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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Pizza Kitchen bakes style, innovation into experience

The sheer boredom of cheese and pepperoni at traditional pizzerias has been abolished thanks to the recent addition of California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) to the repertoire of Fresno restaurants. CPK opened on Jan. 20 across from the Riverpark Shopping Center on Blackstone and Nees.

Their new pizza innovations have revolutionized the way students consume their food. The first CPK opened in Beverly Hills on Mar. 27, 1985, and broke the typical pizza mold by opening up a whole new pizza taste experience.

“I was so used to just ordering normal toppings my pizza,” Krystal Kitahara, ’04, said. “I went to CPK and they blew me away with their new pizza styles. When I went to china I had some pretty unique pizzas, but they didn’t even compare with I saw at CPK.”

Two ex-lawyers, Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, founded CPK. Having always wanted to get into the restaurant business, Rosenfield and Flax traded in the courtroom for the dining room. They created the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, and pizza lovers were jolted out of the pepperoni-mode and thrown into CPK bliss.

“I always used to just get pepperoni on my pizza,” Eric Nuefield, ’05, said. “I went to California Pizza Kitchen and decided to try something different. I had the BBQ chicken pizza, and it blew me away!”

Not limiting their menu to just pizza, the restaurant created an innovative selection of pasta, salads, and desserts. Also offered are a variety of sandwiches and breakfast pizzas such as Egg, Bacon & Spinach and Mexican Omelet with Sausage.

Today, they have continued to increase their inventory of pizzas, adding flavors and tastes from around the world, from China to Mexico. Some of the other creative hearth-baked pizza flavors they have introduced are Tostada, Vegetarian with Japanese Eggplant, Southwestern Chicken Burrito and Grilled Garlic Shrimp.

“I didn’t have pizza when I went to the California Pizza Kitchen,” Michael Van Beek, ’02, said. “Instead I enjoyed a Caesar salad with chicken pasta on the side. Everyone thought I was crazy but it was wonderful.”

CPK utilizes an enjoyable atmosphere to match their creative pizza flavors. With bright colors all around and fast friendly service, CPK uses more than just their food to attract customers.

I ordered the classic BBQ chicken pizza and spent under $10. I would give CPK a B+ and recommend it to any pizza-lover.

Now, CPK has established itself into a leading casual dining chain in the premium pizza segment with a recognized consumer brand and an established, loyal customer base. There are currently over 24 full service restaurants across the United States.

For more information on CPK contact them at 310-342-5000 or visit their website at

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