Like many SoCalers, I love hanging out and shopping at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica whenever I get the chance. During my last visit, I stopped by California Pizza Kitchen
to enjoy a meal as well as to check out the new, completely revamped menu and seasonal dishes now available at the chain. If you read my last CPK post
, then you how CPK is ushering in a new era and concentrating on better food and making sure each store is rustic, chic, and modern as part of their new vision. So since it's already somehow the beginning of fall, here are the latest seasonal specials mixed in with some of the delicious new menu items that I highly recommend you try next time you stop by CPK!
I can't tell you how amazing the new flat breads are. No joke. I've tried three of the flavors so far and I've yet to be disappointed. This is the new seasonal Brussels + Bacon Flatbread
with roasted brussel sprouts with sweet caramelized onions, Nueske's Applewood-smoked bacon, creamy goat cheese, Romano and cracked black pepper atop hand-stretched dough, cooked in the open-hearth oven. The brussels sprouts are so fall, right? And who can say no to bacon? Sprinkle a bit of bacon on anything and it becomes the perfect meal!
If you're looking for a refreshing salad to eat, I'd suggest trying the Harvest Kale Salad. It has tender baby kale, toasted farro, roasted butternut squash, Napa cabbage, shaved Bosc pear, marinated cranberries, spiced pecans and goat cheese tossed with housemade citrus vinaigrette. This is one of the seasonal items that is only available for a short time. So get it while it lasts!
Another new item is the Hearth-Roasted Halibut wild-caught Alaskan halibut roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro, baby kale, and grilled asparagus. Let. Me. Tell. You.... the risotto underneath was amazing!
Asides from the flatbread, another one of my absolute favorites of the night was the Roasted Garlic Chicken + Seasonal Vegetables: Crispy-skin chicken breast in lemon-garlic sauce with hearth-roasted fingerling potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and Mediterranean herbs. I know I'm obsessed with brussels sprouts, but the sauce from the dish soaked up all the goodness. The chicken is pan-fried and then oven backed to perfection. If you like chicken skin, then you'll definitely love this one. Go out and order this right now!
The most peculiar item on the new menu was the rib eye. CPK's Fire-Grilled Rib Eye, A 12 oz. U.S.D.A. choice rib-eye grilled with house-made Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter. It's served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic arugula salad.
Of course I was sipping on an array of CPK's newest cocktails. They are seriously delicious. CPK uses real sugarcane in their mojitos. Aside from their drool-worthy mojitos, their new Blood Orange Sangria is also to die for. The seasonal sangria has Bacardi Limón, Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, St. Germain Elderflower, blood orange purée and fresh agave nectar.
Don't forget about the lime margarita either. After I took a break from all the eating, the manager Gabriel took me behind the kitchen to try my hand at pizza making. And boy was it hard!
I got all dressed in my CPK best complete with my own chef outfit. Pablo demonstrated his skills first. He was getting all fancy with his tossing skills. Clearly someone was trying to show off! Gabriel asked me what my favorite CPK pizza was that I wanted to make and of course I answered the mushroom pizza with truffle. I had it for the first time during the anniversary party for the menu revamp and ever since it's been the only pizza I order each time I'm at CPK. But how would my version of the pizza turn out?