Thursday, April 25, 2013


You know how every once in a while I will make a declaration that something is "Robby Approved"?  Well, this morning I realized that I probably need a way to express my disapproval of things.
Sometimes, things need to be...Robby Rejected!

The first ever Robby Reject is...California Pizza Kitchen!

Why, you ask?

Well, last night I ate there for the first time. Here's what happened:

I wasn't feeling very hungry, so I decided to have a simple half Caesar salad.
What could go wrong?

When the greeter dude came to take our drink orders, I told him that "I just want water."

He asked me if I wanted sparkling water or still water.

In my head I'm thinking, "sparkling water at a pizza place? What kind of pretentious operation is this?"
So I told him that I just wanted regular still water.

I was pretty surprised when he brought me a fancy glass bottle of french water, already opened of course, so I couldn't refuse it...and poured it into a wine glass.  Now I am wondering how much this "glass" of water is going to cost me.

When someone says "I just want water," how does that translate into "I want your most expensive bottle of fancy french water"?  What happened to the complimentary glass of water that you get everywhere? Most places start you off with a glass of water even before they ask if you want to order a fancy drink...
At least it wasn't sparkling.

Not impressed.

Anyway, after a while the server lady came to take our meal orders.  Remember I had already decided on the half Caesar salad, which was only $6.

My choice was motivated more by my lack of hunger than the price, but I figured that I might as well try to save a couple of bucks if I wasn't going to eat very much...

So I tell the girl what I want, and she immediately asks me if I want chicken, shrimp, or salmon on my salad.
She said it in a way that made it sound like I had to choose one of them, like selecting how you want your steak cooked, or which sides you want.

So now I am thinking "I must not have read the menu very carefully, I didn't know the salad came with a choice of meat." Naturally I don't want to read the menu description again, so I just tell her chicken.

Turns out, the chicken wasn't included. It was extra.

So my $6 salad magically became a $10 salad.
Combine that with my $5 glass of water, throw in a tip, and my meager meal ended up being a little over $18!

I was not happy.  I felt like I got hustled.

So here is what I learned; if you go to C.P.K. and you want water, you must specify that you want regular free tap water, even if they don't present that as an option.  And when you decide what you want to eat, make sure you know what the item description is, and if they ask you about options you weren't aware of, you'd better find out if they are included before you accept them.

California Pizza Kitchen is pretentious and overpriced. They use trickery and circumvention to get you to spend more money.  I will not be going back.



Leon said...

Anything with the word "California" in it is pretentious and...overpriced. :)

Emmy said...

I got tricked by that "chicken or shrimp on your salad" tactic before. I can't even remember the name of the restaurant, just that a friend of mine twisted my arm until I agreed to go.

And $5 for WATER? I'm sorry...but I don't care if it came from France or from the should not be charged for water!

Andrew Spratt said...

I feel this is likely the fault of the server rather than the establishment, though CPK's training may be partly to blame. I make a practice of always asking if something costs extra. Maybe it's because I work in a restaurant and know how these things go.