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Italian toppings go green

india Updated: Oct 22, 2010 16:01 IST
Sharin Bhatti
Sharin Bhatti
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Question: How would you like your Italian served with a generous garnishing of veggies? Surely, not many would say no to a colourful pizza bread smothered with bell peppers, black beans, olives, green onions, sweet corn, asparagus, cilantro, tomatoes, basil, lettuce, avocado, egg plant, mushrooms, capsicum… The list of toppings can send you into a tizzy, as would a regular 10-inch chicken pizza.

Situated in the busy commercial neighbourhood of Bandra Kurla Complex, the US-based California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has set up its diner on a ground floor office complex. The no-frills, simple diner-like décor welcomes you to a semi-self-service seating.

The restaurant is done up in dark wood with low-hung geometric lamps and a yellow-tiled show kitchen fitted with a hearth oven. Its alfresco section is still not in use.

What makes the place comfortably charming is its attentive and quick staff. We ordered their house specials – Chipotle Chicken Pizza (Rs 485) and Ginger Fish (Rs 495). When we asked for recommendations, surprisingly enough we were pointed to their well-curated vegetarian menu. And sure enough, the non-vegetarian selection was sprinkled with ample veggies as well.

Before our pizza and fish came, we whet our appetite with a Thai crunchy salad (Rs 295). Cabbage, crispy flat noodles, rice sticks and peanuts were doused in a spicy Thai peanut dressing, Chipotle Chicken is apparently most suited to the Indian palette with its ‘spicy base.’ Grilled chicken is served with roasted chillies and chipotle sauce – topped with black beans, roasted corn, salsa toppings, cilantro and lime cream sauce.

Thank God we went for a thick crust pizza because that turned out to be as thin as paper, you can only imagine what thin crust would be like. The interesting flavours played on your tongue, only the scantily-spread chicken cubes seemed like we ordered a vegetarian pizza with chicken garnishing. Though the lack of chicken toppings and the poor pizza crust left us hardly satiated at all, the choice of sauce made it a sure winner.

Ginger Fish was a tad better, with two long pieces of de-boned fish topped with sweet ginger sauce and stir-fried veggies. The dessert menu was next to nil. For an eating joint that has the word pizzas prominently in its name– the only thing unimpressive in its menu was exactly that.

What: California Pizza Kitchen
Where: 3, North Avenue, Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East)
Call: 65588888
What’s on the menu: Pizzas, pastas and sandwiches
Smoking: Yes
Drinking: No

What we like
The seating
The sauce preparations
The service

We don’t like
The pizza crust
The non-existent dessert menu
The prices