What to Eat at CPK

Today Eat by Stars heads to its first pizza joint.  We start with the high falutin California Pizza Kitchen.

CPK presents itself as a better pizza joint.  Or healthier, at least.  Let’s go through the menu and find out if that holds grease in pepperoni.

We’ll give an overall view of each menu section and then highlight various choices. CPK only gives saturated fat grams, not full fat.  We’ll use saturated fat instead this go round.  Go check out the full nutritional info here.

Small Cravers

These are shareable small plates.  Think of them as small appetizers.  That’s not a bad thing.  You can definitely find a few good options.  And, as always, a few bad options.  Just don’t overload, you have a whole meal on the way after all.

The Wedge Saladcalories 278,  sat. fat 6g, protein 6g, carbs 5g

Asparagus + Arugula Salad calories 189, sat. fat 2g, protein 4g, carbs 8g

White Corn Guacamole + Chips calories 363, sat. fat 3g, protein 6g, carbs 48g

Mediterranean Focacciacalories 656, sat. fat 6g, protein 18g, carbs 83g


Unlike Small Cravers, the appetizers section is completely devoid of moderately healthful options.  If all you’re eating is an appetizer I suppose they’re OK.  But you didn’t come to CPK for an appetizer, did you?


Lots of land mines here.  Lots.  In fact, full salads are roughly a tie with half a pizza.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll take half a pie over a full salad every time.  Even with ranch dressing.  If you opt for the greens, stay safe with the half portion.  Then swipe a slice.

Half Roasted Vegetable Saladcalories 298, sat. fat 3g, protein 5g, carbs 24g

Half Original Chopped with Garbanzo Beans calories 494, sat. fat 8g, protein 22g, carbs 13g (salt 41% DV)

Full CPK Cobb Salad calories 941, sat. fat 18g, protein 48g, carbs 22g (salt 69% DV)

Full Moroccan Chicken Salad calories 1370, sat. fat 12g, protein 43g, carbs 116g (salt 42% DV)


THIS is why we’re here.  It isn’t California Salad Kitchen.  So, what’s the verdict?  Well, it’s pizza.  So you can do better.  But follow a few simple rules and this may in fact be your healthiest pizza joint option.

  1. Share!  The pizzas aren’t huge.  Easily eaten by one person with an appetite.  Resist the urge and split a pie.  You’ll end up between 500 and 700 calories.  You can do MUCH worse.
  2. Thin crust.  Opting for the thin crust saves you 179 calories a pie.  Or, since your sharing, 89 calories.  Thin is in.
  3. Less toppings.  The less toppings the better.  The healthier the toppings the better.  Can you imagine?

Because there are so many options I won’t give specific pizza examples.  Check the full nutritional info for your favorite pie.


There are two, and only two, pasta options that rise above a 2-star.  Get those.  Avoid the rest.

Cedar Plank Salmon + Corn Succotash calories 637, sat. fat 8g, protein 52g, carbs 36g, (salt 23%)

Norwegian Atlantic Salmon with Wok-Stirred Vegetables calories 745, sat. fat 7g, protein 52g, carbs 25g, (salt 36% DV)

Tacos + Sandwiches

Like nearly every restaurant chain sandwich, they all fall in 2-star category.  You can’t find one less than 800 calories and 80 grams of carbs.  Just get a damned pizza will you?


You know the answer to this section.



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