Pym Test Kitchen is a counter-service in Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus. The restaurant opened with the land in early summer of 2021 and serves American food. Pym Test Kitchen does accept Passholder and DVC discounts. In this post, we’ll review the restaurant’s theme, cuisine and value.
Over the last decade, Disney has stepped up the level of cuisine offered at counter-service restaurants. Nearly every place that has opened recently, including Docking Bay 7, Satu’li Canteen and Tropical Hideaway, have had ambitious offerings that taste good and aren’t your run-of-the-mill theme park food. That’s what fans should expect too. It’s no secret that Disney (and Universal and other theme parks) charge more money than other places because of their somewhat captive audience. If that’s the case, then the food should live up to those prices especially considering the culinary ambitious age we live in. Thankfully, Disney has done that lately.
Sadly, Pym Test Kitchen does not do that at all. The experience starts off well enough as the idea for the restaurant is at least somewhat interesting. For those unaware Pym is a reference to the scientist, Hank Pym, who created the particles that make Ant-Man itty bitty or giant. This restaurant, a test kitchen, is taking those particles and adding them to food. In concept, it’s a pretty fun idea that fits organically into an otherwise incongruent land.
While all of the restaurant’s seating is outdoors and doesn’t have much of an atmosphere or theme, the inside ordering bay and drink stations have some nice touches. There’s some gigantic food and cutlery on display. Above the Coke Freestyle machines are very large soda cans with tubes that lead to the machine. The same goes for the condiments. No one should go out of their way to see or eat here because of those minor details but they are fun gimmicks that fit in with the story.
As I mentioned, the actual seating leaves some to be desired. It is covered and there’s a bar on the right side (if looking at the restaurant from the outside) seating area. Outside of that, it’s just tables and chairs in a shaded area without offering a view of much. California Adventure doesn’t lead the way in exciting counter-service dining atmospheres outside of Flo’s, and I wouldn’t say this is a deterrent more than it is just a “it is what it is.” My brother hates that phrase and I do agree, it is pretty dumb. Of course it is what it is. We are what we are. I’m stalling because I’m going to talk about the food next.
Of the nearly 900 posts on this blog, some of my least favorite to write are negative food reviews. I want to like things and have a pretty open mind when it comes to all foods, from greasy burgers to decadent sushi. I also know that dining experiences differ greatly especially at a place where food is produced at a ridiculously high rate. Not everything is going to be fresh and not every sandwich is going to taste similar. Whether that should be the case is a topic for a different post or blog to take on. Still, I imagine you come here for an honest opinion so that’s what I’ll give.
Pym Test Kitchen’s food was one of the worst theme park meals I’ve ever had. The menu is okay, offering a little bit of variety in their sandwiches. It’s clear the restaurant went all in on this large or small food idea and then try to shoehorn ideas into that. We ordered two entrees and, unfortunately, were completely underwhelmed with both.
We’ll start with the Not so Little Chicken Sandwich which consisted of Fried Chicken Breast, Teriyaki and Red Chili Sauces, and Pickled Cabbage Slaw on Brioche, served with crispy Potato Bites. When looking at the menu the bun looks normal size and the chicken just looks massive. “Great!” says the gluttonous Andrew. (I kid, I love myself.) Upon arrival, the chicken is pretty big but is served on a slider bun. Nearly all of the ingredients are inside of this tiny bun except for the chicken. I have questions and the main one is simply why?
The chicken would still look large if it was served inside of a regular sized sandwich bun. Then the ingredients could be spread out and a person might actually stand a chance of eating it like a sandwich. As for the actual taste, the chicken was pretty dry and the breading was nothing to write home about. If you did write home about it, the actual taste of the chicken might not even come up. The tiny bun was stale and tough to bite into. I didn’t even finish it. The slaw was the best thing on the plate and if it was paired with soft bread and decent chicken then it would have made for a good sandwich. Instead there was barely any slaw since the bun was (looks up another adjective for tiny) infinitesimal. Good one, huh? The crispy Potato Bites were tater tots that had a slight lime taste and were pretty good.
Our second entrée was the PB3 Superb Sandwich which was a warm PB&J with Banana and Candied Bacon on Pym Particle Bread, served with Micro Banana Smoothie and crispy Potato Bites. Superb Sandwich is a nice alliteration but it is ultimately false advertising. I can think of other alliterations to go with sandwich that might be more descriptive but this is a blog for all ages so I will stop this joke right now. Once again, the main problem here was the bread. It had a blue swirl in it which is cool! But it was white bread that was extremely hard. It wasn’t like a toasted crunch but instead stale bread that got toasted and then sat for an hour or so. The filling was pretty average, as the bananas were a little slimier than I’d like and the bacon wasn’t anything special. Those additions certainly helped the flavor but didn’t elevate it much. The Micro Banana Smoothie was a fine sip of a standard banana smoothie. It was generic but tasted pretty good.
As you can tell, Pym Test Kitchen was a big disappointment. I will say that the giant pretzels looked pretty good but after our experience with the bread there I would be a little wary of them. Overall, the atmosphere is average while the food was one of the worst theme park meals I’ve ever had. There isn’t much value there regardless of the cost. At $12-$16 for an entrée, the prices line up with most counter-service places. It’s just that all other counter-service options are better. I expect the food to get better over time but for now, I would not recommend a meal at Pym Test Kitchen.
Overall Rating – 4.5/10
Have you tried Pym Test Kitchen? Let us know your thoughts, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Planning Guide here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews