CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

California Pizza Kitchen – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

“Italian food is all about ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy.”~Woflgang Puck~

At Alabang Town Center, there is a wide array of Italian restaurants which you can choose from, such as Italiannis, Brooklyn Pizza, Amici, Cibo to name a few. When one I frequented. California Pizza Kitchen. It has been there as long as I can remember. I even have a photo with a friend at CPK more than 10 years ago.

So what’s the secret of a place to keep on thriving and remain strong despite of the numerous newly-constructed restaurants which offers the same products like they do.

Yes, CPK originated in the USA, created and owned by Americans, who put some tweaks on this traditional Italian dish and really took it seriously.

I think they do not stop researching for trends, they update their menu and they give out promotions during occasion constantly.

Their nachos now are colored when more than 10 years ago it’s just the usual yellow orange-colored chips. The ingredients they used are fresh and even the condiments are always updated, when it’s just Tabasco in the past years, they sense the demands of picky eaters and Sriracha or Cholulas are always ready on their tables.

Even the logo speaks for a thousand descriptions bringing you to this state where the legendary palm trees abound among other famous trees in California, from there to almost every part of the globe including the Philippines. =)

cpk logo
From 1985 to 2012 to present. =)

And of course not to forget mentioning the training they provide to their people extensive enough to keep customers coming. They keep this ROCK principle (rock philosophy: respect, opportunity, communication, kindness). Allowing their people to be inspired while at work.

So these are some of what they have in their menus:

I am not so much a fan of barbecue flavored stuff, but this hand-tossed pizza had me craving for more. I am used to pepperonis, so this one is new to me, and I really liked it. It is flavorful but not tiring and its’ spiciness is something I can tolerate. I’ve shared before I am not into spicy food, but this one is okay with me. =)

bbq pizza

The usual item that we asked to “advance call” is the nachos, we had this dip I so love, I wanted to do it at home. It’s their spinach artichoke dip, healthy and fun to eat too.

 

We tried one of the pastas too, vegetable primavera, which is also a healthy option.

veggie pasta

The flat bread with four cheese dip: hearth-baked mozzarella, queso quesadilla, smoked Gouda and Velveeta is so addicting.

4 cheese

I learned from the Restaurant Manager that Velveeta is a brand name compared to an American cheese, which texture is softer and smoother than a processed cheese. It is supposed to be consumed in moderation due to its’ high sodium content and preservatives.

While Gouda cheese is all natural from cow’s milk. Aside from the calories it’ll add to your diet, and fats, it’ll give you a little amount of calcium too. So, not bad.

The menu says “green mango salad” though I had yellow mangoes in it and I didn’t bother to contest it, it tasted really good, crunchy, fresh, a little bit funky like I’m a veggie lover all my life remember?

mango salad
Anti-oxidants. =)

So if you happen to visit Alabang Town Center and loves Italian food, you will have a lot of choices, and I’d like to personally recommend that CPK would be one of them. Happy eating!

You can find them in the following addresses:

  1. Alabang Town Center
  2. Greenbelt 5
  3. Bonifacio High Street
  4. Shangri-la Plaza Mall
  5. Century City Mall
  6. Promenade Mall
  7. SM Mall of Asia

You can also find them from time to time, offering promotions at Metrodeal (http://www.metrodeal.com/) if you want to enjoy great deals.

 

RUSTIC MORNINGS by Isabelo…

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo…

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~La Rochefoucauld~

I’m off to my tour of duty eastbound. My foodie buddy accompanied me to accomplish a task somewhere in Rizal. It was almost 1:00pm when we we’re halfway through and felt the need to refuel. I’m referring to our stomachs. Ehehe! And we’re still in Marikina when we felt like we haven’t eaten for days to think we just had coffee and some pastries from a favorite coffee shop in Gateway Mall a few hours ago..

So, we asked the driver if he can refer to us a good place to eat. And he instantly replied “Sa Isabelos!” So we asked him where is it located and he directed us to a tricycle to bring us there. The funny thing is it was a blessing in disguise since we are eyeing this place only that we knew it as “Rustic Mornings by Isabelo”… That chic resto in Marikina. And so it is. “Isabelo’s” and “Rustic Mornings” is but one and the same… 

st name
The name where they got it…
signage
Isabelo’s..
bountiful
Bountiful!

