10701 Lambert International Blvd.
MO63145-1000 Airport 314-426-8000 www.cpk.com
Hours: Sun-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-7pm
California Pizza Kitchen originated in Beverly Hills in 1985, riding the "California cuisine" wave that would come to define the culinary decade; the company now boasts 250 locations of casual sit-down eateries with modern, neutral decor and a casual-yet-upscale feel. A pioneer of envelope-pushing fusion pizzas, the chain claims to have invented the now-ubiquitous barbecue chicken pizza, an anchor of a menu that offers pies topped with everything from Thai-spiced chicken with peanut sauce and bean sprouts to bacon, avocado and mayo-dressed lettuce on three different crust options: original, honey-wheat or thin and crispy. Besides the namesake pizzas, CPK offers hungry St. Louis diners a full menu of "California twist[s] on global flavors" including enormous salads like the Spago-inspired Chinese Chicken and a so-right-now Quinoa and Arugula, plus other globe-trotting items ranging from "Tuscan" hummus and tortilla soup to fish tacos and cedar-plank salmon. California Pizza Kitchen is easy to find on Voice Places.