There are not a lot of restaurants that I frequent but California Pizza Kitchen is one of them. CPK is well known in California, but not quite as popular in NYC which is why I want to introduce it to the New York scene. It’s one of my go-to restaurants, and they really deliver, in terms of quality of food and service. The interior is also quite nice and inviting, of warm colors like yellow, orange and brown; fireplaces and fire burning- Reminding me of sunny California.
I have dined at CPK twice in the past couple of weeks. The first time was for lunch. My friend and I shared an appetizer and pizza. I also ordered the Cherry Limeaid — A little sweet, a little tart.
We picked a new item, Dynamite Shrimp for the appetizer, which was a delicious concoction of lightly fried shrimp tossed in spicy (not really) sweet chili-sauce with toasted sesame seeds. The shrimp was placed on a bed of crispy Asian noodles and scallions. It was definitely delightful and a light dish.
As for the pizza, we ordered Jamaican Jerk Chicken which was amazing- Full of flavor. Plenty of toppings, just the way I like it, of spicy (again, not really spicy) sweet Caribbean sauce, Mozzarella, applewood smoked bacon, onions, bell peppers and scallions. As is typical with CPK, the pizza is usually a bit thin which I enjoy because you can really taste the ingredients more and it makes the crust more crispy.
My most recent dining experience was dinner. For this meal, we were given a Small Cravings menu, which I loved – They are basically small bites for a a fraction of the cost. We tried the Korean BBQ Steak tacos, a juicy and flavorful mix of Korean steak, Napa cabbage, Romaine, onions, scallions and cilantro on corn tortillas, topped with spicy chili sauce and sesame seeds. It was ‘lick your lips’ delicious.
The pizza we ordered was the BBQ chicken with Applewood smoked bacon, which was quite good and had BBQ chicken (of course), smoked gouda, red onions and cilantro. I enjoyed the meal with fresh strawberry lemonade- A great choice of drink that is refreshing and not overly sweet. My friend’s raspberry lemonade was okay, but was a bit too sweet.
After the meal, I redeemed my sealed coupon which can only be opened by a manager so the coupon amount is a surprise until the end. This time, we received 20% off the bill. We were given a new sealed coupon that can be used next time. I think this is a great way for getting people to come back. And come back you will (even without the coupon incentive).
Address: 440 Park Ave S and 201 East 60th Street