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Taps: 12 / Bottles: 20
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 7 | Reviews: 6 | Display Reviews Only:
4.29/5 rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25 | $$$
MYWIFE! and I are CdM locals and this & Crowbar are our "places." Just depends on if we are in the mood for energy or chill. Sidedoor is the English pub inside the 5 Crowns restaurant - a landmark in Corona del Mar since 1965.
A: English pub interior (warm wood & fire, hidden lore magic, and intimacy) mixed with a variety of locals, foodies, plastic surgery, and scenesters. Small space and can feel packed but can usually find a seat within 15-20 minutes. Variety of seating, whether it is at the bar, high tables, comfy sofas, or dining next to the fire. Our secret is to arrive after the dinner crowd when the bar clears out and we pull up a seat to chat our friendly bartendresses up. If you are lucky one of the local drunks may pony up to you and chat your ear off until they see their next target. Always something to look at or listen to - charcuterie station, high fashion, mixology, local stories, etc.
Q: Menu and drink list change daily / weekly. Always high quality deliciousness for both.
S: Awesome. As mentioned we like to sit at the bar and have become friends with a couple of the ladies. They make great drinks and know their beer as well. Everyone who works there is generally friendly and has their druthers. Manager is always walking around making sure you are in a good place.
S: See Quality - changing tastes. Tap selection is not huge but rotates and is usually a great mix of locals, belgians, and a few outside CA crafts. Always something for everyone. Great bottle list and a few secrets...
F: À la carte tapas style. Comfort food for days and great for sharing over a intimate conversation or laughs with friends.
O: Can be a little pricey - but you have to mark up all that plastic surgery walking around... errrr... I mean the high quality. They treat you like they treat their food/beer - with style and class. They even open up my homebrew and pour for bar sharing.
03-01-2014 21:23:17 | More by abrethanson
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I went here with my boyfriend three nights ago for the first time. Just by walking in, I knew all the positive reviews were going to be justified. We were lucky and found a place at the bar, which was quite small. The bartender was a very knowledgeable, young woman who gave us great advise. For our first beer, I tried a Hogs Head and my boyfriend tried a Stone Levitation. Both were quite delicious. We also got a cheese plate with two kinds of bleu and one French. It was so delicious, and beautifully displayed. We then got a flight (for dessert) with Stone Levitation, Hogs Head (we got those two again since we wanted each others beer), Old Speckled Hen, and one more (I forgot!). What is really amazing is that either daily or weekly the menu changes and the beer changes as well. You'll never see the same things there. It was all in all, a great experience that I would love to share with everyone.
03-19-2011 19:06:03 | More by femmebiere
4.83/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Hanging out at side door is like hanging out in the common room in a homey English inn. Seating is varied between bar stools and raised benches to arm chairs and couches around coffee tables. Perfect ambiance, quiet music, medium to low lighting.
My first visit here was on a date, a very enjoyable one at that. The staff are knowledgeable and patient, and were happy to pick out our cheeses and charcuterie as neither of us were familiar with any of the specific items on the menu (10+ cheeses from Cow, Goat, and Sheep as well as several types of cured pork). Cheeses and charcuterie were paired with a selection of breads, fruits and nuts matched to each. Next we had the beef fat french fries and macaroni and cheese (I've found it impossible to pass up mac at a good restaurant or pub). Both were delicious, the fries were fatty without being too greasy, and the mac and cheese had an amazing burnt top and creamy sauce. What I really admire about SideDoor is that the menu and beer selection are constantly changing, and always top notch.
Guinness and Old Speckled Hen are what I would call the very low end of their beer selection. Lips of Faith, Lagunitas, Maredsous, and Green Flash were all available on tap when I went in. I went with Eric's Ale, as I'd had the misfortune of not ordering it at Beachwood a few months prior.
I was a little caught on rating the value. On one hand for what SideDoor offers they could easily charge more for anything on the menu. Beer was reasonable at $7 a glass, and we got out for around $55 for the two of us with a beer each, 3 samples from the cheese/charcuterie menu, 2 sides, and dessert. Not a lot of food for the price, but it was all amazing and left us reasonably fed.
09-14-2010 07:02:52 | More by msmezher
3.93/5 rDev -10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
As Ipanema is to Rio, Corona del Mar is the chic neighborhood of Newport Beach. Tiny, beautiful homes, great views of the water, boutiques along PCH, and the 5 Crowns. Inside the 5 Crowns is The Sidedoor, which blends and feel "right" with the CDM neighborhood.
The ambience is lovely, and it feels like an English tavern. Somewhat darkly lit inside, a fireplace at one side, a charcuterie table near the bar where staff handmakes such, and a trapezoid shaped bar in the middle of it which can hold 10 guests. There were even some younger people in the crowd as well. Oh, and there are a couple TV around.
I arrived at 7:30pm, but the place was full. I stood around the bar for 10 minutes before I finally got some help. I started with an Allagash Black from draught (yum!), and before I finsihed that beer, I found a seat at the bar open up. I proceeded to order food and another beer Eric's Ale. The staff was a little slower than I hoped, but it was a Saturday night. When I settled at the bar, the bartender who helped me turned out to know a few things about beer, and was rather cool to talk with.
