Some surprising news came out of Disneyland Resort today as La Brea Bakery closed in Downtown Disney abruptly. Disney has shared some details about what is coming into that space, as well as updates on other projects. In this post, we’ll share those details along with some commentary on the news!
Starting with the news of the day, as La Brea Bakery closed down. It seemed to come as a surprise to everyone, as we walked by the restaurant yesterday and the line was out the door. The company has decided to close down all of their Los Angeles restaurants and focus more on the retail side of the business. Having a run of 20 years inside of Downtown Disney was quite impressive, especially considering La Brea Bakery was local and not a national brand.
Here’s more on the news:
Earl of Sandwich will be returning to the Downtown Disney District this February! Soon guests can get one of their hot sandwiches on artisan bread, with grab-and-go options at Earl of Sandwich or table service options at Earl of Sandwich Tavern, both of which will be temporarily located at the La Brea Bakery location. Keep your eyes peeled for Earl of Sandwich opening in the coming weeks!
I’m very surprised at how quickly this is happening, considering how slowly the rest of the projects at Downtown Disney seem to be progressing. On the other hand, this is prime real estate! I’m guessing more people pass by this location than any other Downtown Disney spot due to its proximity to Disneyland. They might as well make use of the spot before it goes under construction.
Earl of Sandwich is back for another go around as the result. I can’t say I’m an Earl stan but many people are. That Holiday Turkey Sandwich is pretty good at least and it’s one of the cheaper options in the area. Overall, this is a decent temporary fix.
That’s not all for the east side of Downtown Disney District – as previously shared at D23 Expo, Porto’s Bakery will be bringing their famous Cheese Rolls, California-Cuban cuisine and more to the district. Plans are underway to design and construct an all-new Porto’s location near the Esplanade on the footprint of the La Brea Bakery location.
I couldn’t be more thrilled that this where the Porto’s is going to be located. This spot will be insanely popular and immediately becomes the most affordable and interesting spot in Downtown Disney. Now we just pray that all of these plans go off without a hitch!
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen continues the evolution of their location into Jazz Kitchen Coastal Grill & Patio. Soon, guests will be able to enjoy the open, warm and welcoming ambiance across the outdoor patios, veranda and dining rooms. In fact, recent diners have already begun to enjoy the updated second floor space! Jazz Kitchen’s “all-day” menu will feature the popular Pasta Jambalaya and Gumbo Ya-Ya, plus fresh riffs using coastal-inspired ingredients like the new open-faced Grilled Lobster BLT Po’ Boy, pictured above. Signature hand-crafted beignets will continue to be a staple, with an expanded menu including specialty glazed beignets that are dipped, drizzled and sprinkled in jazzy signature and seasonal flavor combinations. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is closed for a short time to accommodate continued work in the first floor dining space and will debut its exciting new look and menu soon!
We recently dined at Jazz Kitchen on the second floor and there’s a review upcoming. My initial impression is that the food is still good but the atmosphere and décor were underwhelming. A lot has been made of Disney’s design and lack of theme lately and sadly I think this fits the vibe. Jazz Kitchen had a lot of flair before and that has been shelved for a softer look. I’m curious if the bottom floor will follow that lead.
Finally, Disney revealed another look at concept art for the Din Tai Fung restaurant, which will open on the west side of the district in the future. The concept art is very pretty and I’m looking forward to the new restaurant, as I think the cuisine at other Din Tai Fungs I’ve been to is better than anything else at Downtown Disney. Not a high bar, but still! I love a dumpling!
Downtown Disney is progressing and I’m eager for the changes to take place. Most of these changes seem to be a long ways off, as vertical construction hasn’t begun on many of them, but a few places will be done sooner.
What do you think of these Downtown Disney changes? Let us know in the comments! Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our planning guide to help you out along the way. If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog and like our Facebook page. You can find both of those on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!