice or flavor from the Chipotle-Vegetable Slaw, and the whole thing is a little muddled.
Note that you can pay $3.00 extra to get two wagyu sliders instead of one beef and one duck. I’d recommend it.
Next up was Tamarind-Glazed Pork Belly. Any pork belly has instant appeal for me, and this one sounded great. At first glance, it had good color and some obvious moisture.
The accompaniment includes Chorizo, Plantain, Sweet Potato Hash, and Mango Pico De Gallo. I was really hoping this would wow me, but it was a little meh. It had great sweetness from the glaze, and that was compelling; but otherwise, it’s nothing special.
But the last item of the day? Guys. Seriously. Order three of these and call it a day: Andouille-Crusted Shrimp! Andouille. Crusted. Shrimp. Heaven.
I remember having this on the Brown Derby menu long ago — but then it was one jumbo shrimp. I love the three smaller shrimp here.
The spicy, flavor-packed shrimp are plated atop SUPER-flavorful Cotswold Cheddar Grits and are garnished with Micro Salad with Lime and Piment d’Espelette Oil. There’s also a dynamite slice of Andouille Sausage serving all kinds of looks and flavor.
Completely stunning in its taste and appearance. This is a must — a MUST! But you will not want to share, so just order as many as you need. 😉 Yes, at $15 a plate it’s pricey. No doubt. But SO worth it IMO.
Nosh or Not?
Get glam at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge if:
- You want to enjoy the Restaurant’s top-notch dining but couldn’t score an ADR.
- You’re letting spontaneity guide your dining and need a walk-up option.
- You love interesting dining in a not-so-in-your-face-Disney locale.
- Your kid fell asleep in her stroller and you’re ready for a margarita.
Go somewhere else if:
- You prefer a table service, dedicated indoor dining experience.
- You want the full Brown Derby Experience in the Restaurant proper.
- You just want to grab quick service and hit the Tower of Terror hard instead.
Can I have some more Andouille-Crusted Shrimp? Like, every day, all day? Please? The Brown Derby Lounge retains its appeal as a great place to drop in for a meal without an ADR, and with some outstanding food and drink options, we’ll be back! Basically tomorrow.
DFB Guide + Snacks
Are you a fan of walk-up dining? Tell us about your favorite places to dine without an ADR in the World!