Getting an advanced reservation for lunch was fairly easy, with some spots available throughout the day we’d picked. We arrived a little early and the hostess asked us to take a seat on the very comfy couch for a few moments while our table was being prepared. Our first impression upon entering the main restaurant was impressive. The Hollywood Brown Derby truly still sends that classic Hollywood movie flair; elegant and classy. All I wanted to do while we were being shown to our table was stop and look at all the caricatures.
Our server was absolutely fabulous. Straightaway, she did two things which immediately told me we would be well taken care of. Firstly, she clearly already knew that my partner has a wheat intolerance but she confirmed this with us again nonetheless. She explained all of his options and pointed out that he could speak to a chef if he was uncertain about anything. Secondly, she noticed we were on the dining plan. What I did not know at the time of booking was, that for the same price of a regular dining plan meal, you could also book the Fantasmic! Dining Package. So rather than getting an entrée, a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage, we could receive the entrée, dessert and drink, but additionally get an appetizer and a VIP seating voucher for Fantasmic! Our server did point out that it was a set dessert, a trio of three miniature favourites. Overall, we agreed that we’d be getting far more for our credits with this option and she swapped us over without problems.
So now to the most important bit, the food. As usual in a table-service restaurant, we received bread to start with. I received regular rolls while my partner got the gluten-free version. I personally did not try them but he ensured me they were the nicest ones he’s had so far. The seasoned butter we got with it was delicious.
We both ended up picking the same appetizer: the crab claws. They were flavoursome and nicely presented. For our entrées, I went with chicken and he picked the beef. Both meats were cooked to perfection and everything just melted in your mouth. All the dished were well seasoned, and all the ingredients, even if simple, made a delightful meal. If you look closely on the photo, you can see the little allergy stick which they put on each of my partner’s dishes to not only ensure that he would receive the correct one, but also to show that these were prepared separately and with care from the start.
Most importantly, at least for me, is the dessert. If this isn’t good, I leave the meal feeling sad. Luckily though, this dessert was gorgeous! I was happy to learn that among the trio is the famous Grapefruit cake — their signature dish, next to the Cobb Salad. Definitely worth it! The light brûlée, the dense chocolate crémeux and the sour cake made for a varied dessert and a brilliant finish for an outstanding meal.
At the end, we were given our seating voucher – yes, these actually still come in paper form. And instead of getting there hours before the show to grab a good spot, we entered half an hour before and had a marvelous view.
The Hollywood Brown Derby is a charming restaurant with a relaxing flare. The service was on point, and our server went above and beyond to make our visit special. The price tag for the dinner package lies at $65/adult and $22/child, or two table-service credits. Given that a standard meal already costs 2 credits on the plan, I believe the package is certainly a better value for your money. When it comes to standard dining, it obviously depends on your appetite and choices; however, given our experience, I would still recommend it. Surely, not something to do every time you visit the Brown Derby, if you go regularly, but for a special little treat. But no matter how you decide, do try the Grapefruit cake!