Fresh Catch of the Day @ Carnation Cafe

Price: $18.00

When: August 19, 2017, 1:15 PM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Not recommended

Sharif, Tracy, Elaine and I are at Disneyland. It’s been a while since Sharif’s last visit to the park, and Tracy has never been. Consequently, Elaine and I are trying to help them find the good stuff, and a good time. We make lunch reservations at Carnation Cafe, and, after arriving, are seated at a four-top.

Carnation is one of the best restaurants in the park. It’s got comfort food, a relaxed atmosphere, and great quality. It offers plenty of recommended options, and even claims a standout (the fried pickles). We’re pretty sure our friends will find something they’ll like.

I start browsing the menu, looking for items we’ve not reviewed yet. I spot the “Fresh Catch of the Day.”

That’ll do nicely.

The catch, as it turns out, is salmon. The presentation feels … small. It’s a compact piece of fish, sitting on a bed of barley, and accompanied by some broccoli and a swipe of tomato basil sauce. The whole thing feels … shrunken, especially when compared to the portion of food on everyone else’s plates.

No matter. Let’s try this.

The fish isn’t great. It’s a tad overcooked, and surprisingly salty. They’ve clearly seared it with salt and pepper, but too much, and for too long. The broccoli has been done to the point of sogginess. The barley is only there, near as I can tell, for texture. And the tomato-basil sauce is OK, but doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the dish.

I wanted to like this dish, but couldn’t get there. The fish needs less salt, and more moisture; the accompaniments need to do more work, and be better-calibrated to the fish. I didn’t finish this. I certainly wouldn’t order it again.

Not recommended.