Wednesday, March 12, 2008

California Pizza Kitchen

Usually I avoid going to CPK because I had yet to be impressed by the meals. However a friend gave me a CPK gift card for my birthday so my husband and I decided to give it another try (can't complain about free food!).

My husband (D) ordered the Thai Linguini and I chose the Grilled Sausage & Pepper Penne. You have to understand that D loves anything that is spicy and covered in peanut sauce, so naturally he loved his meal. I took a few bites and was pleasantly surprised by the taste of chicken, veggies, and spaghetti mixed together in peanut sauce. It was definitely spicy, but good!
The waiter gave me Spaghetti Bolognese. I poked at it thinking it didn't look like sausage OR penne. It was pretty much plain spaghetti. Very boring. Not something I would pay twelve bucks for. So when the waiter came back around I pointed it out and he quickly took care of the situation. He was apologetic and offered to box up the spaghetti for us to take! Of course we said, "yes" (Hello! It's free! Not great tasting, but free!).
When the Grilled Sausage & Pepper Penne finally made its way to the table I decided it was worth the wait! The sausage was delicious and the sauce was flavorful! It tasted like they used basil. Plus there were large pieces of bell peppers mixed in (I love bell peppers!). I took back all the bad things I said about CPK as I continued to enjoy my meal.

Simple and clean. My husband commented on how clean and new the inside looked even though it has been around for a few years. Not much in the way of decoration. The lighting was low for the dinner hour. We were seated close to the kitchen but it didn't seem to impede our conversation in anyway. The waiter was friendly and he came by the table just enough times.

Expect to pay $18 to $20 per person (including drink, tax, and tip)
Dessert will cost you another 6 bucks.

Would I eat there again? Sure, if I receive another gift card. But I would probably go to the Spaghetti Factory before I went to CPK again. (SF gives you spumoni with your meal!!!)

Would I send a friend there? I wouldn't inhibit them from going, but I wouldn't tell them they HAD to go either. (Okay, I have not quite made it past my previous view of CPK)

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