Dorothy and I decided to make a special day of it Sunday by visiting the Los Angeles County Arboretum to get some exercise while I indulged my photography hobby. We followed the arboretum with an early dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen, which was just down the street in the Westfield Santa Anita Mall.
Although I rarely go out for pizza because it causes congestion in me, once in a while I’ll put up with the reaction to satisfy my pizza craving. Imagine my surprise when I read the menu and discovered the choices available. This is not your typical pizza restaurant. The California Pizza Kitchen earns its name because it epitomizes my positive images of California dining: casual, elegant, and multicultural.
This location is on the second floor of the Westfield Santa Anita Mall, just before the entrance to the Promenade. It has plate glass windows the full length of the restaurant so you can see the activity inside. When we came around 5:30 PM, the restaurant was already busy so we had a very brief wait.
No sooner had we gotten seated than our server, Sabrina, greeted us with menus including the seasonal menu. She brought our drinks, which were two waters and a fresh brewed iced tea for me, while we read the tasty options available. We really appreciated her patience and her frequent returns to check on us. We were captivated by the unique dishes so had to whittle it down to just enough for one meal.
Shaved Mushroom + Spinach Flatbread, $5.99
Dorothy wanted a pizza and salad combination so she ordered one of the California Flatbreads, the Shaved Mushroom + Spinach Flatbread that they make with Cremini mushrooms, sautéed spinach, and California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil with Romano and Parmesan. Because she gave me one of her four slices, I too got to enjoy it. We both were delighted with this “small plate” takeoff on pizza.
Caramelized Peach Salad, Half, $8.29
Choosing her salad was also one of the challenges as the California Pizza Kitchen has a “Taste of Summer” seasonal special, the California Fields Salad with watermelon, strawberries and field greens dressed with their housemade Champagne vinaigrette, Feta and California pistachios. Ultimately, Dorothy picked the Caramelized Peach Salad.
Their menu describes it as “Field greens, spinach, warm caramelized peaches, cranberries, red onions, toasted pecans and Gorgonzola tossed in housemade white balsamic vinaigrette. (GF)” One nice thing about it was that a half order was really a lot of salad so with her flatbread small plate, she felt full.
I got to sample the caramelized peach and found it tasted a bit like candy. It was good but not the fresh peach taste I love. Dorothy really enjoyed this salad.
Moroccan-Spiced Salad, Full, $14.79
I was in the mood for something unique so the Moroccan Chicken label caught my attention. California Pizza Kitchen’s menu list it as “One of a kind, with roasted butternut squash, dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, red peppers, chopped egg and cranberries. Tossed with housemade Champagne vinaigrette. (GF)”
Personally, I was thrilled with this salad. The dates added just the right amount of sweetness. And the roasted butternut squash gave it an exotic taste I normally don’t have in my salads. It seemed to have a spice flavor similar to that of the Moroccan chicken, which Dorothy thought was cooked with Five Spice seasoning.
Food Allergies: The California Pizza Kitchen menu has notices to caution patrons to discuss with the manager any food allergies you have as not every ingredient is listed on all dishes. See links below to Allergen Information and a Gluten-Free menu.
- GF: Gluten-Free
Service and Atmosphere
Sabrina’s service was exceptional. She was pleasant, knowledgeable, and eager to fill any request. The restaurant itself was clean and bright with the clever use of their amazing variety of colorful pizza boxes for wall decorations.
This dining experience was a wonderful cap to a great day. Arcadia’s California Pizza Kitchen earned 5 points out of 5 from us.
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California Pizza Kitchen restaurant
- 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007
California Pizza Kitchen location
- Westfield Santa Anita Mall, Arcadia – 2nd floor near entrance to the Promenade
- Westfield Santa Anita location
- Mon - Thurs11:00 AM-09:00 PM
- Fri - Sat11:00 AM-09:30 PM
- Sun11:00 AM-08:00 PM
- Beverages including margaritas, mojitos, and cocktails as well as non-alcoholic and fountain drinks
- Casual dining
- Table service