After a few months of being open, my family and I finally made it over to check out the Paradise Garden Grill at California Adventure. I’d actually been hearing pretty good things about the food there, and I’m excited to say that the things I’ve heard are true!
Nestled in between Goofy’s Sky School and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, the Paradise Garden Grill is a small counter service restaurant featuring Mediterranean eats. This place seems to be a hidden gem. I’ve never once seen a crowd lined up to order, but the folks I’ve talked to that have eaten there rave about it (except for the baklava, we’ll get to that later).
The outdoor seating at Paradise Garden Grill is shared with Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, so there are tables aplenty. We’ve never had a problem finding a nice spot to sit in this area, even on a crowded Friday night like this one.
The menu at Paradise Garden Grill is simple 2 step process: step right up to the ordering kiosk, choose your meat (or veggies), then choose your sauce.
Skewer options include Grilled Steak, Lemon-Oregano Chicken, Beef Kefta (spiced ground beef), or Vegetable & Tofu. Next you choose your sauce; there are four options for this as well. The first option is Moroccan Chili, which is a spicy sauce with tomato, Harissa chili, and garlic. Next up is the Chimichurri; a blend of fresh herbs, citrus, garlic & olive oil. There is also a Tandoori Spiced Yogurt that is mixed with turmeric, coriander, and other spices. And your fourth option, Tzatziki is Greek yogurt blended with cucumber, garlic, and lemon juice.
All skewer platters come with rice pilaf, cucumber salad, and pita bread. In addition to the skewers, there is also a Greek Salad on the menu.
Since this was our maiden meal here at the Paradise Garden Grill, we ordered a few items to share. I went for the chicken with Chimichurri sauce. Everything about this dish was perfect. The chicken was moist and flavorful and the sauce was tasty but not overpowering. The pita was served fresh and warm, a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. The cucumber salad was also quite nice; cool, crisp and flavorful. As far as the rice goes, I, like my children, am not a huge fan. I did taste it though, and it was actually pretty good.
My husband went with the Grilled Steak Skewer topped with the Moroccan Chili Sauce. The sauce had a bit of a kick, but wasn’t at all too spicy. He enjoyed the rice pilaf but wasn’t too fond of the cucumber salad. So, we were a table somewhat divided on our tastes…
We did both agree on the Greek Salad though; it was delicious. Fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, feta, red onions, marinated olives, and pepperoncini tossed with lemon-oregano dressing and served with pita bread. I absolutely love a good Disney salad and have added this to the top of my “list.”
The kids’ menu offers 2 items: a chicken grilled chicken skewer and a beef kebob (and by kebob, they mean giant beef lollipop).
Both of my boys ordered the beef kebob, and although I wasn’t too sure they’d enjoy it, both of them were pretty jazzed when a giant meat ball was presented to them on a stick.
The kids’ meal was served with marinara sauce for dipping, rice, and a package of sliced apples. My kids are not rice fans, so that pretty much went to waste. The kids’ meal also comes with a drink of choice (milk, chocolate milk, juice, water or soda). My boys ALWAYS choose the chocolate milk!
Now, remember up top when I discussed the baklava let-down? Well, ever since a cast member from the Corn Dog Castle was talking it up to me, like, 6 months ago, I’d been waiting to try it.
I’ve never seen baklava anywhere at the Disneyland Resort, and I really enjoy myself some baklava. However on this night, the Paradise Garden Grill was out of baklava! Say what!?!
So, we opted for the Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Skewer. Although I would have loved to try the baklava, the Skewer was a huge hit with the family. Chewy chocolate brownie cubes skewered with fresh strawberries drizzled with caramel and topped with mini marshmallows. Pretty yummy.
Overall, I was very impressed with the food at Paradise Garden Grill. I love that it is a tasty AND healthy alternative, and I also love the fact that it is very different from any of the food I’ve ever had at the Disneyland Resort.
The flavors were unique, and although it was a walk up counter service meal, it really felt more like a table service experience. The fresh pita bread was so tasty and the Greek Salad is one of my new favorite dishes.
Unfortunately, though, I have noticed that there is never a crowd at the Paradise Garden Grill. This makes me wonder how long it will last. Because it’s not your “typical” theme park meal (no chicken strips, burgers, or fries here…) it may not fly with guests.
I do hope that word gets out on this hidden gem, it’s a nice “healthier” choice, the ambiance of the seating area is relaxing, and no one in my family complained during the entire meal. To me this makes for a win, win, win dinner situation.