When: June 24, 2018, 11:30 AM
Verdict? Not recommended
Elaine, Bryce, Sharon, Stan and I are at California Adventure for the opening weekend of Pixar Pier.
Pixar Pier is a total re-theming of Paradise Pier, transforming existing rides into Pixar-themed attractions. California Screamin’, for instance, is now the “Incredicoaster”: same track, different storyline, new paint job and effects.
Pixar Pier also brings a whole new slate of restaurants. Several classic eateries have gone to Yesterland: Ariel’s Grotto, the Cove Bar, Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company, Don Tomas, Hot Dog Hut. New options have replaced them (along with new menus).
To a food blogger, it feels like Christmas. New places! New dishes! Let’s do this!
We start at the Lamplight Lounge.
The Lamplight combines Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar into one large establishment. The downstairs area (formerly Ariel’s) has the more extensive menu, but you can get cocktails and a nice list of appetizers at any table you like.
We get a seat upstairs, with a spectacular view of the Pier, and peruse the cocktail menu.
I find my drink: the “Morning Glory.” It’s vodka, Bloody Mary mix, dill pickle brine and celery bitters. Perfect. (I mean: it’s not even noon yet. Decorum must be observed.)
The drink arrives. It looks like a watery Bloody Mary, served in a skinny glass and garnished with two peppers and a tomato.
I take my first sip.
This isn’t good. My assessment of it as a “watery Bloody Mary” turns out to be more apt than I realized. It’s weak. It may have the right ingredients, but they’re in exactly the wrong proportion. Nothing stands out. While there’s some tomato flavor, and a reasonable amount of saltiness, there’s nothing fun or relaxed or refreshing about this. It’s just a bad, boring, watery Bloody Mary.
Pixar Pier may be promising, but this cocktail isn’t.