CALIFORNIA Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the Philippines, and so it takes advantage of this opportune time to recall its most popular pizzas in the past 20 years and make them available again.
“California Pizza Kitchen has distinguished itself as a pizza authority the world over, fashioning out a creative niche of California style artisanal pizzas n much the same way as New York and Chicago established their own distinct pizza identities in their own boroughs,” explains Bob Vallar, marketing manager of CPK Philippines.
Old pizza favorites that will be making a grand re-appearance on the CPK menu include Roast Duck Pizza (marinated duck breast, soy glazed shiitake mushrooms, Mozzarella cheese, crispy fried wonton strips, scallions and Hoisin sauce); Tuna Melt Pizza (tuna salad, mixed cheeses, tomatoes and onion); Mango Tandoori Pizza (Indian spiced chicken chunks with Mozzarella cheese, onion, ripe mango chunks, curry sauce and red peppers); and Rustica Crispy Thin Crust Pizza (pepperoni, fresh Mozzarella cheese, Neapolitan pizza sauce, olives, capers, chili flakes and Parmesan cheese); all of which were first introduced in 1998.
Also making a strong comeback are two 2000 originals, Wild Mushroom Pizza (sautéed wild mushrooms, mixed cheeses, fresh parsley and mushroom pizza sauce) and Cheeseburger Pizza (ground Angus beef, crispy bacon, mixed cheeses, caramelized onion, tomatoes, lettuce and secret sauce, plus sliced fresh avocados).
Each of these pizzas has distinct characteristics that warrantees its comeback. Roast Duck Pizza is a classic Chinese gourmet dish transformed into a pizza; Tuna Melt Pizza is preferred by the health-conscious; Mango Tandoori Pizza enjoys a bit of a cult following with its Indian flavors; Rustica Crispy Thin Crust Pizza exhibits the simplicity and clean flavors of classic Italian and Sicilian pizzas; Wild Mushroom Pizza is a big hit among vegetarians; and Cheeseburger Pizza has a hand-tossed pizza dough replacing the traditional burger bun and carries on a unique California twist with the avocado slices on it.
Complementing these pizza avengers are new creations guaranteed to become instant but nevertheless long-lasting favorites: Spicy Chorizo Pizza (Spanish chorizo, chili pepper sauce, cheese, roasted bell peppers, onion and fresh avocado slices); White Clam Pizza (clams, Mozzarella cheese, onion, extra virgin olive oil and select spices); Chicken Fajita Pizza (Latin heat comes with Mexican spiced chicken, cilantro pesto, scallions, mixed cheeses and spices).
Two vegetarian pizza options—Tricolore Crispy Thin Crust Pizza (with mixed greens and diced tomatoes, topped with shaved Parmesan cheese), and Tropicale Quorn Pizza (regular hand-tossed pizza dough topped with Quorn chunks, grilled pineapple, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, yellow onion and cilantro on coconut cream sauce, drizzled with Caribbean sauce)—also made it to the new menu. The latter is a partnership with Quorn, which is a brand of meat-free, low-calorie, low-fat, high-protein and high-fiber mycoprotein derived from a type of mushroom.
The new menu also includes two new pasta offerings, Chicken Tequila Fettuccine (with chicken chunks, bell pepper, cilantro and lime juice in Cuervo Gold Tequila cream sauce) and Cajun-spiced Jambalaya Pasta (with chicken, smoked sausage, blackened shrimps, and scallions in Jambalaya sauce).
The comprehensive new menu of CPK comes complete with two salads, three all-new rice entrées, and two desserts.
Both salads are of fresh garden style. The California Harvest Salad is loaded with baby kale, Napa cabbage, carrots and steamed farrow seeds mixed with red seedless grapes, strawberries, watermelon cubes and almonds, with a choice of Citrus or Blueberry vinaigrette for dressing. The Golden Pear Salad is more straightforward, with fresh arugula, celery, parsley, candied walnuts and Cheddar cheese in lime olive oil dressing.
Following the positive response to CPK’s introduction of all-new California inspired rice entrées for the first time in the country last year, three all-new rice entrées have been added to the menu—Thai Calamari Rice (with roasted peanuts, pineapple, chili peppers, scallions and Japanese furikake in sweet Thai chili sauce); Salisbury Steak Rice (juicy Wagyu beef patty, caramelized onion and sunny side up egg in demi-glace sauce); and Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp Rice (with garlic, mushrooms, carrots, ginger, bell pepper, roasted peanuts and cilantro in coconut curry sauce).
For meal-enders, Banoffee Pie (with bananas, coffee powder, cream, caramel syrup and candied walnuts on Graham cracker crust) and Nutella Cheesecake (with hazelnut chocolate, cream cheese, chocolate syrup and whipped cream on Graham cracker crust).
For a restaurant chain that has just marked its 20th year, CPK is on the right track in bringing back old favorites and complementing them with new but equally exciting creations. The old and the new, the familiar and the promise of a good gastronomic adventure… They are a good formula for a successful new menu.
(California Pizza Kitchen has branches at Alabang Town Center, W Global Center in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Century City Mall, and Shangri-La Plaza.)