CPK Express - Sherman Oaks Fashion Center
I noticed a mini-CPK with walk-up and order counters opened. Has anyone tried it? Is it as good as their sit down restaurants? What's good there, and what's bad?
Anyone, anyone? TIA.
GK in SO
Do you mean CPK ASAP? That's the mini-CPK concept I've seen. I haven't encountered it in malls yet, but I've tried locations at various airports. My conclusion: It's not as good as the full-service restaurants and represents a cheapening of the CPK brand. The menu is limited to a few crowd-pleasers and does not have the variety and innovation of the full CPK menu. Also, the pizzas just didn't taste as good as in the restaurant.
I think it might be acceptable if you're in a hurry and the options are limited, but given a choice, I'll always opt for the full-service restaurant. I've been a loyal CPK customer for over 15 years, but I think the ASAP concept is a mistake. CPK has created a certain image and maintained a high degree of quality by opening only a few locations in each city, usually in upscale malls. Having scaled-down versions in mall food courts and airport terminals just dilutes the brand too much.
I've ordered salads and pizzas to go from CPK - I would recommend against the salads. they're never half as good or fresh as they usually are at the sit-down CPKs. the pizzas are usually ok (if you usually like CPK's pizzas at their sit-down locations, that is), but I found that the crusts get chewy and tough very quickly.