Daisy Blaze

But I insist it’s not my fault – not when television keeps feeding us with dreamy images of cool Californian hunks a la The OC. In case you haven’t been touching your remote for the past year, The O.C is a hit TV serial that’s supposedly filmed and located in California’s Newport Beach where The Orange County is. I think.

Anyways, if you’re expecting a fairytale about me meeting my beloved Californian prince, then sorry, feel free to turn to the next page. That’s because I bring bad news – especially if you come from California. To all Californian dudes, I beseech you; take no offence in what I have to say about people from your state; ahem, guys in particular. All opinions expressed here are based on my horrendous experience with a fellow citizen of yours. So hunt him down and bash him if you please!

It all started with my foray into pizzas. Yes, this sounds pretty weird but bear with me while I let you in on a little fetish I have. Erm, well okay, it’s not really a fetish but a recent gastronomic craze of mine. For the past month, I’ve been scouting around town in search for THE ultimate pizza. When I mean ultimate, I do mean the best. I was sick of lousy crummy pizza that tasted like cardboard. Boy was I glad I started my search because finally when I stepped into California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), I knew I had hit jackpot.

Being my first time there, I was kind of clueless. Don’t start pitying me when I say that I actually did go alone – well I was alone for the better half of my time spent there. More about that later on.

Sick of having to endure further weird dates, I took my chances and ventured into unknown Californian territory on my own. Apparently CPK did actually originate from California and they’re known for creating the BBQ chicken pizza. I knew I had to try it and I have Penny to thank. My dear gym partner actually told me it was good stuff. I ordered a Sicilian pizza and their original BBQ chopped chicken salad.

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Normally I’m an impatient diner, always fidgeting, wondering when my food would come. But this time, I was duly entertained while waiting for my food. That’s solely cos CPK does their cooking for all to see. How cool is that? Their open-concept kitchen situated downstairs is spacious, and it sure was interesting watching cute chefs prepare my lunch. I might say it did whet my appetite more.

My pizza came and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The thin crust Sicilian pizza, made up of sweet Italian sausage, Capicola ham & salami was topped with fresh herbs like oregano and basil and three of my favourite cheeses – Fontina, Mozzarella and Parmesan. It contained a spicy marinara sauce for that extra kick. One bite and I was hooked. The intensity of the hams and sausages made each mouthful so desirable that I actually finished the entire pizza on my own.

California Pizza Kitchen’s Chicken BBQ Salad

Amazingly I still had space for the delicious BBQ chicken salad that I ordered – which I’m glad I did. It came with lots of tasty chopped BBQ chicken, lettuce, crispy corn tortilla strips with black beans, sweet corn, and even Monterey Jack cheese. There was something unique about the dressing too. I quizzed the staff and they said it was some herb ranch dressing and that ahem, they couldn’t reveal the secret ingredients to me. Well not that I was asking for the ingredients any how. Hmph.

Back to my pizza rendezvous, which quite weirdly, turned into something rather unusual. I was happily finishing off my salad when suddenly this tall, blonde, tanned lad came up to me from a separate table and stuck out his hand and coolly slurred, “Hey gorgeous, I was watching you from a corner and boy did you look hungry, my name’s Jack, mind if I get you more food?”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The word “psycho” was illuminating from his forehead I swear. BUT, I actually said, “Sure, why not!” I guess I was just too hungry – I am after all, The Hungry Bunny. I couldn’t pass up on free food can I? Jack and I chatted while we waited for more food to come. He ordered a Garlic Cheese Foccacia with Checca and this new California Club pizza that came on a honey wheat crust.

California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ chicken pizza

Turns out that dear Jack was from California and well, he has an utmost obsession with everything that has to do with his homeland. Freaky but true. He only eats at CPK, works out at California Fitness Gym, uses California Laundry and banks at the Union Bank of California. He only uses products made in California and won’t settle for anything else. Geez… I was starting to regret saying yes to his offer of free food!

He was going on and on about how great California was when thankfully the food came and that disrupted his patriotic speech. I took a slice of the California Club pizza immediately and started talking about it. I started commenting about how fresh it was and how the honey wheat crust was a refreshing change from the normal pizza crust.

I had to distract him! The foccacia was light and aromatic and eating it with the tomato, olive oil dip made it all the more heavenly. What I did next was probably the meanest thing I’ve ever done but hey give me some sympathy won’t you? I had no choice.

Once I finished half of the pizza and ate another piece of the yummy foccacia, I told Jack I was running late for an appointment and I literally ran out of CPK. Just like that, I was Gone with the Wind.

– California Pizza Kitchen, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, #01-42, Tel: 6836-0110

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