Pym Test Kitchen is a new Ant-Man and the Wasp-themed restaurant serving massive meals & tiny treats in Avengers Campus at DCA. This Marvel restaurant review features food photos, thoughts on the cuisine and ambiance, and whether this Disneyland Resort dining option is worth your time and money.
Along with the adjacent Pym Tasting Lab, which is the bar in Avengers Campus, this dining complex is part of the Pym Technologies site in Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. This advanced research and development facility is known for its revolutionary Pym Particles, which apply innovative technologies and science to food and beverage.
Pym Tasting Lab uses brilliant new brewing systems for its beers and alcoholic drinks, while Pym Test Kitchen shrinks and grows entrees and desserts for lunch and dinner. All told, Pym Test Kitchen & Tasting Lab is a relatively small venue, with only outdoor seating. This largely makes sense, as Disney California Adventure already has an abundance of dining options.
Pym Test Kitchen is also the first restaurant in Disney California Adventure (or Disneyland Resort as a whole) that appears purpose-built for the Mobile Order era. There’s only one register inside the eatery, with the expectation that the vast majority of guests will place their orders via the Disneyland app. (Keep in mind, Pym Test Kitchen was designed and built before the closure, so this was presumably the intent all along.)
Due to the popularity of Avengers Campus and the lack of registers, we’d highly recommend placing your Mobile Order early in the day. While dining availability is easier as the “new restaurant smell” wears off, standby lines can still be long and order windows still can be over an hour out.
With that said, let’s take a look at the themed design of Pym Test Kitchen…
As mentioned above, Pym Test Kitchen’s core concept is that the restaurant uses revolutionary shrink-and-grow technology of Pym Particles. With that, Ant-Man and the Wasp lead a team of research chefs as they pioneer a menu packed with inventive-sized entrees, tiny treats, and shareable bites.
Upon entering, you’ll find a variety of Easter eggs and graphics on the walls that offer nods to Marvel films. Any fans of the MCU will undoubtedly enjoy all of this. For casual visitors, the coolest thing is undoubtedly the conveyor belt overhead where you can see pretzels transmogrified right before your eyes. (I should’ve captured video–it’s cool.)
Upon picking up your Mobile Order at Pym Test Kitchen, you’ll head to the drink and condiments station in a separate room off to the side. In this room, you’ll see gigantic soda cans, humongous condiment bottles, and other massive objects.
After grabbing whatever you need in here, Pym Test Kitchen exits into a small outdoor seating area adjacent to the restaurant. This is a pleasant area, offering glimpses of Marvel characters and the ‘spontaneous’ little shows that occur in Avengers Campus throughout the day.
Before we dig into the food, we want to provide some relevant context for this Pym Test Kitchen review. At present, most–but not all–counter service restaurants at Disney California Adventure have reopened. This may sound great and a sign of near normalcy on the Disneyland dining front.
However, upon closer inspection, you’ll find that menus are still significantly scaled back. Two of our normal favorites, Paradise Garden Grill and Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, are serving menus that are shadows of their normal selves and incredibly limited.
This is important to note because some of our quibbles with Pym Test Kitchen might be a result of the location overextending itself to offer a more ambitious menu. In fact, Pym Test Kitchen currently has the most expansive and inventive menu at DCA by a pretty wide margin.
With all of this in mind, we’ll offer our tentative review of the food, revisiting it later this year when (hopefully) everything is back to normal!
Let’s start with the Atomic Fusion Pretzel: Buffalo-style loaded with Chicken, Hot Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Celery and Dill-pickled Carrots.
Here’s what’s going to become a trend: excellent idea, iffy execution. The toppings are delicious, with flavors coming together wonderfully and offering a nice variety of tastes and textures. Unfortunately, it’s atop a pretzel that–for us at least–was a bit too rubbery and just okay. With a high quality pretzel (as we’ve had many times elsewhere at Disneyland), this would’ve been a home run.