12 taps sit in one straight row. In addition to the taps, 15 bottled beers are available. Most of the taps rotate though, and nearly every tap is a good/interesting one for the beer geek. Eric Ale, Hennepin, Lagunitas Pils, Ruination, Allagash Black, Old Speckled Hen, Le Freak all available from tap, served in either a tulip or pint glass (not a shaker though, thank goodness), depending on the beer. All drafts are $7. Sculpin was among the highlights for bottled beers, but at $16, I'll pass. Same for the $11 shot of Leblon cachaça. My beers were cared for, very fresh, though they were served a touch cold.
The food was good and presented well. I'd put the grade at 4.25, but the site won't let me. Anyway, I got the Cuban, meat served on jalapeno cheddar...yum. The beef fat fries were even better. Crunchy and tasty, and take advantage of that garlic sauce served with it; the flavor will linger for a while. Portions weren't really large for the price, nor was it orgasmic.
The Sidedoor works. A lovely bar in a lovely neighborhood, and it makes me want to visit again, even if two draft beers, a sandwich, and fries wash the bill over $30 before tip.
07-11-2010 23:51:27 | More by DoubleJ
4.88/5 rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
I discovered Sidedoor by word-of-mouth at a beer tasting event. Considering the source, and my adoration of this style of dining, I checked out Sidedoor that very night.
Located under the same roof as Five Crowns, Sidedoor gets its namesake from the route of entry to the restaurant--a small door adjacent to the main entrance that gives a feeling of exclusivity and a bit of mystery. Maintaining the regality of its sister restaurant, Sidedoor is strangely nostalgic of the lost art of dining: bartenders in proper attire reminiscent of a speakeasy, wood beam ceilings, and refined hospitality. What sets Sidedoor apart, however, is the casual sophistication that is neither stuffy nor sloppy, and hip without being kitschy. Really, I feel like I am hanging at an authentic pub in the very English sense that it is a neighborhood gathering point to eat, drink, kick up your feet and stay a while.
The furniture, stemware, serving platters, and raw materials used really make eating and drinking here a pleasure. My prosciutto, Buffalo mozzarella, and pesto panini was served simply and elegantly on a wooden paddle, each slice of the sandwich stacked purposefully on top of each other. Beer was served promptly in proper stemware with excellent freshness, temperature, and pours. James, the head bartender, is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and a BA, to boot. He certainly added to the dining experience and catered to a newcomer with a beer on the house.
A craft brew only beer list includes the likes of Racer 5, Hop Rod, Old Rasputin (original and XII), Wipe Out, Hop 15, a selection of offerings from The Bruery, and a smattering of English beers. James hand selects all beers served and is intent on keeping the rotation fresh and evolving. It is conceivable that this may result in Belgian specialties popping up now and again, which would only further improve the beer list. Though the list is impressive, price may factor in your selection, as some bottles are two to three times higher in price than on the store shelf. Alas, such is the case when dining and drinking out.
I left Sidedoor with a smile on my face and that feeling you have when you know you found a new neighborhood haunt. The engaging atmosphere, top-notch service, and enticing selection will certainly bring me back.
02-13-2010 20:04:29 | More by RaulMatisse
4.05/5 rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I went a week ago with my wife and another couple and had a great time.
For those familiar with the Five Crownes, the Sidedoor is in the bar area and the dining room next to the bar area that has the big fire place. Very cozy. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and i felt like if i walked out the door i'd end up in the English moors somewhere. (stay away from the moors) Inside is dark wood with comfortable couches. Lantern type lamps give a golden hue to the interior, nicely done. It does a great job of portraying an English manor house.
The charcuterie is excellent. Set up across the bar, but near as well which i thought added to the ambiance. We had a cheese and meat dish (all carved to order) that was brought on a trencher, along with some warm bread, all very tasty. What upped things another notch was the dish of olives and almonds in the very warm herb infused olive oil. That was a real winner. I nibbled on all this while sipped on some Two Turtle Doves.
There's about 15 taps and 20 bottles to select from with the list expanding even more... they just started. Coming up was Old Rasputin XII.
Our waiter was nice and attentive as were the other waiters that passed our table all of which inquired as to my party's needs. Also talked with head bartender James, lately of the Bruery and Crowbar, and he has grand plans for the Sidedoor and my first impressions are it's a hit.
I was impressed with the pricing because i thought it would be more expensive... the Five Crownes is a very nice restaurant. Given that, the price was reasonable... no more than what The Crow Bar is.
Additionally, an awesome side effect of the Sidedoor is now a great restaurant, Five Crownes, that has an outstanding wine selection, now has the beer selection to match.
(saying 'side effect' along with Sidedoor sounded cool, i thought)
While i was eating my Five Crownes' cut of prime rib, I was imbibing some Maui Coconut porter then finished with some Green Flash IPA. (wanted to see how they paired with the meat and horse radish sauce, very tasty, both in their own way... once complimented while the other contrasted). Some Fuller's Vintage Ale would have been nice too.
Well, i'll be coming back to the Sidedoor and i'll be eating dinner in there too. My wife and the other couple really loved it as well (which means i'll get to come here more often on 'date night'.)
12-02-2009 05:11:05 | More by SwillinBrew
Sidedoor in Corona Del Mar, CA
- out of 100 based on 7 ratings.