Overcome by pangs of hunger at Walt Whitman Mall, I ducked into California Pizza Kitchen. On a Friday night at 7 p.m., it was mobbed, folks waiting outside for a table. I took a seat at the bar and ordered.
This salad, from the new “small cravings” menu—fresh arugula, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in lemon-herb vinaigrette, topped with toasted almonds and shaved Parmesan cheese—was pretty good, but if there’s a next time I would ask them to leave off the sun-dried tomatoes. Candy-sweet, they threw off the balance.
My margherita pizza was just OK. From my view at the bar I could see that the pizzaoli di California do not stretch the dough by hand; they flatten it in a mechanical press. Perhaps this is what lent the crust a slightly dead texture. Neither the tomatoes nor the cheese really sang, but at least they weren’t deployed too heavily. I hate an overladen pizza.
California Pizza Kitchen is in the Macy’s end of the Walt Whitman Mall at 160 Rte. 110
Huntington Station, 631-423-7565.
California Pizza Kitchen photo