Pizza. It’s a fave food for people from one to 101 (well, if they have their teeth), and since 1985 California Pizza Kitchen—also branded CPK—has offered up a twist on the traditional Italian pie. You can still find your standard slices with pepperoni and Italian sausage topped with ooey-gooey mozzarella, but CPK is best known for their “creative” topping options.
Where was the first place we tried a Thai chicken pizza? The now closed CPK that was on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC. During college, where did we dig into our first Original BBQ chicken pizza? The Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.
These days CPK’s menu is expansive, with pizzas like the vegetarian with Japanese eggplant, the pear and Gorgonzola, the California Club, the tostada and even the new habaneros carnitas pizza. But they’ve also moved beyond just the ‘za and added a variety of yummy appetizers and entrees that you won’t find at most pizza joints.
One of our favorite new things at CPK is the Small Cravings menu, which offers smaller-portioned appetizers at very reasonable prices (currently about $4-$6). It’s a perfect sized sampler—without going overboard—while you wait for your main meal. When we visited the Small Cravings menu offered everything from a Tuscan panzanella salad to a spicy chicken quesadilla.
Of course, if you aren’t in the mood for pizza, CPK also offers salad, pasta and sandwich entrees.
We started with the Korean BBQ steak tacos from the Small Cravings menu (two for $5.99) and they were delicious. Perfectly juicy and spicy, they were just right to tide our appetite until pizza time!
As for the pizza, well, that was the hardest decision we had to make! There are just SO many choices…and they all sound so delicious. You can build your own or go for one of the specialties. We bounced between the Thai chicken, the white pizza and the Greek pizza (yeah, there’s almost too many to choose from) before settling on splitting the thin crust Sicilian with out Bridgeport Village shopping & lunching partner.
The thin crust Sicilian was honestly one of the best pizzas we’ve had at CPK. The toppings (Italian sausage, Capicola ham, salami, Fontina, mozzarella and parmesan) were plentiful, savory and mouth-watering. My pal and I both commented on how much we liked the thin crust style—it was crisp, but still chewy. Pretty close to pizza crust perfection!
CPK will make any of their pizzas on thin crust for a small additional cost. Also, almost all CPK pizzas can be made on a gluten-free crust.
The service at CPK is always top-notch. We were once there with a teenage picky-eater (and we do mean PICKY) who sent his pizza back not once, but TWICE, and the server was beyond accommodating. (She got a huge tip for that!) On our latest visit the service was up to par: friendly, helpful and attentive, but not pushy.
Yes, CPK is a chain, with locations in more than 30 U.S. states and in 11 countries (even China!), but the quirky pizza company has found a niche by offering something a little different (and so much better) than your typical Domino’s delivery can offer.
Overall, our visit to California Pizza Kitchen was much like all of our visits: nice selection, filling food, great service and reasonable prices. Two drinks, a Small Cravings appetizer and a pizza came to just over $25 before the tip. It’s a delicious lunch deal at Bridgeport Village.
PROS: Large menu that should satisfy everyone in your party.
Great customer service.
You’re surrounded by shopping!
Regal Cinemas is right next door.
CONS: Parking at Bridgeport Village is free, but it can be a hassle.