OC Review: Five Crowns, Corona del Mar

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Five Crowns in Corona del Mar (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, OC Register)

“Let’s go out for prime rib,” suggests a friend.

“Where?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he says. “Five Crowns?”

I’d driven past Five Crowns in Corona del Mar a million times but never actually eaten there. “OK,” I say, “prime rib it is.”

And when the prime rib arrives, it is handsome – a bloody red slab of beef almost 2 inches thick, the outer crust rimmed with caramelized fat. The meat takes up so much real estate on my plate, a heap of mashed potatoes looks as if it’s about to jump over the ledge. A softball-size Yorkshire pudding is still collapsing into itself, gently releasing steam, clearly just pulled from the oven as my plate was leaving the kitchen…

The first time I order a steak here, I opt for the double-cut rib-eye, medium-rare. And when it arrives, it’s as thin as a pancake and cooked well-done. My heart sinks. I hate sending my food back, but an overcooked steak is where I draw the line…

This is the sort of restaurant where I tend to overstuff myself, so by the time I start thinking about dessert, it’s too late. I’m too full. And that’s just as well. The desserts are fine, neither upsetting nor particularly memorable. Except maybe the classic chocolate soufflé, which is excellent.

Obviously, this is merely a synopsis. To read my full review with the star rating and  extensive slide show by photographer Cindy Yamanaka, check out this week’s OC Register. Note: As of April 1, subscriptions are required to access the OC Register online. We don’t give it away for free at the newsstand, nor do we give away for free online. Anyone can receive one week of complimentary trial access, but after that you’ll need to be a subscriber or buy a single day pass to read the paper’s content. 

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