The Sunbaked King

California Pizza Kitchen

What? American/Italian/Asian Cuisine (fusion?)

Where? Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City


Let’s break it down:

Food. We ordered the following: Bangkok Calamari (From the Menu {FTM}: Light fried calamari served with sweet Thai dipping sauce and homemade remoulade), The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (FTM: Our most popular pizza, introduced in our first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1985. Barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda and Mozzarella cheeses, BBQ chicken, sliced red onions and cilantro), and Marsala Marinara (FTM: Linguini with our marinara sauce, garlic, Italian marsala wine, mushrooms and fresh basil. Topped with shaved Parmesan cheese)

Among the three, the pasta was the tastiest. Of course I’m biased with anything that contains shrimp, but this dish was extra delicious. I don’t know how marsala wine tastes, but maybe it was the ingredient that added that little oomph. Most important, the food came with a generous serving of shrimps, which some pretentious “shrimp” dishes puzzlingly try hard to avoid.

That’s where the good news ends. The other two dishes failed to amaze. The Bangkok Calamari tasted good, but it was to be expected; after all, it’s fried squid. Of course it’s going to taste good. Looking back, I’m wondering if I should have used the remoulade dip more. Nah, maybe not. It looked too much like coleslaw.

On the other hand, the pizza, for me, was a disaster. I’ve never been fond of BBQ Chicken pizzas (even in the equally delicious Yellow Cab), but something about their advertisement (“our most popular pizza“) beckoned to me. Hoping against hope, I succumbed. And regretted. Topping pizza dough with the sweet BBQ sauce and the chunky chicken bits was still not a favorable combination for me. Jeland ended up eating the pizza, while I ended up licking the sauces off the pasta plate.

3  out of 5

Ambiance. The place was huge, which was great. And the yellow lighting? Good for photographs. There were several types of seats and tables; there were seats by the bar, there were couches, and there were normal seats by normal tables. The place was divided into smoking and no-smoking areas, which, though customary in some restaurants, still appear thoughtful. 

 4  out of 5

Service. The waiter took our orders without writing them down, which impressed me, then went back 5 minutes after to check if the pizza we ordered was Chicken BBQ, which disappointed me. Aside from that little bump, service was alright, and the waiting time was not that long, considering all that we have ordered. Or maybe it’s because we were camwhoring once again. Hmmm, it’s hard to gauge these days.

3.5  out of 5

California Pizza Kitchen is a great restaurant to go to, but only if you order the right kind of food suited to your tastes. Furthermore, something tells me that I could have gone to Yellow Cab and got a higher level of satisfaction for a cheaper cost, instead.


Filed under: Gastronomy

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