California Pizza in Boston

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman

California Pizza opened in 1985 in Beverly Hills. Now they have 250 locations in 11 countries. I couldn't remember the last time I went - it could be 15 years. I'm a pizza fan and we were hungry, it was suggested and we went.

Earlier, I checked the menu online. It's dizzying. The specials flip by and it took more than one try to get the names right. My guess is that if you're something of a purist, choosing is tough. Combos are what my mother would call ongepotchket; in Yiddish, meaning excessively decorated but not in a bad way; it's merely descriptive. There is shrimp scampi zucchini fettucini; avocado club egg rolls: a club sandwich with bacon, avocado, eggs, tomato, chicken and cheese rolled in a wonton with ranchito sauce and herb ranch; chile relleno with chicken, corn and black beans, mushrooms, spinach and eggplant with avocado salsa; and I could go on but I'm stopping with chicken tinga quesadilla: chicken, cheese, onion, peppers, beans, cilantro and ranchito sauce.

I tried to find out what ranchito sauce is and I'm not the only one. Scores of eaters have typed this into Yahoo and Google and so far the only answer: "It is the sauce used for their avocado egg rolls." It doesn't matter and I'm sure it's fine. The other eater ordered chicken Milanese. It was fine, yet boring, with an edge of sweetness that was not what I was expecting.

Pizzas: white, pear and gorgonzola, five cheese tomato that looks like four to me (fresh mozzarella, Monterey jack, Gouda, mozzarella and pecorino romano), and anything on honey-wheat with whole grain crust. Lentils and kale, maybe. As the evening's purist and because it's a pizza kitchen, I had "original crust traditional cheese pizza." You can have "crispy thin crust" for an additional .50 which is odd since there's less dough. Anyway, the pizza was fine with an edge of sweetness. Go figure.

Will I go back? Here's what they say on the the take-out menu: "It's always about innovative recipes brought to life with fresh, high quality ingredients. It all begins with passionate people and California creativity and ends with unforgettable flavor." Self-touting always makes me need to lie down. 12/20: I don't see this on their site now. They're still full of themselves with "might produce food cravings," spelling flavours with a "u," "bringing smiles," "taking the edge off travel fatigue," "customizable," and this: Be Bold. Be You. Be Epic.

See it on TripAdvisor
© January 18, 2013
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