Is There Really Such A Thing As A California Pizza?

I’ve been living California for four months now, and I can’t believe I haven’t dined at a California Pizza Kitchen yet. Well, I finally had a chance to try a California pizza this week when Monica Durzo invited me to the CPK at 2957 Michelson Drive in Irvine to try a real California pizza.

California Pizza Kitchen opened their first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1985. Former federal prosecutors Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax combined their passion for food with fresh high-quality ingredients to create innovative, hearth-baked pizzas such as The Original BBQ Chicken, cooked in an open kitchen. The restaurant was supposed to give California a place in the pizza pantheon alongside Chicago and New York. However, if you ask most people what goes into a California pizza, I bet they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Despite this, CPK expanded into more than 250 locations in over 30 states and 11 countries. You’ll also find CPK in the pizza aisle of your grocer’s freezer, major airports, sports stadiums and college campuses.

CPK went public in 2000, but was taken private again on July 7, 2011, when Golden Gate Capital bought the chain for $470 million.

California Pizza Kitchen has nearly thirty different pizzas on their menu. How many of those pizzas could be considered “Californian” I’m not sure. However, I feel that only a pizza shop from California can come up with a Pear and Gorgonzola, or a Tricolore Salad Pizza. If you’re feeling a bit international, CPK can take you around the world with their Greek, Jamaican Jerk, Tostada, Thai, or Japanese Eggplant pizza.

We went with the relatively safe Hawaiian and Sicilian thin crust pizza. They were good enough that I plan to go back to CPK to try the more Californian pizzas. Maybe I should do a Dot Com Pho – California Pizza Edition.

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

12 thoughts on “Is There Really Such A Thing As A California Pizza?”

  1. pjblanch says:

    “However, if you ask most people what goes into a California pizza, I bet they wouldn’t be able to tell you.” <– Hah! – I don’t know if New Yorkers or Chicago folks could could reliably tell you either!  It all looks soooo good…

  2. seem really tasty… try the pasar malam pizza in asia.. you would not regret it..

  3. Thanan says:

    It’s look very delicious pizza. I will have lunch!

  4. I have eaten pizzas in many countries around the world, but I have never tried a CPK. I have been on their website and saw that they only exist in the U.S. and in Asia yet. I’ll have to wait to try their pizzas until they get to Europe.

  5. fas says:

    This chain is also in India and very famous, little different Pizza but very good.

  6. Dan Ang says:

    You are making me hungry with the pictures. Too bad they don’t have CPK in Singapore.

  7. IamNTB says:

    I have eaten the pizza at CFK and found it to be OK but their frozen versions in the grocery store are sub-standard IMO. I have had better frozen pizza that cost less. Theirs was kind of like cardboard with some red paint on it and something that was supposed to be cheese. Stick with the fresh if at all possible that way if there is something wrong with it, at least you can send it back to the kitchen.

  8. MeganEnloe says:

    I vote yes on Dot Com Pho at CPK. Try Zpizza some time too. They also have great pizza with fresh ingredients. 

  9. about flash says:

    indeed this is good for eye and am salivating at this time …..

  10. Enzo Testa says:

    Isn’t there a dominos or similar down there ?

  11. BradNordstrom says:

    lol Hawaiian Pizza at a California Pizza Kitchen.  😉

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