Five Crowns in Corona del Mar Offers a Fresh New Menu
Five Crowns was established in 1965 as a member of the Lawry’s family of fine-dining establishments and has continued to be a landmark in the coastal Orange County culinary scene ever since. With a focus on tradition and a promise of high-quality food, we were excited to see what they have in store for the summer season. The culinary team manages to maintain the traditional meat and potatoes foundation of the menu while giving it a flavorful twist that showcases a unique culinary style.
Saute Magazine had the fantastic opportunity to taste the new menu at an event hosted by the Five Crowns team. Right as we walked in, we were greeted with talk of the excellence of the new menu and excitement to taste new flavors. With everyone gathered around gorgeous Charcuterie platters and an attentive wait staff providing chit-chatters with a summer tomato soup and Ahi Tuna on homemade rice crackers, the night was off to a wonderful start.
Surely one of the highlights of the night was watching barman Randy Thais whip up the most beautiful cocktails. “Consider the Coconut” was his signature drink of the evening, with coconut rum, Cutwater Three Sheets Rum, Montenegro Amaro, pomegranate shrub and lime juice all served over crushed ice to create the most refreshing summer cocktail. The Violet Sparkle also proved to be a crowd favorite, with its fresh lavender garnish giving a fragrant aroma with every sip.
Did You Know Moment: Five Crowns nurtures its herb and plant garden right in the back of the restaurant, which provides the garnishes and flavors to many of their dishes, including these two gorgeous drinks.
Randy applies his knowledge and creativity into every cocktail he crafts, and he takes pride in using only the freshest ingredients and skillful techniques. He even created his own cocktail called The Ugly Gentleman, which won runner-up in a National Mixology Competition. With his mesmerizing assembly of complicated cocktails and quick-witted conversation, it was truly a treat to watch him at his art.
Once we took our seats underneath the greenhouse-style ceiling that gave the atmosphere a relaxed feel, we were greeted with impeccable dishes right away.
First, a lovely summer peach and burrata salad topped with walnuts and a home-made D’anjou vinaigrette was brought around. It was the perfect combination, with the creamy burrata mixing with the ripe peaches and earthy greens. The vinaigrette added a tang, all coming together for the most refreshing summer salad.
The seared ahi tuna was next, and just by looking at it, I knew it was going to be flavorful. Served with a sesame crust, sautéed peas and green garlic vinaigrette, it did not disappoint- the perfect light dish for summer. Next, the wait staff cleared off our appetizer utensils and got us ready for the hearty portion of our meal- the meats.
We were prompted with a grilled pork chop that was both tender and succulent. Served on the side was a summer succotash with smoked bacon, adding a freshness to the meat and variety of taste.
The roasted Jidori chicken came out quickly after. When the server placed it on the table all she said was, “this is what chicken is supposed to taste like.” We gave her a laugh but didn’t realize just how correct she was until we tried it for ourselves. Juicy and tender, with the parsley, oregano, and other herbs complimenting it wonderfully, it was my favorite part of the meal.
Finally, came the meat. A porterhouse steak large enough for a football team (ironic, as our table was talking about football at the same moment) came our way, and to say we were excited would be an understatement. The Lawry’s family of restaurants are known for their steaks, and it’s clear why. It was expertly done, with just the right amount of redness throughout, and a good amount of rendered fat left on for flavor.
Our table was eager to try Five Crown’s famous horseradish that pairs so seamlessly with their meats, and the server kindly brought us some straight away. She warned us that the straight horseradish had quite the kick, while the creamy would provide the same flavor but without the heat. Needless to say- everyone went for the heat. And it was the perfect addition to an already perfectly cooked porterhouse.
Before bringing out the final course, general manager Kenyon Paar introduced the culinary line. These men were the masterminds behind the summer menu and the behind-the-scenes orchestrators of our wonderful night. We thanked them with the warmest applause and were grateful to have the opportunity to do so.
Finally, dessert was served, and it was truly the icing on the cake. A strawberry shortcake that was fresh and flavorful left our palate- and our stomachs- fulfilled and happy. For those of us with a sweet tooth, this was the best finale to an incredible meal. With our plates and utensils cleared away by the spectacular wait staff once more, we were free to sit and chat with our new friends and enjoy the warm environment that Five Crowns and SideDoor provided for us.
As we ended the night in the lovely and vibrant atmosphere that encouraged warm conversation and new friendships, we were thankful to be celebrating proven culinary accomplishments.