Friday, 15. August 2014 5:26
Roasted garlic chicken — a new item at California Pizza Kitchen at Valley Fair shopping center.
Back in the day, California Pizza Kitchen was the place to go for an inventive yet accessible take on pizza with a decidedly breezy California influence.
Barbecue chicken pizza, anyone?
But over the years, as pizza turned artisan, the choices for truly hand-crafted pies proliferated and greatly overshadowed California Pizza Kitchen’s offerings.
As such, I admit it has been quite some time since I last ate at a California Pizza Kitchen. But when I was invited in as a guest recently at the outpost in the Westfield Valley Fair shopping center in Santa Clara, what nudged me in was the opportunity to try some new menu items aimed at “de-chaining the chain.” Indeed, the new menu additions, which rolled out in June, are available only at the locales in Santa Clara, Sacramento, Beverly Hills and Solana Beach so far.
Among the new beverage items is the Blueberry Ginger Smash ($10.89), a highball glass of Jack Daniel’s, agave nectar, Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur, fresh blueberries, lime and cranberry juice. Garnished prettily with a skewer of blueberries and a sliver of candied ginger, it’s quite fruity and refreshing with the warmth of the booze hitting you on the finish.
The Blueberry Ginger Smash.
A half-size of Harvest Kale Salad ($10.99) was made with curly, rather than the more popular lacinato, kale. Toasted farro, cabbage, red grapes, cranberries, Marcona almonds, goat cheese and the surprise of shaved rainbow carrots gave the salad a big splash of color and texture. A quite sharp citrus vinaigrette added punch along with an unexpected touch of spiciness.
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