Report Card: California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

http://www.cpk.com/

Overall GrubGrade B+

 

The Breakdown:

Atmosphere:  Grade B:  While the décor is contemporary enough, and the tables aren’t stacked on top of each other (see Cheesecake Factory), California Pizza Kitchen just cannot overcome the fact it is located in a mall.  Granted, it made its way out of the food court, but it still ends up being a pizza joint located in the mall.  On our visit, we found California Pizza Kitchen to be clean and not too busy.  We wonder if our local California Pizza Kitchen was a free standing restaurant instead of a mall food court escapee, how different would the vibe be?

High marks:  Clean, nicely spaced décor, contemporary décor

Low marks:   It’s in a mall

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Service:  Grade B+:   Our server, Hannah, did a nice job in taking care of us.  We had minimal wait once we were seated, and once we ordered drinks, we were off and running.  There was very minimal wait for drinks, and the wait for entrees was what you’d expect when you order pizza for an entrée.   All of our pizzas and drinks were prepared as ordered, and there were no mistakes to the best of our knowledge.  The service grade is not higher because while the service was solid, there was nothing memorable about it.  We couldn’t tell you what Hannah looked like, because the entire service was pretty much forgotten by the time we left the parking lot on the way home.

High marks:  Minimal wait, accurate service

Low marks:   Nothing memorable about service

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B+:  We have visited California Pizza Kitchen numerous times.  On this occasion, we selected pizzas for dinner, but we would like to preface this part of the report card and inform any potential diners that almost every dish we’ve tried from CPK has been very good to outstanding.  Even if you’re not a pizza fan (is that even possible?), there still tons of good stuff to eat at CPK.  Katina had the Appleberry Sangria.  She really enjoyed it, but she had an unnatural obsession with sangria anyway.  I believe if you offered her a Bacon Turkey Gravy sangria, she’d drink it.  I settled on an Arrogant Bastard Ale, which is served in a ginormous 22 ounce bottle.

Arrogant Bastard Ale -- not for beginners

Arrogant Bastard Ale — not for beginners

This is not your normal tailgating beer.  You need to be a fan of craft beers and beers high in hop content to enjoy an Arrogant Bastard.  As for the pizzas, Katina ordered the Habanero Carnitas Pizza and I settled on the Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza.   The Habanero Carnitas Pizza comes with some salsa on the side, and we must admit the salsa has more heat in it that we expected.  You’ll want to skip the salsa or order another type of pizza if hot/spicy food is not your thing.   The Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza sounds much more intimidating than it is.  While it does have some spiciness, it isn’t anything that most diners couldn’t handle.  Both pizzas were well prepared and tasty, and California Pizza Kitchen offers some nice variety if you’re a pizza fan.

High marks:  Good drinks, well prepared pizzas

Low marks:  Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza not all that spicy

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Value:  Grade B:  While the pizzas aren’t too expensive, there not too big either.  You’ll probably take some home, and the pizza is pretty good, so we consider California Pizza Kitchen to be a good value, and we certainly recommend you visit if you haven’t done so already.

High marks:   Good pizza, decent pricing

Low marks:   Pizzas not very large

One thought on “Report Card: California Pizza Kitchen

  1. Pingback: California Pizza Kitchen — Mozzarella Day! | defining {de'light}

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