Yesterday, a spirited conversation about pizza broke in our company kitchen. One of our IT guys, Jeff Nelson, was reheating a pizza in the oven and I asked him where it originated. “We made it at home,” he said. Hmm, the only “pizza” I have made at home involved a Boboli pizza crust, bottled barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, red onions, and fresh cilantro. Sooo 1980s.
Of course, I ripped off the idea from the original location of California Pizza Kitchen in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. When they opened in 1985, this place was the bomb. Until then, no restaurant that I knew of (and I lived in Los Angeles!) had ever substituted barbecue sauce for marinara. There was Spago up on the hill on Sunset , but you had to be a celebrity to secure a table at Wolfie’s spot. Then you had to pay a bazillion dollars for a boutique pie just so you could sit so close to Michael Bolton you could count the split ends of his frizzy mullet (hint: bazillions). CPK was the gourmet pizza outlet for the masses.
Yes, this is a long lede into my rendezvous with CPK last night. I was jonsing for pizza when I left work so I decided to call CPK. (BTW, their number was not in Directory Assistance—add $1.75 for the cell call.) I will say this—at 6:40 p.m., they were doing a bristling take out business and the staff was efficient and over-the-top nice.
Too bad the pizza crust tasted like the like the cardboard box that held the pizza until I got home (five minutes). Too bad the barbecue sauce was almost non-existent. Too bad the chicken was stringy. Too bad my friend Evan Grant is going here this week. Too bad I tasted a much better version of CPK’s barbecue chicken pizza at Puck’s fast casual spot in the Denver airport last Thursday.
Pancakes are soo last week. Now, I’m binging on pizza. Best take out or delivery please! I want to gain 20 pounds before bikini season. I hate it when my hip bones do this.