After discovering California Pizza Kitchen for the first time in California I wanted to check how the franchise in the Middle East compares to it. California Pizza Kitchen in Dubai boasts the same decor but offers a completely different menu with many appetizers, lots of seafood, pasta and salads as well as three pages of pizza choices.
Located on the ground floor of The Dubai Mall, California Pizza Kitchen links the internal part of the mall with the fountain. Photos of California decorate the walls, bottles of San Pellegrino fill the shelves and tables and benches fill the space facing an open kitchen. Yellow, wood and different fabrics, leather and yellow lights pending…
I came here to compare it with the original restaurant in California and I wished I didn't do so; nothing can be compared, the experience is bad. Tonight's order: San Pellegrino, two pizzas, the lettuce wrap and the dynamite shrimp.
The food is below my expectations. I enjoyed the experience in California but I can't say the same about the Dubai franchise.
- The Dynamite Shrimps is served in a small cup presented without chopsticks. They are small, too creamy and lack spices. None compare to the famous one created by PF Chang's.
- The lettuce wrap is something I still remember enjoying in California. A delicious combination of ingredients wrapped in lettuce. The one in Dubai is different! Something crunchy like apples, tasteless, actually too salty, and has weird Asian flavors wrapped in a lettuce.
- One of the pizzas is pathetic! Thin dough, unpleasantly crunchy topped with fatty cheese and low quality meat. It's so bad! The other pizza is really bad! The center is soggy and the borders are chewy like old bread.
- The pesto chicken is small and soggy with chicken that's unpleasantly tender.
- The signature buffalo chicken is inedible.
Bad, very bad food; I'm not sure if the original restaurant knows how things are done here.