Upon reaching the place, we immediately headed to the counter and requested for the menu. The smiling attendant handed it to us, however, while browsing, she informed us and apologized at the same time that we can not order “Ala Carte” from the menu since Fridays are meant for their “Buffet promo”. And it was a Friday! Of all days!!!

the bar
Nice bar..
bacon bar
This signage is everywhere..=)
welcome door
Welcome!
no left over signage
Okaaay!=)
yare ka
Lol!

Jen is okay with it while I was half-hearted because I could not maximize buffets. Though since we’re famished and tired, we agreed to have our lunch there. Buffet! Oh well.

I enjoyed the ambiance more than the food. I was wary of the combinations. It looked confusing to me. But then, it might be absurd to get the buffet and not enjoy it. So I got my plate and choose what fits my palate.

I am actually trying to decide if I’ll have brunch or full lunch and thinking of the distance of our destination. I ended up choosing rice over bread. Besides, I prefer rice over bread ever since. =)

omelet
Omelet station…
jams
Jams!
bfast buffet
The spread for breakfast…
bfast buffe
Enticing…
bacons
Yey! Bacon!!!

It’s just confusing where will I combine the bacon, rice or bread, bread or rice.  Rice! =)

So, here’s what I’ve got:

my food
I consumed all of it, promise! Except for the Kafta balls due to its’ spiciness. We informed the attendant ahead of time to avoid being charged for not consuming everything on my plate. They are very considerate. =)

Jen, tried all these except for the pasta:

soup
I had this too..
rice
And a cup of this..
pasta
We missed this one..
kafta balls
Too spicy so I asked the attendant if I can leave this on my plate… I am not the “spicy girl” right!?
chicken
Kinda like this even if if chicken is an enemy…
bbq
I loved this!
bangus
We skipped this too!
buffet lunch
The whole spread for lunch..

And here’s what I enjoyed more:

tiled floor 2
The art all around..

Of reds!

twin bells
Twin bells..
rose tiles
Roses in their tiles..
red rose frames
I must conclude the owner(s) love roses!
pots collection
And another one in the dining hall..
pantone
This Pantone mug made me think why I didn’t have the Pantone 265 C! (–,)
three roses
She loves roses!

Of blues!

welcome door
Main entrance..
tiled floor
Dining area..
spoons
Dessert spoons..
peacocks
I love peacock feathers. We have this displayed in our sala when I was a child in our ancestral home in Binan..
mosaic tiles
You can choose to dine here or in the cabanas outside..
fvrt jar
My favorite of all the blues..
foto bomber
This niche gave me an idea for my violet stuff at home..
blues on niches
Isn’t it so lovely?
foyer
foyer…

The “Al Fresco vibes”

varying tiles
Rustic and shabby..
the one i always see in d pic
And homey..
cats
Blue cats!
bible verse
A lot like this were framed everywhere..
antique pics
Vintage photos..
al fresco
And the vintage bottles too..

The charms!

charms 2
Loved the tiles in yellow roses..
charms 1
And these charms..
charms
One of the cabanas..

Jen, tried everything and got bloated after. ehehe… Anyway, as it turns out, this accidental very heavy lunch, I won’t go that far to claim it’s one of the best buffets, since I am not much into buffets, still we enjoyed it. I didn’t feel bad not trying everything. Honest. Even if I am bacon junkie, though the “not that crispy” version, the sight of it filled me up right away. Everything felt good with bacon! =)

bacons
Yey!

I am now enjoying a lot of country – side food spots in my homeland. And will continue to hunt! =) There are actually a lot out there. Till then!

If you happen to be in Marikina? Drop by here, it would be a one of a kind experience. =)

Blue plus red equals = violet!

purple tile
(–,)
me n jen
Happy tummies! =)

Rustic Mornings is located at:

11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City. You can contact them thru the following numbers: 02-425-8610, 02-681-2461