Jiko The Cooking Place
Stylized African cuisine to go with the Animal Kingdom Lodge locale. The food is excellent and the wine cellar boasts the largest collection of South African wines outside of Africa. Jiko is worthy of being listed among the top tier restaurants at Walt Disney World....
|Address||Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge|
Walt Disney World
JJ's Fresh from Scratch
As with other assemblage concepts, guests choose the ingredients and direct the staff member behind the sneeze guard who puts it all together into what one hopes will be a conglomeration that doesn't suck. Here you can choose a burrito as your food container, or perhaps a pita pocket, or maybe just a bowl to hold it all.
I went with the burrito, choosing a white flour tortilla instead of a whole wheat one, Mexican rice instead of brown or mjedderah (the Lebanese mix of rice and lentils), black beans instead of lentils, and steak as my meat option. It doesn't stop there. One must still choose sauces and other accouterments.
It all turned out well, however. My choices all came together into a well-stuffed burrito that was transferred into a well-stuffed diner. The quality of the ingredients — including hormone-free meat — was evident in the taste....
|Address||2950 Curry Ford Road|
Formerly known as Amura, Kaizen Izakaya has very good sushi (especially the nigiri). An izakaya is supposed to be a Japanese pub or tavern where friends hang out. But the dank atmosphere won't make you want to linger....
|Address||54 W. Church St.|
La Fogata, Spanish for the wood fire, features a pan Latin American menu, though there are a couple of outlier entrees from Italy. Puerto Rico and Colombia dominate the menu and all of the food is well executed and served in ample portions....
|Address||1718 Sand Lake Road|
La Luce by Donna Scala
Napa Valley chef Donna Scala oversees this Italian restaurant in the new Hilton next to the Waldorf Astoria. The decor is white with splashes of color in the art work (some of which is done in chalk and changes from time to time). The menu features pizzas from a brick oven, pastas and secondi -- the lamb shank is a standout. Scala is often on hand to oversee her restaurant, and she proves to be a gracious host....
|Address||Hilton Bonnet Creek|
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
The owners of a new Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Orlando named it Le House because they wanted customers to feel as if they were dining at their home. I can’t attest to that authenticity, but I can say that I certainly felt welcomed and accommodated on my visit, even if I wasn’t offered the guest room.
The menu here is more succinct than at other Vietnamese restaurants. Pho is available, as it must be at all local Vietnamese restaurants, apparently by law. But Le House’s menu has a manageable 10 entries instead of the three or four dozen you might be asked to negotiate elsewhere....
|Address||595 W. Church St.|
LL is a sort of buffet type of operation, but not exactly. All the food is in front of you in steam trays when you approach the counter, but you're separated from it by a wall of glass. A staff member does the dishing. You choose the type of rice you'd like (plain white, yellow, congris, etc.) and the meat you want to go with it, and a side dish. The staff member then scoops your choices in startlingly large amounts onto a plate or into a takeout container. Then you pay at the end of the counter and either take a seat at one of the tables in the large and unadorned dining room or take your food to a secluded spot where you can pig out in private.
Here's the best part. The huge platter of food came to a grand total of $6.39. And there was enough to enjoy over two mealtimes. That makes this a real bargain. Who cares if the place has no atmosphere?
See the website for two other locations....
|Address||3806 Curry Ford Road|