Paradise Garden Grill is a quick service dining establishment located in Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier area. Reservations are not accepted. They offer lunch and dinner everyday.
The area surrounding Paradise Garden Grill is an open air environment. There is lots of places to sit, which is a great thing when you consider this establishment shares the dining space with Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta next door. During the holidays, the place is transformed into a Latin American inspired setting they dub “¡Viva Navidad!” For more about this yearly event, you can read my review here: “Viva Navidad Menu at Paradise Garden Grill.”
Overall, it’s a nice layout with plenty of shade to sit and relax. There are several stations around to get extra napkins and condiments as well. In between the nearby restaurants, there is a music stage where oftentimes live bands play for the crowd.
The normal menu at Paradise Garden Grill is Mediterranean-inspired. There are four different skewers, a Greek salad, and, new to this iteration as of March 2015, a Beef Gyro Platter. Recently the menu board underwent a transformation. Besides the addition of the Beef Gyro Platter, the list of dishes include pictures of the item and a more simplified layout. It looks really nice! The only thing absent from the previous version is the Tandoori-spiced yogurt sauce.
I have eaten here in the past, so I was familiar with the chicken and steak skewers. Although they are very tasty, my wife and I opted to try the Spicy Meatball skewer and the new Beef Gyro Platter this time around.
The Spicy Meatball skewer is an interesting mix of herbs, spices and meat. Although no specific meat is listed, my best guess is that it’s a combination of beef, pork and lamb. The herbs and spices are very pronounced. If you’re averse to a strong Middle Eastern flavor profile, this may not be the best option. The skewer came with a side of rice pilaf, cucumber salad, and pita bread.
You get a choice of three different sauces to go with the plate. However, as an avid foodie, I requested all three. Of the trio, I personally enjoyed the chili sauce most. It is a combination of spicy tomato sauce, Harissa chili (although misspelled on the menu board as “rissa”), and garlic. My wife preferred the Tzatziki sauce due to it’s ability to counteract the spiciness of the meatballs. Tzatziki sauce is made of greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and lemon juice.
We both really enjoyed the Beef Gyro Platter. The gyro meat had a complex spiciness that could be best described as peppery. The “wrap,” for lack of a better word, is served alongside tabouli. For those who are unfamiliar with tabouli, it is a Mediterranean salad consisting of chopped parsley, bulgur, tomatoes, onion, and mint. The mixture is usually dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. The platter comes with a side of Tzatziki sauce as well.
Paradise Garden Grill is a standard counter service restaurant. The line to get food is fast and efficient. As stated previously, there is plenty of outdoor seating. The dining area is kept clean for the most part. During peak hours, there are moments when cast members fall behind due to the number of guests.
When Taste Pilots’ Grill went out of existence, they transformed Paradise Garden Grill into a burger joint for several months. I was thrilled to see them bring back the Mediterranean-inspired menu. To me, it offers a nice change of pace from the typical theme park fare. Nevertheless, I’m not certain how well guests are willing to try exotic food. Hopefully the new menu layout will make the dishes seem more accessible to the average person and entice them to give it a shot. It would certainly enhance their Disneyland experience and offer a nice change of pace from burgers and fries.