My blogger friend Jon at LA Snark recently offered me some free CPK bucks (gift certificate) to try out California Pizza Kitchen's new small cravings menu, which is their new small plates menu that ranges in price from $4-$7. I've always been a fan of the chain, so I said sure, why not?! Even though I like their five cheese and tomato pizza on honey wheat dough, I had never really tried anything else besides their pizzas and wine, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
My husband chose the The Sweet Corn Tamale Ravioli, which wasn't what I thought it would be. I figured something with a red chili sauce that I wouldn't like, but it came out with a creamy Alfredo sauce, with sweet white corn on top and I ended up stealing his plate. The dish looked like typical pasta ravioli, but it had the consistency and taste of the corn mold from a tamale. It really threw us for a loop--in a good way. If that dish was served to us at some chic LA restaurant, I would have said it was inventive and then been surprised it came from CPK.
I also ordered The Wedge Salad from the same menu, which was a nice portion, not too big and not too small. It came with a slice of iceberg lettuce topped with blue cheese dressing, applewood smoked bacon, chopped egg and really fresh tomatoes. Best of all, no onions, yick.
I'm seriously not blowing smoke up anyone's %&* when I say that I'd definitely go back for both of those plates in the future. Especially since the one near me has take out, which you can order ahead of time online (I'm lazy like that) and then pick up. You can do it through their iPhone app too, but that would require that I borrow Raphael's and he doesn't always like to share it.
Oh, and a funny thing, after we ordered our two small craving items, a cup of soup, wine and individual pizzas our waiter commented, "wow, that's a lot of food!" Hmph I could have done without that color commentary from mister skinny wannabe actor, especially since we were hungry and ate almost all of the meal sans a few slices of pizza that we took home with us and had for lunch the next day.