California Pizza Kitchen
100 Hillsdale Mall
San Mateo, CA 94403
California Pizza Kitchen started back in 1985 in Beverly Hills by two attorneys. It is now International and publicly traded. Their BBQ Chicken pizza is their signature dish. We were passing by the San Mateo location and decided to refresh our memories. Fate has lead us to eat here, more than we would like to admit..
Decor, Vibe – California Pizza Kitchen has Modern clean decor with lots of painted pizza boxes on the walls. This location is part of a shopping mall, so typical mall shoppers were dining.
CPK Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Lots of different salad, appetizer, and pizza options.
CPK Food Picks:
White corn guacamole + chips ($4.69) Diced avocado, sweet white corn, black beans, jicama, bell peppers, cilantro and serrano peppers is not big but definitely hit the mark. Could use more of the guacamole substitute.
Chinese Chicken Salad ($11.79 for full) – Shredded Napa cabbage, crisp iceberg and crispy wontons tossed with julienne carrots, red cabbage, green onions, toasted sesame seeds and fresh cilantro in a spicy sweet & sour sesame dressing. Topped with chilled-grilled chicken breast. Good sized salad with lots of thinly sliced chicken. Greens were pretty finely chopped. Dressing had a low key flavor. Decent and filling salad but fairly high priced.
Carmelized Peach Salad ($9.29 for half) Field greens, spinach, warm caramelized peaches, cranberries, red onions, toasted pecans
and Gorgonzola tossed in housemade white balsamic vinaigrette has a sweet flavor profile with tons of cheese. Make sure you like this.
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza ($13.29) – Fresh pineapple, BBQ chicken, smoked Gouda and Mozzarella cheeses, barbecue sauce, sliced red onions and cilantro had a soft edge and slightly firm crust making it more like a flatbread. You could taste the gouda cheese. Not a lot of meat.
Roasted Veggie Salad ($13.50 for full) was a good sized salad for vegetarians. Pretty massive plate full of chopped lettuce plus some cooked vegetables including eggplant, avocado, and more. Luke Warm artichoke hearts, asparagus, eggplant, red and yellow peppers, corn and sun-dried tomatoes served over cool Romaine, avocado and housemade Dijon balsamic vinaigrette.
The Meat Cravers Pizza – Crispy Thin Crust ($14.69) had a combination of sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Capicola ham, julienne salami, Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. One of their better pizzas as there is so much MEAT.
Kung pao spaghetti ($9.29) Fusion of Chinese classic with garlic, scallions, peanuts and hot red chilies, added chicken. Surprisingly good.
Margherita – Original BBQ Chicken Pizza ($12.99) – Barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda and Mozzarella cheeses, BBQ Chicken, sliced red onions and cilantro was just like the other one. It was ok but nothing stellar.
Italian Tomato & Basil Pizza ($13.49) Imported Italian tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and our tomato sauce, topped with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese was just average as the ingredients are pretty fair. No artisan cheeses or freshly picked tomato here. We’ll take a Gialina pizza any day.
Raspberry Lemon Drop ($9) – Ketel One Vodka ● Chambord ● Triple Sec ● Fresh Lemon – was a deceptively strong sweet cocktail with a sugar rim. Much better than their watered down mojitos.
Mango Mojito ($8.50) was water downed and full of ice. Drink something else.
Hand Shaken Agave Mojito ($8.29) was too sour, then it was remade and was too sweet. Try a margarita instead.
California Pizza Kitchen got us a mediocre server that forgot a drink, did check on us. On another visit we had an enthusiastic young server. The food was fair and the prices not cheap but inline with a sit down place. You can find gourmet pizza not far from here at places like Speederia or Toto’s. They have a kids menu.