5 Crowns & Side Door Host a Cocktail Party to Debut New Menu & Chef!

Now that Labor Day is past, please don’t think summer is over! It’s not. Or even if the weather does an about face, you should treat yourself to some great dining experiences–whether off the cuff at a gastropub, a mid-week spoil yourself dinner or even a weekend evening with friends — and do it at the 5 Crowns and the Side Door gastropub in Corona Del Mar. Well worth the drive and the parking, the service but more importantly, the food will absolultely slay you. The drinks will make you relax and indulge even a bit more.

Love Love LOVE the 5 Crowns! This is one of my favorite restaurants– even before the new chef and the new menu. But if you were aware of my podcast with new executive chef Greg Harrison, you can see why I was thrilled to be invited to this cocktail party. Now that I have had some tasty tid-bits of the menu and see how Chef Greg Harrison is going to approach the menu, I am going to hit both 5 Crowns and the Side Door for a couple of visits each to test drive the bar and food!! This event was just astonishing!!

The event was held on a beautifully sunny and warm early evening without an overwhelming crowd. It was lovely out in the back garden. The guests were an array of people I knew (some of whom I have worked with via PR or while I was Orange Coast’s Fashion Editor) and many I didn’t but was glad to meet.

This was the menu:

Drink courtesy of Koire Rogers, Head Barman:
English Punch:
Pimms #1, orange bitters, housemade strawberry lemon-lime soda & cucumber ribbons.
(Yummy and on the sweet side, but so tasty!)

Papa’s Daiquiri (where I started first)
Matusalem Cuban Rum (the best!!), luxard maraschino cherries, fresh lime & grapefruit juice. The perfect balance for a daiquiri.

Food courtesy of Executive Chef Greg Harrison
Cured King Salmon: spicy saurkrautcracker, stone fruit, horseradish and creme fraiche.
(yum!)

Crispy Squash Blossom: burrata cheese (addictive)

Lobster Bisque: vidalia foam, roe (heavenly!!)
Octopus Carpaccio: citrus frisee, cilantro

Salmon Tartar: hazelnuts, nettle pesto (distinctive)

Pork Belly: candied cauliflower, truffle (the most unusual presentation– bacon but not!)

Gazpacho: cucumber tomato, panino (– and so refreshing!!)

Charcuterie: dates, bacon, wild rice, Point Reyes cheese. (Delish!)

Espresso Creme Brulee: with biscotti (incredibly tasty)

Cookies and Milk — and what way to end an evening. LOVELY!! Just delightful


Greg Harrison and Jim Colombo, General Manager

I spent some time talking to Jim Colombo and it was so refreshing to see a general manager who wasn’t dressed in a suit but was more concerned about his customers having a great meal, a great experience in the restaurant. While the 5 Crowns is a tradition restaurant in the OC, it’s also now a cutting edge one as well. It’s no longer just “your grandma’s 5 Crowns”. This is a restaurant that has fantastic array of food in a variety of presentations along with a killer mixologist and the gastropub to match but just on a more relaxed vibe. It’s no longer a place just for special occasions but a place to pop into when you are too tired to cook on a Tuesday night or when you want to grab some friends and head out for an interesting meal. The food is impeccable and the service matches it.

Also I would like to thank Greg Harrison for taking the time to speak with me in person and we reviewed everything I tasted- -and how I didn’t realize I was eating octopus!! It was amazing.

Greg Harrison with Ryan O’ Melveny Wilson

Executive Chef Greg Harrison gained experience in Japanese precision and ultimate freshness at his last assignment at Morimoto Napa. Prior to that, he soaked up training from the Mina Group at Michael Mina’s Aqua at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort, and at NobHill Tavern and SEABLUE Restaurant at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his time in Vegas, Harrison also served as executive sous chef at Fiamma Trattoria & Bar at the MGM Grand under the direction of James Beard Award-winning Chef Fabio Trabocchi and Chef Michael White, who has been awarded three stars by the New York Times. Harrison began his career at Roy’s Kahana in Maui, Hawaii, after earning a Certificate of Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena.

Adding to the Five Crowns culinary expertise is Sous Chef Steven Kling, who has experience in the kitchens of Mark Peel, Katsuo Nagasawa and Thomas Keller. Also on the team is Junior Sous Chef David Moldovan, who has gained experience at a handful of popular local restaurants including K’ya Restaurant and Bar, and the Sundried Tomato American Bistro.

In May 2011, the 47-year-old Five Crowns re-opened after an unprecedented month-long closure to renovate the interior and renew the menu. While classic dinner items remain available, diners now have the choice of more progressive cuisine. Throughout the years, generations of loyal customers have returned again and again to celebrate special occasions at Five Crowns. Its greenhouse patio and beautiful English garden remain perfect settings for outdoor dining and festive events. SideDoor gastropub, recipient of Orange Coast Magazine’s “2010 Restaurant of the Year” Award, is also housed within the historic Five Crowns building; its primary entrance is on Poppy Street.

Five Crowns and SideDoor are located at 3801 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA, 92625. They are open for dinner nightly. Valet parking is available and all major credit cards are accepted. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (949) 760-0331, or online atthefivecrowns.com.

Five Crowns has earned the Automobile Club of Southern California Four-Diamond Award, the Mobil Travel Guide Four-Star Award, and the DiRoNA Award, marking it as one of the distinguished restaurants of North America. It has also received the Wine Spectator Grand Award, the Southern California Restaurant Writers’ Gold Award, and the Golden Bacchus Award for its wine list. It was singled out for “Best Hospitality” by Orange Coast magazine. Five Crowns was selected to receive the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Award™ for 2011 and 2012 as an outstanding wedding ceremony and reception venue.

Five Crowns and SideDoor are members of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining restaurants, which includes Lawry’s The Prime Rib with locations in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, and Hong Kong, and the Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles. Lawry’s Carvery, with locations in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, and at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, represents the company’s unique quick-service concept.

Stevie Wilson,
LA-Story.com

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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