Where to eat? Lunch at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta at Disney California Adventure

August 25, 2011, 4:27 PM · Today was my first chance to try one of the two new restaurants that opened at Disney California Adventure this summer.

Paradise Garden Grill

Paradise Garden Grill is a counter service restaurant serving Mediterranean skewers and Greek salads. You can choose from steak, chicken, beef kefka or veggie/tofu skewers and pair the skewer with a Moroccan chili, chimichurri, spiced yogurt or tzatziki sauce. Desserts are baklava or a chocolate brownie and strawberry skewer with caramel and chocolate sauces and mini-marshmallows.

The restaurant shares a shaded outdoor dining area with the adjacent Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, which is where I chose to eat today.

Exterior of Boardwalk Pizza

The serving area of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta is indoors and features station service, with pizza, salad and pasta choices.

Inside Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

I'm not a fan of Disney's counter-service pizzas - their thick, doughy crusts make the pizza taste too much like sauce and cheese sitting on half a loaf of white bread. But Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta serves flatbread pizzas, on a thin, almost cracker-like crust, so I gave the Portobello Mushroom and Spinach pizza ($8.99) a try.

Mushroom pizza at Disney California Adventure

This is a fussy pizza, with a herbed marinara sauce, artichokes, pesto and ricotta in addition to the mushrooms (plentiful) and spinach (not so much). But the flavors came together for me, allowing me to taste plenty of spice, but not weighing me down with an overabundance of cheese or sauce. I like veggie pizzas when I'm visiting a park because they don't leave me with a post-meal meat hangover, where I'm spending all my energy digesting instead of hitting the park.

While I didn't love the flatbread crust at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta nearly as much as the delightfully airy and crispy crust at Downtown Disney's Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria (or its Disney World sibling, Epcot's Via Napoli), I'll come back to Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta next time I'm in the mood for a quick pizza inside the parks.

Other choices at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta include cheese, pepperoni and barbecue chicken pizzas, spaghetti with meatballs, a five-cheese ravioli and a chicken pasta in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, and chicken caesar, field greens and Italian chef salads. The Italian chef salad includes cured meats, roasted peppers and mozzarella in a red wine vinaigrette. Give Disney points for serving the pasta dishes on actual china, instead of paper plates, to keep the sauces warm and for offering real silverware rather than plastic utensils. Both are welcome upgrades from most counter-services theme park eateries and I hope that those touches endure.

I also love the well-shaded dining area in front of the two restaurants, lining the Paradise Pier promenade. I found a seat under one of the many trees in the area, and enjoyed a live musical performance by Rumba y Cajon while eating my lunch.

Rumba y Cajon perform at DCA

Construction update:

Just a couple new photos from the ongoing work at Disney California Adventure. The new, Pan Pacific Auditorium-inspired front gate is open.

New DCA entrance

And construction's topped out on the Carthay Circle restaurant that will stand at the end of the new Buena Vista Street entry plaza.

Carthay Circle Theater construction

The pathway between the entry plaza and Paradise Pier remains closed, so visitors must continue around Grizzly River Run to get to the back side of the park.

Grizzly River Run

Remember, you also can cut through A Bug's Land to reach Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier from Tower of Terror and the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.

Replies (5)

August 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM · Do you remember who gave you your pizza??
August 25, 2011 at 9:25 PM · I ate there earlier this month. The pizza(pepperoni) was delicious and I prefer it over the thicker pizza served at Pizza Port over at Disneyland. I really liked the new restaurant and seating is ample and a lot of it is covered.
August 25, 2011 at 11:26 PM · I had the pepperoni pizza at BP&P. Although it looked good, there is nothing great about the flatbread crust. I haven't had the new Epcot Italy Pavilion pizza, but heard great reviews, they should have done it in DCA. Flatbread? Give us real crust! The rest of the experience, ambience etc. was great though.
August 26, 2011 at 2:01 PM · I ate at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta last week (pre-D23 Expo). Thought it was great for counter server. I had the chicken pasta, which had a slight kick. Nothing that would burn, but definitely more interesting than you would expect from a theme park, or even quick service pasta. My mom had the kid's spaghetti and meatballs, which came with some great sides (carrots, applesauce, small drink). While the sauce was simpler, she thought it was quite good--especially the turkey meatballs--and just the amount she needed for lunch. Plus, kids portions sizes save space for desserts and goodies later. Appreciated real silverware and dishes. Very nice touch. Only negative is it that we were there before the band went on. Oh, well. Next time. Hope they keep it interesting.
August 27, 2011 at 10:06 AM · On thrusday my wife and our daughter and i spent the whole day there. We live 5 miles away and usually only spend few hours. Decided to do a whole day. We ate here and my wife had the steak at the grill. I had the 5 cheese ravioli. Only i asked for alfredo sause instead. They were more then happy to make that instead for me. It was pretty good. Actually better then what ive had at a regular restraunt before. On the construction update i heard rumors they have started testing ride vehicles on the cars ride. Rode the ferris wheel to late in day to confirm this. Over at Disneyland they had new cars on matterhorn. They were gray with a red strip on them. Ive heard people say these are cars from space mountain at disney world.

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