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“Cool location, bring a jacket”
Review of The Cellar

The Cellar
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Ranked #23 of 378 Restaurants in Fullerton
Price range: US$35 - US$50
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Wilshire Blvd.
Reviewed 26 August 2013 via mobile

It truly is in a cellar. The room was very chilly. The decor is old world kitch, which works. The food was fine, but not stellar. Service was fine. The butter came and the bread took 20 more minutes. The dinner menu arrived after the drinks were served because the menus look alike and the patron might be confused. I think they just wanted us to order more alcohol. Over all ok.

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Thank KAS57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 52 of 94 reviews

Reviewed 5 June 2013

Just returned from our anniversary dinner at the cellar.we ordered the chateaubriand for two.The menu stated carved fresh at table side.When our dinner came it was already carved and plated.We had ordered it medium well,when we cut into it to check,we found that it was rare.Aftr sending it back twice it finally came back.This time we found that the meat was cooked to our desired way but there was a 1/2 inch of fat on the bottom of the meat.Also it was supposed to have Bernaise sauce,but instead was covered in some sort of brown burnt tasting sauce and the steamed vegetables accompanying it consisted of 2 minuscule carrots,3 green beans and a small amount of potatoes.We ate a small amount,did not get a doggie bag,our dog has a better palate than that and left very hungry.Don't go there expecting much.

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1  Thank Don H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2013

WHY IT’S GREAT:
This romantic and elegant rendezvous was conceived, designed and built by artistic craftsmen from Disneyland’s Pirate of the Caribbean. Reminiscent of Old Europe, The Cellar is located in the basement of Fullerton’s historic Villa del Sol. The restaurant retains all of its architectural and aesthetic beauty from its early conception. Soft lighting, chandeliers, structured arches, cave-like walls and two cozy fireplaces evoke the feeling that you are in a private house of royalty.

WHAT TO ORDER:
Baked Brie in a Puff Pastry with Roasted Bosc Pear Couilis and Fresh Berries, Organic Baby Field Greens with Candied Beets, Feta, Roasted Almonds and Lavender Honey Vinaigrette, Truffled Macaroni & Cheese with Short Ribs, Gruyere, Monterey Jack and Panko Bread Crumbs, Broiled Certified Angus New York Steak with Yukon Potatoes, Meyer Lemon Soufflé with Lemon Curd Anglaise

INSIDER TIP:
Stop by for Wine Wednesdays when all bottles of wine are 1/2 off

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Thank topaz309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2013

I used to go to The Cellar when Mr. Zing owned the restaurant. It is really sad to see how this place used to be packed and food/service was impeccable. Now, the restaurant was about 1/4 full and there were only 2 employees working the front of the house. The 2 poor gentlemen were the hostess, server, busser, bartender and cashier. The appetizers & entrees were just average, but the Chocolate/Hazelnut Souffle was a dissapointment. Just like I read on another review, the souffle had no flavor. Cannot recommend this place anymore.

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Thank Kobesan2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2013

The Cellar used to my my mom and dad's favorite restaurant for special occasions. I had never been there before, but as this was a special birthday for my dad, a group of eight of us went there for dinner.

We had a lovely time, but that was due to the group and occasion. The restaurant itself was disappointing on many levels. They have a lot of work to do to justify their status and prices.

Arriving there can be a challenge as the restaurant is inside the courtyard of a building and down the stairs. Once inside the courtyard, we joined the several groups of dinners searching for the entrance way.

Once there, we were seated promptly and courteously. We needed access to an elevator and they provided that graciously (in the back for deliveries, takes you through the kitchen).

We ordered drinks and then dinner. As there were a variety of tastes at the table, for dinner drinks, several of us ordered wines by the glass. These wines had a very high mark-up for their quality ($12-$15/glass for a wine that retails at $15 bottle), and these wines were uniformly disappointing. I expect that if the restaurant is choosing a limited selection of wines by the glass, they will choose good ones, not just cost-efficient ones. The waiter graciously exchanged two of our wines (they were pretty awful), but the replacements weren't much better.

When ordering, several of us just want a main course (hoping to keep room for dessert). When we order our dish, the waiter immediately followed it with "would you like soup or salad with that?". This is phrasing that one uses in a restaurant where soup or salad is a included with the main. At the Cellar, the soups and salads are not include and quite pricey. This practice seemed somewhat pushy and maybe a bit misleading to me. I have never seen it done this way at a fine dining restaurant.

The bread was the first to arrive, and was shockingly mediocre. Top restaurants today are baking their own fine breads in great variety, or have access to a local first-class bakery. With the French influence on the Cellar, I expected top quality. The bread that we got was a plain white bread, sort of in a baguette form. The bread inside was of a dry, overly even texture and the crust soft and tasteless. If you went to Safeway or Albertsons and bought their store brand Italian loaf, you would get something similar.

Appetizers were uneven. Among our group, we ordered two different soups orders, and two different salads. The soup were held in high regard by everyone while the salads were uninspired.

I had salmon for my main and it was nicely cooked. However it was an average piece of farm-raised salmon (the mild taste and fattiness are a clear clue), not the quality of fish that I would expect for the establishment (and the price). The steaks were cooked to the proper temperature, but again the quality of the meat was supermarket at best. They were missing both the tenderness, marbling, and depth of taste that I would expect from a prime grade that should be standard in such a restaurant. My partner's steak was just bland.

For desserts, we ordered the soufflé, a house specialty. Again, when ordering, the waiter was overly pushy. They have two sizes and my partner and I wanted only a small dessert so decided to share the single size. The waiter objected saying how small it was, showing a quite tiny size with his hand. At this point, were were a little dubious, so stuck with our choice. It turned our to be completely reasonable size and definitely bigger than he gestured. It turned out to be a very mild taste with no clear chocolate punch. If you're a chocolate fan (as is my partner), you'll come away disappointed.

The rest of the dessert menu were easy way outs for the kitchen (clearly no pastry chef around) such as crème brûlée or mousse. Very old school and no flashes of creativity.

Overall, this restaurant is stuck in an earlier decade, needs to buy better product, and needs to take a lower key approach to the customer. There are so many creative new chefs committed to fine preparation and technique, and the best (and locally sourced) ingredients. The Cellar is due for a makeover.

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1  Thank 8cu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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