CPK’s Next Chapter – new menu items, a new look, and more

Tonight, my family and I dined at California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in Marina Del Rey and experienced their “Next Chapter,” which includes new food and cocktail items and a contemporary, new look.

My fondest and earliest memories of CPK date back to my high school and college years. I enjoyed eating salad for the first time at CPK. I despised eating vegetables when I was a kid. However, there was something about the Chinese Chicken Salad at California Pizza Kitchen that was just so darned good, it turned me on to salad and vegetables. Thankfully, it was my foray into eating healthier.

As I got older, I started exploring new restaurants and cuisines, but California Pizza Kitchen remained my “go-to” for reliable favorites (BBQ chicken pizza, Chinese Chicken Salad). Now that I’m a parent, if a restaurant is kid-friendlyhas tasty, fresh food, and free parking, it will be on my list. CPK‘s Next Chapter at Marina Del Rey fulfills those requirements and as an added bonus, has an ambiance I love – rustic, wood tables and floors, comfortable seating, and a mix of traditional and modern decor.

I could definitely taste the difference in the quality and flavor of the food and will definitely return with my family.

Here is what we experienced:

Ambiance

CPK_MDR_ambianceCPK Marina del Rey is one of a handful of CPK restaurants currently debuting the “Next Chapter.” The completely redesigned look is a modern, rustic vibe that focuses on sustainable materials. The floors are made of oak, the tabletops and chairs are made from reclaimed wood, the countertops are made of stone, and the fabric on the seating and decor are made of recycled materials. We sat inside, but if it was a little warmer, we would choose to sit outside, where they have heat lamps in their beautiful outdoor patio.

CPK_MDR_interiorOne of the things I like best about this location is the open kitchen. I’m a huge fan of cooking shows, so I like seeing food prepared, and watching the rhythm of the kitchen staff. Between the bartenders mixing craft cocktails to the chefs at the stations, to the prompt and attentive staff, it’s easy to forget there are also large screen televisions in sight! This CPK has decor which is unique to their Marina Del Rey location – artwork celebrating the neighborhood, and a natural herb garden too!

Crayons AND Dough to entertain kids

CPK_MDR_doughMy daughter loved playing with the dough! At first she didn’t understand why it was there, but once she got started, she wouldn’t put it down (at least, not until the food arrived)! It entertained her so much, my husband and I actually had uninterrupted conversation!

CPK_MDR_kidsmenuThis is the kids’ menu. We didn’t order anything from it for my daughter, because she usually eats what we eat, but the options look really good. One of the funny things my husband pointed out to me was the CPK Kid’s salad is topped with Goldfish crackers! Very cute and a good idea I’ll have to steal for our meals at home.

Craft Cocktails

CPK_MDR_margaritaIt’s Saturday night, and mommy wants a drink! It’s nice to have choices, and on CPK’s expanded menu, there are a lot of options. I opted for the Citrus Adobo Margarita. It was exactly what I was looking for – something sweet, sour, and salty!

CPK’s new hand-crafted cocktails feature premium alcohols with fresh fruit purees and herbs. New offerings include the California Roots, made with fresh avocado, shaken smooth with Svedka vodka, mint and agave sour, with a fennel salt rim; and the Blueberry Ginger Smash, with fresh muddled blueberries, lime and cranberry with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Domaine de Canton Ginger.

CPK_MDR_drink

Appetizer (aka- Dinner for my toddler)

CPK_MDR_flatbreadOne of my daughter’s favorite things to eat is a ham and cheese omelet, so we ordered the Smoked Ham and Swiss Flatbread, one of their new menu items. It is topped with Emmanteler and goat cheese, caramelized onions and smashed garlic croutons. My husband and I each had a slice, and my daughter (who had no appetite yesterday) ate the other two slices.

Seasonal Menu

There is an insert in each of the menus that changes with the season. This is what is in season right now:

CPK_MDR_seasonalThe staff raved about the Sunny Side Up Bacon + Potato Pizza so we had to order it. It did not disappoint. I’m a big fan of eggs on anything, so this pizza was as good as it sounds and lived up to the hype. The quality and creativity is consistent with other “trendy” pizza joints around town, and the flavors were on point. I like this new side of CPK!

CPK_MDR_pizza

New Menu Items

New on the entree menu are the Hearth Roasted Halibut and the Fire Grilled Ribeye. It was difficult to choose, but we opted for the halibut because it’s not something I normally cook, and because it comes with asparagus (a vegetable my daughter loves).

CPK_MDR_halibutI’m so glad we ordered the halibut, because much to my surprise, my daughter really liked it. I thought she was going to eat the pizza, but she kept asking for “more fish.” I’m not going to complain about that! Needless to say, getting the halibut was a good decision. Oh, yeah, and they cook it on a cedar plank so that’s another good reason for getting it. Cedar plank cooking is not in my repertoire of kitchen skills I have at home, so I like to leave it to the experts 🙂

Dessert

I don’t think a meal is complete without dessert. Especially when it involves ice cream. We ordered the Butter Cake with Ice Cream and the Chocolate Souffle with Ice Cream. Both were rich and delectable. The butter cake has these sugar crystals that made the bites deliciously crunchy. The chocolate souffle cake replaced the molten lava cake on the menu. It’s lighter and just as delicious!

CPK_MDR_dessert

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of CPK and the Next Chapter at CPK Marina Del Rey

Special events and activities include:

  • Double rewards for CPK’s Pizza Dough Rewards loyalty program members from Monday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 31.
  • An in-restaurant raffle on Friday, Jan. 29 with a variety of fun prizes including a CPKids party, office catering and a delicious dinner for two.
  • Pizza Dough Members are also invited to join in on the celebration on Thursday, Jan. 28 and Friday, Jan. 29 with free butter cake and ice cream from 3 – 6 p.m. with the purchase of an entrée.

Satisfaction Guranteed

The new CPK menu encourages diners to seek unique and seasonal flavor combinations with a Menu Adventure Guarantee: if a guest tries a new dish and is not satisfied, it will be replaced with his or her favorite item from the CPK menu. For those with specific dietary needs, CPK also has options that are under 650 calories, vegetarian or gluten-free. We also provide allergen information to those with food sensitivities. For the complete menu, visit www.cpk.com/reimagined.

About California Pizza Kitchen

In 1985, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) opened its first restaurant in Beverly Hills and introduced diners to innovative California-style pizza. Since then, CPK has launched what has become a global brand known for
creative California cuisine. Today, CPK is approaching 300 restaurants in 16 countries and 218 cities around the world and has served over 15 million pizzas to more than 43 million guests. Dedicated to a unique dining
experience, CPK is now introducing its Next Chapter featuring reimagined menus, open kitchens, and unique renovations in all restaurants across the country. For more information on California Pizza Kitchen, visit cpk.com.

Follow CPK on Twitter at @calpizzakitchen (#NEWCPK),
Instagram at @californiapizzakitchen and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/californiapizzakitchen.
Download CPK’s Pizza Dough® Rewards app for iTunes and Android and check in to begin earning rewards for dining creatively.


 

Disclaimer: I was invited as a blogger to dine at CPK and write a review about my experience. All opinions are 100% my own.