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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch

by Reuben Gutierrez

21 April 2013

Last week, we journeyed to Adventureland for an immersive experience at the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean as portrayed by the tiki gods and birds at Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room and the Tiki Juice Bar. Guests to Disneyland can extend their island escape outside the park, at the Disneyland Hotel. In the depths of the center courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel, adventurers will find a thatched roof building with rafters extending far out from the main building, creating an enveloping cavern of a roof. The humble tropical structure appears to be made of natural materials amid a dense thicket of lush palm trees, punctuated with tall fiery torches. This is Tangaroa Terrace, the tiki themed counter service restaurant for the hotel resort, located conveniently by the pool. After last week's exciting visit to the Enchanted Tiki Room, it is quite appropriate that we find ourselves in a new restaurant named after one of the Tiki gods, the great Tangaroa.

Tangaroa Disneyland

In recent years, the courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel contained a very elaborate and imaginative Never Land themed pool area with such dining venues as Hook's Pointe, Croc's Bites and Bits, the Wine Cellar, and the Lost Bar. In conjunction with the resort wide makeover, the Never Land eateries were transformed into the Polynesian house that is the Tangaroa Terrace. Heavily inspired by the once popular Tahitian Terrace restaurant (as discussed in my Bengal Barbecue review) and the general atmosphere of Adventureland, the new restaurant not only is Polynesian in d'cor, but also features a matching Polynesian menu.

Adventure Tower Disneyland Hotel
The adjacent hotel room tower is fittingly the Adventure Tower

Tangaroa Disneyland
Inside the tiki hut

Tangaroa Disneyland

During my latest adventure to Disneyland, one morning my companions and I made a brief stop to the Terrace and found a variety of tropical inspired baked goods. We took a moment to sample such exotic treats as the Pineapple Macadamia Nut Muffin and the Pineapple Lilikoi Pie.


Pineapple Pie

The muffin was as expected; fluffy, sweet, and delightfully pineapple in both the muffin batter and with bits of pineapple chunks intersperse throughout. The flavors were typical tropical ingredients and while nothing new and exciting, still delicious and desired. Any other flavor muffin with this one in absence would surely be out of place.

On the other hand, the Pineapple Lilikoi pie was something exotic and unfamiliar. Lilikoi, of course being the unfamiliar part, made it sound like there were flowers in this pie, but actually, the beautiful Hawaiian word is what they call passion fruit. I like to think of passion fruit as an intensely tropical flavor, and as I ponder other descriptions, I can think of no other words. Pineapple, though a bit sour with its acidity is overall more sweet than anything, so paired with the strong passion fruit, the Pineapple Lilikoi Pie is a burst of sunshine and tropical fruit contained in a small, coconut streusel topped pie. I think my favorite part about this pie is the blending of cuisines and flavors. Pie is such an American and European baked good, it is exciting to see it made with such exotic ingredients.


Tangaroa Terrace offers a lot more than tropical desserts, though our limited time did not afford us the chance to sample the other exciting entrees on the menu. Hopefully future adventures will include a more extensive feast at the Terrace, but for now I can certainly say the little slice of Adventureland is a welcome new addition to the resort. As a frequent guest to Walt Disney World, myself and other friends have found the restaurant to be highly reminiscent of Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Resort, which in turn was also inspired by the Tahitian Terrace restaurant and Polynesian craze of the 60s and 70s. With the excitement of a new experience in the exotic locale and immersiveness of the area, I enjoyed the fact that the new adventure still managed to also feel a little like home.




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