I have had a number of pizzas at CPKs all over the country in the last ten years, and though the pizza was never better than acceptable, I wasn't prepared for just how awful the pizza would be when I went into the only Manhattan location for a late lunch. We ordered the pizza that made CPK founders Rick Rosenfeld and Larry Flax rich and almost famous, the Original BBQ Chicken pizza, and a Margherita, described on the menu as authentic thin-crust pizza made with both aged and fresh mozzarella.
The toppings on the Original BBQ Chicken pizzasmoked Gouda, red onions, cilantro, and barbecue saucewere actually quite tasty. But the crust was limp and flaccid. It had no charred black or brown spots. In true California fashion, it was blonde. It also had no hole structure and no yeasty flavor. The Margherita was no better. It had a few browned edges, but was still as soft and puffy as a cotton ball. Next time around, I will opt for a salad. California Salad Kitchen. Now that's got a nice ring to it.
California Pizza Kitchen
Location reviewed: 201 East 60th Street, New York NY 10022 (Third Avenue at 60th Street)
Other locations: californiapizzakitchen.com/locations