My boyfriend and I waited for my brother outside of the California Pizza Kitchen at ABQ Uptown. People dinned at the patio tables while couples walked down the store fronts holding hands.
My brother arrived and suggested we sit inside. A man dressed in a black restaurant uniform directed us to a booth. I immediately noticed the open kitchen lay out and casual environment. The establishment's design was modern and posh.
In 1985 two attorneys, opened the first California Pizza Kitchen in Beverly Hills. The company's vision was to introduce a different kind of pizza that would give competition to the popular NY and Chicago styles.
Menus were brought to the table by a waitress who offered to take our drink order. My brother and boyfriend went with a local draft beer and I chose a margarita.
What sets California style pizza apart is size and toppings. These are personal sized pizzas and examples of their non-conventional toppings are avocados, BBQ chicken, peanut sauce, Thai veggies, and carnitas.
Our pizzas of choice for the night were original crust Hawaiian, Pepperoni and BBQ Chicken.
Toppings looked as if they had been carefully placed above the cheese and tomato sauce. The pizzas looked perfectly cooked. Sauce, spread out evenly on the soft flour-speckled crust. We shared and tasted a slice from each pizza. Instead of tomato sauce the BBQ chicken pizza was topped with BBQ sauce, giving it a very tangy flavor.
It was a different taste, one that needs some getting used to.
Someday I'll be adventurous and try one of their uniquely topped pizzas, but that night I kept it safe and went with the Hawaiian. No complaints with the service either, our waitress did a good job.
My brother, who was in the process of purchasing a home, discussed the topic of real estate, with my boyfriend. I sat listening in on the conversation, catching a small buzz off my alcoholic beverage.With the energetic atmosphere, we remained in our seats long after our dirty dishes had been taken, chatting the night away.
Before receiving a bill, It was explained to us that if we downloaded the California Pizza Kitchen app, called Pizza Dough, to our smart phone and clicked on the "check-in" button, we'd receive our appetizers for free. So we did.