Man, in health-crazed Southern California ANY cuisine can be made healthy :)
This is a quite popular chain of "Pizza Joint" that I go to for lunch with my vegetarians and health-conscience friends and colleagues.
Their eclectic appetizers include spinach artichoke dip; Tuscan hummus; lettuce wraps and ginger chicken dumplings.
Pasta, salad, sandwiches and soups are offered.
Oh yeah, this IS a pizza joint right? For pizza I like the cheese with mozzarella, gouda, monterrey jack and pecorino romano.
I go to their Manhattan Beach branch but they are all over LA - please see website for a listing of branches.
We ate here in LA on our first night. After an eleven hour flight we were hungry and needed some food that was reasonably priced and tasted good.
Favorite Dish: I had the Greek pizza. It was a salad and pizza in one. Very different and worth trying if you are a vegetarian and want something other than Margarita or a Vegetarian Supreme.
Quite possibly the best pizza in the USA and that from a multi-chain resturant!!!
As bizarre as it sounds California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has successfully merged a commercial resturant theme with that of an Italian Bistro.
There is very little here that reminds a patron of the "American" Deep Pan eating experience, but never lets you forget that you are in California (not some mocked up Italian facade.)
With claims that they are the originators of the Chicken BBQ Pizza (and this one of their more average selections) they have taken the Italian style of thin crusts and made it all their own, without going down the path of their heavier Chicago cousins (check out BJs and others if the thick crust is what you're after).
Variety, flavour and most notably originality are the order of the day here with apetizers ranging form a more typical Italiano fare of Garlic Cheese Focaccia (bread) with Checca (fresh Roma tomatos, garlic, basil and olive oil) and a Spinach Artichoke Dip to an eastern flavour of Singapore Shrimp Rolls, Sesame Ginger Chicken Dumplings or Bankcock Calamari.
This is a restaurant where you can truly feel the diversity of California's gastronomy. California Pizza Kitchen offers a wide variety of Pizza from traditional Italian style to Thai chicken pizza and Beijing Duck Pizza!
Besides its unique pizzas, it also offers pasta dishes of various kinds(and of course, fusion pastas as well!). Its recipes are fusion of American, Asian, Carribean, Italian, and Mexican delights!
Favorite Dish: Thai Chicken Pizza - The ultimate mixture of American and Thai flavour that satisfies all taste buds! This popular pizza also comes in a freezed form in local groceries these days!
For a while this was a great exclusive LA thing: put funny ingredients on pizza and serve with inventive appetizers, delicious pastas and yummy salads and sandwiches. I used to always take guests.
Now it's in like every airport, so it's not as exciting.
But still, it's better here, I think.
Favorite Dish: I love:
Any of the appetizers. Seriously.
BBQ Chicken Salad and Smoked Bacon/Gorgonzola Salad.
Chicken Tequila Fettucine.
Any of the pizzas - if you don't like what you get they'll bring you a different one.
You can't call this Italian, just because it is a Pizza Kitchen. It is American. These are found over the various States of America, but mostly in California. Clean, pleasant, quick and they suit a purpose. I enjoyed CPK while shopping.
This very nice young man had the biggest smile, I had to mention him. He was so polite and gave us the most wonderful service. Could be something to do with the fact that he told me his Dad was Australian, LOL!
Favorite Dish: The Thai Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce were to die for. mmmmmmmm.
See what I mean, not Italian at all!!
This is not fine dining, but the food was fresh, tasty and enjoyable.
They serve wonderful salads too. And nice sweet desserts.