Chef Alejandra Padilla of Five Crowns Unveils New Spring Menu

Five Crowns Corona Del Mar


pring is officially here, and with it brings new ingredients, flavors and opportunities for Chefs. Seasonal menus are commonplace for many restaurants, but few look to be as exciting as the first menu from Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla. The newly appointed culinary leader of the historic Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar looks to embrace her favorite season head-on as she brings an inventive yet classic menu to dinner. When asked why Spring is her favorite season, Chef Padilla responded, “I favor the spring season because the produce is so tender and sweet, you could honestly leave it raw, and it would shine. It’s great in cold or hot dishes,” she continued. “I also really dig the shades of green. There is a great spectrum of colors to work with in spring that really pop in color and flavor.” Five Crowns Corona Del Mar

Chef has made no secret that the menu is inspired by her various travels and friends met along the way, and takes great pride in being able to share these influences on the new menu.  “The most straightforward dishes I put on the menu are inspired by trips to Mexico and Italy. Both countries are filled with tons of culinary history and are equally confident in their natural resources.” When asked how she incorporated her friends into the dishes, Chef had the following to say, “My friends are showcased in this menu with respect to the techniques and flavors they have passed along to me, either from the motherland or from other restaurants they worked at themselves. Without their generosity of food knowledge and teaching moments, I would not be able to express myself through food and dishes.”

It’s one thing for a Chef to create a new menu, however, it is another thing entirely to do it at a storied location such as Five Crowns.  Chef Padilla recognizes this though, and embraces the challenge and what it means to her.  “It’s very exciting. It’s truly a great time to be cooking and to be a chef. There is a sincere enthusiasm and curiosity about food and the restaurant industry. People are much more adventurous than before. And that’s the beauty of the Five Crowns. It honors the classics that made it what it is and at the same time presents options that are contemporary,” she finishes. Five Crowns Corona Del Mar

With so many great dishes on the new menu, it is always curious to see if a Chef has a favorite, and as it turns out there is one dish, in particular, that stands out for Chef. “I really like the coffee rubbed grilled short rib. It is braised, then grilled, so there are complex textures and flavors. It’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s not quite BBQ,” she continues. “Not exactly falling off the bone, but so soft. The coffee char on it also maximizes the beefy quality of it as well.”  


Small Plates

Grilled Artichoke

caper aioli, lemon, 14

Bone Marrow

bordelaise, shallot marmalade, parsley salad, grilled bread, 18

Crab Cake

celery root remoulade, apple basil salad, 20

Foie Gras Brûlée

rhubarb, savory madeleine, 29

Fruits del Mar

Smoked Octopus

meyer lemon yogurt, spring peas, pickled red onions, 14


pineapple, cucumber, avocado, serrano pepper, 16

Soups and Greens

Cauliflower Soup

roasted pepper, za’atar, 12

Beets and Citrus

horseradish, goat cheese, candied pistachios, 14

Little Gem Citrus

roasted tomato, herbed croutons, parmegiano crisp, 12


Sautéed Peas and Fennel, 10

Beef Fat Cauliflower, 10



prosciutto chip, pea purée, wild mushrooms, 36

Coffee Rubbed Shortrib

tomato petals, grilled leeks, horseradish gremolata, bordelaise, 42

Seared Salmon

leek soubise, zucchini, artichoke, dill, garlic chips, 32

Housemade Pasta

mustard greens, clams, tomato sofrito, grilled leeks, pepperoncini, chicharrone breadcrumb, scallions, 28



carrot cake crumbles, walnut ice cream, carrot chips, 9

Almond Meringue

poached rhubarb, strawberries, almond cake, elderflower whipped cream, 9

Five Crowns | 3801 East Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 |

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