-By Rashmi Uday Singh
Get ready for a heady shot of youthful energy today: Mumbai's buzzing restaurantscape is delivering casual, youthful experiences and magnetising the younger and younger lot. So when an American import (California Pizza Kitchen) lands in the Phoenix Mall there's no one better to help asses it than the rocking sister-brother team of Purvi and Gaurav Thacker. Even as you read this, finance whizkid Gaurav is in Wharton (Philadelphia) completing his MBA. Multi-talented, multimedia journalist Purvi is in New York's Columbia graduate school studying journalism. We dined here, just before the brilliant and lively foodies left and I was delighted by how they combine tradition with modernity, substance with style. While Purvi is multi-lingual, loves coffee, the rain, spicy food, photography and collecting books. Gaurav enjoys traveling, reading, live music, meat and sunny weather. They've eaten at many a CPKs in the US and in fact are as at home in America as they are in India.
It's a high-ceilinged, large hall, with comfy, leather booths and a long bar. And it's perched on the first floor of the Phoenix mall. I eat here twice. Boy! Is it packed? Can spaghetti be Chinese (Kung pao)? Pizzas be desi, Greek,Thai, Mexican…you name it? Yes dude! but only in CPK, founded in Los Angeles 25 years ago. Pizzas go global...coming up tops (believe it or not) is the veggie “Tostada” pizza, tastily bursting with beans, ranch dressing, is crunchy and squishy. The ever popular Barbecue chicken pizza inspite of its sweet notes is worth trying. Wooing the Indian palate are two new versions: veg Thai curry and cayenne with paneer. Surprise! the pasta (Kung pao spaghetti, Garlic cream fettucine, pesto penne) is aldente, delicious though oversauced. The mish mash of starters disappoints. Be it the oversalted spinach dip or stale tortilla , ditto for the wantons. The crunch is missing from the Thai salad. Gigantic portions of desserts: Sadly the Red velvet is not moist enough but the unique block of the creamy tiramisu and the sticky toffee dessert delight. CPK's American founders Rick and Larry gave pizza a twist on global flavours…California style. Continuing the CPK philosophy, Mumbai creates many a veggie chatpata option. Loud music, friendly service, a bustling bar and Jumbo American portions (Rs 1400 meal for two) make our American dost a crowd puller. Dost ko salaam karo.
Review posted more than a year ago
What I really like about this place is its high ceiling, and large space, add to that good food and service makes this a great place to dine with family and friends.
Their thin crust whole wheat pizzas get a thumbs up and a special mention goes out to their desserts too.
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