Next, the Impossible Spoonful: Rigatoni and Ditalini Pastas, Plant-based Meat-balls, Tomato Sauce, Dairy-free Parmesan and Micro Basil.
This giant meatball is a really clever and fun idea. Again, the dish largely misses the mark due to preparation and (possibly) presentation. Our giant meatball was incredibly dry inside and the al dente pasta didn’t help. The tomato sauce tasted cheap, bland, and didn’t add anything. Sarah was most excited for this dish at Pym Test Kitchen, and she couldn’t even finish–it doesn’t hold a candle to the Felucian Kefta and Hummus Garden Spread at Docking Bay 7 in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
We start to turn the corner with the Not so Little Chicken Sandwich: Fried Chicken Breast, Teriyaki and Red Chili Sauces, and Pickled Cabbage Slaw on Brioche, served with crispy Potato Bites.
Previously, I melodramatically called the Not so Little Chicken Sandwich a “culinary crime” that the bun here is slider sized rather than the chicken breast being gigantic. I stand by that claim, but nevertheless really enjoyed this. The chicken had a crisp exterior and was juicy inside, with a fantastic mix of sauces. My only complaint is that it’s impossible to eat as a sandwich–the bun is too small, so be sure to grab a fork and knife.
For our final entree, we have the PB3 Superb Sandwich: Warm PB&J with Banana and Candied Bacon on Pym Particle Bread, served with Micro Banana Smoothie and crispy Potato Bites.
This is the biggest winner on the menu at Pym Test Kitchen. It’s normal bread topped with a gloriously sweet and savory mix of the three Bs: bacon, banana, and (peanut) butter. Brilliant. These flavors meld fabulously making this a nutritious (fact-check needed) entree and a satisfying dessert all in one. We would recommend splitting it and getting one of the other entrees, too. It’s amazing, but also a lot.
For dessert, we have the Celestial-sized Candy Bar: Choco-Smash CANDY Bar. This is a Choco Smash Candy Bar with Dark Chocolate, Peanuts, Caramel, Nougat, and Chocolate Brownie.
This may look like a generic candy bar, but holy cow is it incredible. Rich, decadent, and a fair amount of textural variety. (It’s also deceptively large–we’d recommend sharing it.)
It “helped” that we ate this on a day with extreme heat, and had to walk our food to the overflow seating area by Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.
This gave the candy bar time to warm up, making it taste like a fresh out of the oven dessert. I know that’s not how candy bars are made (truthfully, I have no clue how candy bars are made…but probably not in an oven), but you get the idea. It was excellent. If you only order one item at Pym Test Kitchen, make it this–the Celestial-sized Candy Bar is the menu’s highlight.
Speaking of the seating area, it’s this big area behind the Shawarma Palace Too (which we really enjoyed) that previously served as overflow queue for the Hyperion Theater.
There’s a lot of shade back here and it’s a nice area, but it’s frustrating that Pym Test Kitchen was built with so little seating. Operational oversights like this are occurring a bit too frequently with new additions, and there are several of them in Avengers Campus.
Ultimately, Pym Test Kitchen is a lot like Avengers Campus as a whole: some flashes of excellence hobbled by uneven execution. The difference with this Marvel restaurant is that its core concept is outstanding, and the issues are entirely with food prep–and less pronounced versions of what’s happening all around Disneyland Resort right now.
The end result is that Pym Test Kitchen is our top pick for counter service restaurants in Disney California Adventure for right now. If it doesn’t tweak these dishes or improve its lineup once other locations restore their full menus or start offering more ambitious options, this Avengers Campus eatery will likely fall to the middle of the pack. Even so, it’ll still be a fun spot to grab a sweet snack or dessert and see the “Pym Particles” grow and shrink innovations with food science.
Have you eaten at Disneyland Resort’s new Marvel restaurant? What did you think of the food at Pym Test Kitchen? Any standout menu items? Items you disliked? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!