California Pizza Kitchen has come a long way since opening its first restaurant back in 1985. A gourmet take on the universally loved pizza, the pies offered here go well beyond the usual pepperoni and mushroom—though you can certainly have your pizza that way, if that’s your preference. Cases in point: flavor combinations like pear and Gorgonzola cheese or the arugula, tomato and parmesan-topped Tricolore salad pizza. Additionally, California Pizza Kitchen’s signature hearth-baked method lends just a hint of smoky flavor to its pizzas and gives them that perfectly crisp crust. But despite its name, the full-service restaurant serves a wide array of non-pizza items as well. From their famous BBQ chicken salad to tender steak tacos to jambalaya pasta and Kung Pao spaghetti, the casual eatery has plenty to offer. Make sure to save room for dessert—the sweet endings here come in large portions. The decadent red velvet cake is rich and moist; while the key lime pie has just the right amount of tartness. In short, the best way to enjoy your experience here is to come with a big appetite.
California Pizza Kitchen
2284 Kalakaua Ave., # 202 [C:8 Waikiki Map]