|Our eatery of choice!|
California Pizza Kitchen is a higher end pizza restaurant, offering a variety of unique pizzas, salads, entrees and appetizers. While pricier than my usual restaurant go-to's (cough cough Chipotle and Chick Fil A), I couldn't wait to try my first, safe gluten free pizza (not cooked by me!) in nearly a year. CPK offers several other gluten free choices on their menu (such as salads) and someone can order any pizza on a gluten free crust for a two dollars extra charge, but only four pizzas are safe from cross contamination.
|The real deal!|
We arrived at the California Pizza Kitchen (located in San Diego's Fashion Valley Mall) around one o'clock on a Saturday afternoon. Considering that it was Memorial Day Weekend, I was happily surprised to be immediately seated. After walking in, I asked for a gluten free menu for our table and told our waiter of my celiac disease and need for a gluten free pizza. CPK passed those initial celiac tests with all of the workers easily adapting to my requests. And, since it offer dozens of unique pizzas (plus complementary bread), CPK easily won over my friends as well.
|Just a few of the gluten goodies...|
All the pizzas were medium-sized and, in my mind, perfect to split between two people. My friends devoured two pies between the three of them within seconds, while I slowly savored my own. The pepperoni slices were well distributed, as were the mushrooms, though I did blot some of the (typical restaurant) oil off with my napkin. And, since I don't usually eat dairy, the melted layer of mozzarella underneath the toppings tasted heavenly. I asked for light on the cheese, and the thin but even coating perfectly complimented the spicy pepperoni and juicy mushrooms. I also enjoyed the fresh oregano sprinkled on top.
|My gluten free pizza!|
Since I had the pizza all to myself, I was the only one at our table who needed a to-go box, which turned out just as delightful as the pizza itself! On the top of the box, California Pizza Kitchen printed instructions on how to optimally reheat a pizza. I decided to try out their advice for myself the following night. After slicing and broiling some veggies for a few minutes in the oven, I popped my leftover slices into the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until the cheese started to bubble. Then, out popped some leftover pizza perfection! While it certainly tasted delicious at the restaurant, adding my own preferred toppings gave it that extra punch. Pizza good on Day 1 and 2? A gift card well spent!
|The finished (upgraded) product!|
Have you ever tried California Pizza Kitchen before? What's your favorite pizza topping? Comment below!