Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Re-imagined CPK in Westfield Topanga!

I had the pleasure of attending a preview of the all new California Pizza Kitchen in the Westfield Topanga mall before the restaurant opened to the public. Visually, the new CPK is amazing. From the moment I approached the location in the mall where CPK now resides, I was taken aback by the décor and warm atmosphere. The design of this re-imagined CPK sets it apart from all the other dining offered at this mall. Not only will you enjoy the open dining overlooking the mall, but the addition of the CPK bar located right in the center court of the mall is outstanding. The bar offers full menu, flat screen TV's, comfortable seating and is family-friendly which I love.


13 CPK locations are scheduled to be redesigned this year. The first location was in Sawgrass, Florida. Westfield Topanga is the second location to be debuted. I had the chance to meet G.J. Hart, CEO of CPK and listen to him discuss the upcoming changes and new focus for CPK. This is what he said about the Topanga remodel:

"“Every detail in the Topanga restaurant showcases what is to come as we unveil the next chapter of California Pizza Kitchen, from our re-imagined prototype to our new menu offering and hand-tossed pizza dough. We are going back to our roots as a company that embraces innovation, and are committed to bringing California creativity to every meal.  We want our guests to be as inspired by food as we are, and there is no better place to open our newly redesigned restaurant than in the Canoga Park community where we have loyal guests who embrace the California Pizza Kitchen experience and share this passion with us.”

 

SVP of Culinary Innovations, Brian Sullivan, shared with us what to expect from the new menu. The new menu features an amazing selection of hand-tossed pizzas with fresh ingredients and new flavor combinations. Some of the new ingredients are spicy fennel sausage, two different types of pepperoni, fresh and regular mozzarella, hand crumbled wild Greek oregano, fresh torn basil and so much more. My kids love watching dough being tossed into the air before the pizza is created. With their open kitchen layout, we can actually watch our pizza being prepared by Chef Paul and thrown right into the oven.
 
 
There is nothing I love more than a great pizza! Chef Brian prepared 3 of the new additions to the CPK menu. Just look at these beautiful pies ready for me to sample. I can honestly say that CPK offers the best pepperoni I have ever tasted. The Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage, aka, the MuPeSa, below is loaded with flavor and good to the last bite.
 
 
The fun doesn't stop there! No new menu would be complete without signature drinks. CPK has crafted about a dozen new cocktails to accompany their new menu items as well as a few non-alcoholic fruit-infused  waters that are perfect for the younger crowd. I tried the White Peach Yuzu Aqua Fresca made with fruit puree and agave nectar, topped with cinnamon. I also tried the Pineapple Mango Coconut Water. Both were delicious and refreshing. I made it a point to try all 11 new cocktails...yes, I said all 11! My favorite would have to be the Mojave Pear! It was a gorgeous hot pink drink served in a tall glass made with tequila, agave sour, tamarind puree and fresh orange. WOW!
 
 
Now, onto dessert, after all...it is the most important part of the dining experience! HA! I sampled 3 new desserts and by sample I mean inhaled!!! First up was the Butter Cake which I don't have a picture of because the smell was too good to stop for pictures...sorry. It was moist and luxurious. Yes, a cake can be luxurious! It literally melts in your mouth. The next two desserts were the Berry Sabayon and the Salted Caramel Pudding. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I cried a little with each bite! Not only was the presentation of these two desserts fantastic, but the flavor combinations were to die for and left me wanting more.
 

 
All of these wonderful new changes and additions wouldn't mean a thing if they weren't backed up by the most charming support staff I have ever met. California Pizza Kitchen has brought in a group of trainers to get the new staff ready to meet CPK standards. I have never seen so many smiling faces! Everyone was awesome! Each server was loaded with product knowledge, knew their CPK history and possessed all the personality needed to make this place one of my favorite family restaurants. I hate to see some of these happy faces return to their original locations!


CPK has definitely come a long way from their very first location in Beverly Hills back in 1985! If you're in the San Fernando Valley area, make sure you bring the family by to enjoy the new CPK Topanga. For more info on CPK visit www.cpk.com and be sure to follow their Social Media pages to keep in touch with all the new happenings coming soon!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/californiapizzakitchen
Twitter: @calpizzakitchen

5 comments:

  1. That is awesome! We love CPK. It is one of the few places we even dream of taking all four kids. Fast service and good food. And a great kids menu. When I was pregnant with my twins my husband was on a first name basis with our local store. So much take out went in to growing those two! :)

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  2. Those deserts look so good! I love CPK and think the updating is nice. It shows a commitment to their fans!

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  3. So...how much did CPK pay you to write this?

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