<font color=navy>Shoot, I think they're all good - it depends on your preferences....
I'll try & name them off, going from the Disneyland/DCA parks towards the Disneyland Hotel.
<b>La Brea Bakery</b>
Outside seating (I think there may be some indoor seating). I like eating breakfast here - bagels, rolls, cereal (I think), etc. I remember seeing stuff like quiche, salads, sandwiches, etc. They have outdoor patio seating - nice for the morning. I like their lunches, but I think the taste may be too sophisticated for kids - kind of a European flavor in my opinion.
Italian fare with oven baked pizza - you can eat indoors or outdoors. Upstairs is fine dining - classier dress and more $
Michelle or Tina, or another regular would have to tell you about this one. They have indoor dining down & upstairs, as well as a lounge/bar outside in the middle of dtd.
<b>House of Blues</b>
I've never eaten here - but very popular
<b>Y Arriba Y Arriba</b>
My kids love this place. They have a very limited menu with entrees, and they have an extensive tapa (appetizer) selection from various Latin countries. There is entertainment - singing and the house dancers perform - it's very nice.
This is very popular w/cajun cuisine. Very nice ambience, delicious food - fine dining and more $ upstairs. There is also a smaller take-out type place with cajun food on the side.
Same as the other ones - this is set in a Mayan temple
Burgers, etc., in a sports setting, of course.
<b>GRAND CALIFORNIAN HOTEL</b>
Probably my favorite restaurant @ DLR, especially on a cool evening.
Elite dining (= lots of $... but worth it, from what I hear)
Counter service type - good food, not as much $$
Fave #2 - we really like this restaurant - and ask for the chocolate cake souffle thingy for dessert. It's to die for (but takes them a few minutes to fix up. There's a wine cellar below, though I haven't been
<b>Crocs & Bits</b>
Burgers, nachos, etc., and you can grab a drink there, too at Lost Boys Bar - nice
I haven't been here, but it looks nice from the outside
Character dining - buffet --- I think it's worth every penny for the food that is served
<b>PARADISE PIER HOTEL</b>
There's another restaurant here, but the name escapes me....
<b>PCH Grill</b> (thanks, Tina)
California type cuisine, I think
Besides these, there is a pretzel place, ice cream, etc.....
Wow! That was such an amazing post by Mary Jo, that I'll just expand upon a few things.
La Brea Bakery:
The Bakery is really two restaurants - A full service place on the right and a quick stop cafe through the doors with seating on the left. I agree with everything said, however I did want to point out one thing. At the counter service portion, the peanut butter & jelly kids meal is an awesome value. (It even filled me up.) For about $5 (the exact amount escapes me) you get a HUGE PB&J sandwich on Sourdough bread (the bread is cut the long way to give you an idea of its size) as well as an adult's portion of fries. Not a bad meal after the parks to eat in the car ride home.
Catal is really two restaurants, sort of like the La Brea Bakery - the Uva Bar outside and the upstairs dining. The Uva Bar is a great place to people watch and the Calimari is great. Catal itself is a bit fancy, and a table at night by the window can be quite romantic.
House of Blues is almost always crowded in my experience, but the portions are large and the food is good.
PCH Grill is the one restaurant that was missed, and the food is pretty good, but for the price, I feel that I get better values elsewhere.
Yamabuki is one of my favorite places, especially the sushi bar. Here in California, we have a pretty popular chain called Sushi Factory. The sushi is far better here, and get this...CHEAPER than a lot of other places. The high quality, delicious California rolls are 8 for $5 - Not bad. Also, don't be fooled by the high cost of your meal here. It is really a feast. We got the Teriyaki Chicken not knowing that it would come with 2 chicken breasts, rice, tempura, sushi, miso soup, and some fresh veggies...very good.
Again, major props to Mary Jo for her awesome post.
<font color=navy>Try their corn chowder - it's delicious. They have a buffet for about $23 or so - I can't eat enough to justify that, but my ds loves it. They also have good pasta that I really like. For lunch, I had the chicken quesadilla appetizer ($8), and it was delicious and filling for me. I don't remember the meat entrees, though they do have prime rib as part of their buffet ... oooh, and strawberries dipped in chocolate. yum
The last time I went I had the buffet (was starving after being stuck in traffic while coming in on a Friday night). It was very good, however, because of the price I suggest you're very hungry That night they were serving prime rib, lamb, salad, a bunch of sides and entrees. One time I had their spaghetti marinara and it was really good. Their brownie/sundae dessert is awesome! I love the ST Cafe, and I would suggest anyone who goes to Disneyland eats there
I love Ralph Brennans side take-out place, and most of the time when it's lunch I leave the park to eat there. I had a really good Cajun Turkey PoBoy and their Beignets are great
House of Blues is pretty good, but we had to wait for an hour and you can only wait in line. (they don't have a name call system) We have one here in Las Vegas, so we know they have good food, otherwise I probably wouldn't have waited so long. My favorite item there is an appetizer where you get 6 jumbo shrimp, a piece of their really good cornbread and they pour some sort of beer consentrated sauce over it. So yummy that sometimes I eat that for my meal.
If I could only go to one, I'd probably pick Storyteller Cafe - personal choice.
For your dining experience, I think Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen would be an excellent choice for food & atmosphere <i>Cajun type cuisine</i>.
If you want entertainment w/your food, I would choose Y Arriba Y Arriba, order various tapas, and share them amongst yourselves while you enjoy the show Latin food.
If you want nice patio dining (let's say it's an evening & the weather is good and you want good food) then I'd say NaplesItalian food.
If you want American food, then Storyteller Cafe @ Grand Californian Hotel or Hooks Pointe at Disneyland Hotel. They're both very good in my opinion.
As a side note... the Grand Californian is next to Downtown Disney, Disneyland Hotel is at the end of DTD, and the Paradise Pier is a little further than Disneyland Hotel. They are all within very easy walking distance.
It's funny how we all think the same at Storytellers. I too love the chicken quesadillas (ooh the fresh California chiles are soooo good), and a bowl of chowder. Fills me up, especially when the weather gets nippy. I also love the Spicy Swordfish - very yummy.
If I could eat at one place in Downtown Disney itself, it would be the Jazz Kitchen - Excellent Jumbalaya.
If I could eat one place at Disneyland Hotel, it would be Hook's Pointe - The steaks are so delish that you can still remember the taste weeks to months later.
If I could eat at one place in the Paradise Pier Hotel, it would be Yamabuki.
Now, the Grand Californian is tough, and even though I LOVE Storytellers, I would personally go with the grilled chicken sandwich at Whitewater...I just can't get enough of it. (Followed very closely by Storyteller's.)
Hey, at least I narrowed it down to 4 which is very hard for me to do, ok!
Haha, Mickman, that is a loaded question, as you can see by all the responses you have received so far! It is VERY hard to pick just one, especially because they're so different and it really depends on what kind of atmosphere and food you're looking for.
I agree with Mary Jo's opinions (except I've never been to Ralph Brennan's).
I think for overall variety and a place that doesn't really lean towards one "type" of food (Italian, South American, etc.), then Storyteller's is your best bet.
But really, they are ALL great places to eat! I would say, go to wherever suits your mood at the time! We just winged-it during our October trip and were able to walk in to all the restaurants without much wait (except for ESPN). We did notice that Y Arriba got pretty crowded when we were leaving the restaurant at about 8 p.m.