Two weeks ago, I attended a media tasting at Five Crowns Restaurant in Corona Del Mar in honor of their 50th Anniversary. I have been a long time admirer of Five Crowns. My husband and I have been to the restaurant on numerous occasions to celebrate different milestones in our lives – anniversaries, birthdays, new jobs, and more.
But did you know that Five Crowns is more than just a special occasion destination? It is also a fantastic restaurant to visit any day of the week with your family and friends. For example, Five Crowns is a nice place to go for a lunch date with a girlfriend or to savor a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day or to enjoy one of their well-know traditional desserts such as the Apple Crumble.
In November, Five Crowns unveiled their new winter menu for restaurant patrons. At the 50th Anniversary tasting, I was able to preview and sample a variety of these new and classic dishes.
First, we gathered for cocktails and enjoyed the ambience of the Brighton Room, otherwise known as the Speakeasy.
Back in the day, Speakeasies were hidden sections of an establishment that were used to sell alcoholic beverages during Prohibition. Some speakeasies were similar to today’s clubs, as there was singing and jazz performances. To enter a speakeasy, one would need to say a password to the doorperson so that the doorperson would know whether or not they were really secret agents. The word “speakeasy” came from a bartender’s term: people were supposed to “speak easy” when at a bar, meaning not to draw any suspicion towards buying alcoholic beverages by looking nervous or talking quickly.
To enter Five Crown’s Speakeasy, all you have to do is learn the secret password and you too can enter on the first Friday of the month!
After spending some time in the Brighton Room, we ventured downstairs for the main event. With each tasting, we were served a complimentary wine pairing to go along with the dish.
For the first course, I tried a cup of Five Crown’s Butternut Squash Soup prepared with maple-glazed pancetta. If you are searching for that perfect comfort food this winter, look no further. The Butternut Squash Soup is a great option for staying warm and satiated.
Next was a lightly plated Mediterranean Sea Bass prepared with shrimp, cauliflower florets, caper brown butter and chervil. It was divine! Each bite simply melted in my mouth. I also liked the pairing of the 2011 Principi di Butera, Nero d’Avla, Sicilia DOC with the Mediterranean Sea Bass.
After the sea bass, I sampled a magnificent culinary dish called the Fall Vegetable Lasagna, created by Steve Kling, Executive Chef of Five Crowns and SideDoor.
Chef Kling grew up eating southern American and Filipino cuisine and fondly recalls watching his grandmothers transform raw ingredients into beloved family dishes. These early encounters with food sparked a passion for creative cooking that ultimately led to achieving Executive Chef titles at multiple restaurants. Drawn to the institution of Five Crowns and the concept of SideDoor, Chef Kling joined the Lawry’s family group in 2010. Once again he applied his strong work ethic and creativity to his food, which earned him the title Executive Chef in late 2014.
The Fall Vegetable Lasagna is created with housemade pasta, braised kale, mushrooms, arugula and parmigiano. The lasagna had a fresh homemade aroma about it and reminded me of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen during the cold winter months in North California. I thank Chef Kling for bringing back these sweet memories of my time with my grandmother.
The final main course of the evening was the Deckle Steak. It was by far my favorite dish of the night! The delicious sweet potato coins, haricot vert and herb butter served alongside the steak were great attributes.
To end the evening on a high note yearning for more, Chef Kling served up a classic warm Apple Crumble with Straus vanilla bean ice cream. Bon Appetite!
Five Crowns is open Mon – Thur: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Fri – Sat: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm and Sun: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Reservations are recommended, but not required.
Five Crowns is located at 3801 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, CA 92625, 949.760.0331.