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Mexifornia is the flavour of the season at California Pizza Kitchen

Pizzas

The 5th of May is an important date in the history of Mexico. According to Wikipedia, a battle took place on this very date in 1862 near the city of Puebladuring the French intervention in Mexico. The battle ended in a victory Mexican Army over the occupying French forces. This holiday remains very popular in the United States where it is celebrated annually as Cinco de Mayo.

Pizzas

Mexifornia flavoured pizzas

So what better month is there than May to launch a new festival? Californian, with a twist of Mexican – Mexifornia! The proposition sounded interesting and so last Friday evening I found myself trying out the new “Mexifornia” menu launched by California Pizza Kitchen in Phoenix City Mall in Whitefield.

It will also be available at their outlets in Mumbai and Bangalore from April 29 to May 19.

I rarely eat pizza when I’m eating out since I’m not too much of a fan. So when I do, I want really good pizza! But besides pizza, I know Mexican food can be pretty interesting with their traditional styles of cooking and the ingredients that are used so that got my attention.

The newly opened outlet at Phoenix city is just below Trader Vic’s (also part of the same chain, as also Mai Tai) we’re informed.

There are quite a few specials that are a part of the new menu. Amongst them, this is what we tasted.

Fire roasted enchiladas that are flavoured with cumin, paprika and other spices, and then baked with cheddar and fontina cheese. It’s then coated with homemade enchilada sauce and topped with crème fraiche and cilantro. We had ours with chicken but vegetarian option is also available.

Enchiladas

Fire Roasted Enchiladas

The Adobe tacos are made with freshly toasted corn tortillas, topped with adobe fried chicken (you can also have shrimp/paneer) and topped with signature smokey barbeque and chipotle slaw. The Mexican rice with it’s trademark flavour and with beans and corn mixed in it, complemented the dish nicely.

Tacos

Adobe Tacos

We also tried two pizzas. The first one was the “Baja Supreme” – a thin crust pizza, which I prefer.

It had black beans, mushrooms and roasted corn. And it’s garnished with cilantro and then topped with just enough of a creamy mozzarella cheese, which is quite delicious. Definitely recommended if you like thin crust. This was the highlight of the evening for me.

Baja Supreme

Baja Supreme

The second pizza, which is called Chicken Carnitas, has a homemade cilantro pesto smeared on the base (which is thick), reminiscent of coriander. Topped with slow roasted chicken breast, and then with mozzarella, gouda cheese and red onions. There’s a spicy orange chilli salsa to go with in on the side, in case you want up the spice quotient! If you like a slightly Indian twist to your pizzas, you might enjoy this one.

Chicken Carnitas

Chicken Carnitas

Chef Vinod was very helpful and kept explaining what special flavours and seasonings went into the special dishes. He said most of the training was imparted online, but he’s confident that with his experience in the industry, the tastes will be consistent with what they’re supposed to be.

Chef Vinod

Chef Vinod

For the drinks, we tried a long island iced tea (not in the picture) and a red wine sangria, both of which were pretty decent. The sangria though did not have the soaked fruit, which I think is what gives this drink it’s signature taste (as also the added brandy/sherry). However, I’ve been on a long search for the perfect sangria (might as well be the topic of another post!), and have yet to find it. Fat Chef in Jagriti, Whitefield, does a pretty good job though I must say, and I usually try one when I visit it.

Drinks

Drinks

And then the best part of the meal. At least for those who love their sweet. This dish, the churros and chocolate mousse is just want it aims to be – mouthwatering and delicious. The churros are a fluffed Mexican pastry, very soft and light on the palate. It’s served with a homemade mole mousse – and they say it’s available only at CPK. So sweet lovers – you have something to look forward to at the end of the meal.

Dessert

Churros and Chocolate Mousse

Back to the special menu and they have quite a few others like the tostada pizza, the spicy Mexican fettucine and chicken tequila fettucine (sounds interesting!). So if you’re looking forward to trying some Californian food, with a taste of Mexico, you know where to head from April 29 onwards – California Pizza Kitchen it is!

The price range of the specials start from around Rs 300 for enchiladas and go upto Rs 665 for the pizzas. The special Mexifornian festival is on from April 29 to May 19, 2013.

More pictures on Flickr. 

(Disclaimer: This review was done after a special invite from CPK, during a special preview of the menu with invited bloggers. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.)

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