No one has ever planned to get to the airport extra early or hoped for a delay with their airplane that is until now. Terminal 1 at LAX has become the one spot that makes you want to get to the airport even earlier with the new addition of California Pizza Kitchen to its dining options.
The days of a stale, plastic wrapped sandwich as the solution to your airport hunger is a thing of a past. Airports have elevated the dining experiences across the country and if you are lucky enough to be flying out of LAX and you are going to get to experience a menu that CPK has created only for this location and it is so good it might just make you miss your flight.
The CPK at LAX opens at 5 a.m. and they serve a marvelous breakfast menu that was developed just for this location. The restaurant is operated by Areas, a leading provider of food & beverage and retail services in the travel industry. Areas is one of the leaders of the $508 million overhaul of terminal 1. Breakfast might seem like a foreign concept for CPK, but as with everything else that they do, they have designed the breakfast menu in spectacular fashion. It is so good it is going to leave you requesting breakfast at other CPK locations.
The first thing you will notice about CPK at LAX is that while slightly smaller in stature, this restaurant takes on the same beauty and quality of every other location. Guests can see their pizzas pulled right out of the oven; they can watch the handcrafted cocktails made at the stunning CPK bar as well as enjoy one of the many tap beers that are available.
Book your flight for early in the day or just come in and enjoy a tasty leisurely meal for a flight that is later in the day. CPK has taken breakfast pizza to a new level of goodness as you get the flawless pizza crust that you have come to love from CPK and they have topped that with the freshest ingredients and unique flavors with a hint of California sprinkled in. If you want all of the classic breakfast flavors the "Sunny Side up Bacon and Potato Pizza" is the choice for you. It is loaded with hearty and thick Nueske’s Applewood smoked bacon and what are soon to be famous CPK crispy potatoes and then brought together with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and then two perfect sunny-side up eggs. The light and crispy crust amazingly holds all of these ingredients together and CPK decided to add caramelized leeks to add a little extra flavor punch to this breakfast pizza. If you want a little more California flare, try the "Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Pizza" that gives the authentic flavors of spicy chorizo, tortilla strips, black beans, enchilada sauce to go along with cotija and cheddar cheeses and then is topped with fresh avocado, cilantro & scallions and cage-free scrambled eggs. If you have not experienced chorizo before I would give this a try, while spicy, it is far more flavorful than hot.
It is tough not to order pizza at CPK, but the one thing you need to learn about this restaurant is that there is far more than pizza when it comes to this menu and the LAX version is no exception. The crispy brioche French toast is one of the best versions of this dish you will find in Los Angeles, period. The cornflake crusted has a crispy texture, but somehow they managed to keep the inside soft and airy as if it was just pulled out of the oven. Then you get that French toast decadent flavor as it is topped with a fresh berry compote and an elegant vanilla bean yogurt, these two by themselves would make a great dish. You get a side of syrup, but it isn't needed as the flavors of these two are more than enough to make this dish whole. You can also do a breakfast sandwich if you want something to take on the plane, but whatever direction you go make sure to get the house made chicken sausage patty on the side. I'm sure it is great on a sandwich, but the patty is so flavorful I would suggest enjoying it solo. A side of the crispy potatoes is not only the perfect addition to any breakfast item, but it also means you will be to experience the mind-blowing truffle ketchup. This is so amazing you will never look at ketchup the same after trying the CPK version.
This CPK also offers you the wide-ranging menu you are used to so you can choose from an assortment of pizzas and pastas, salads, a cedar plank North Atlantic salmon and of course you can get the famous butter cake to finish your meal off with.
While you are waiting for your plane, make sure to take advantage of the great cocktails that CPK serves up. The Blueberry Ginger Smash is an absolute must try. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Domaine de Canton Ginger are combined with fresh muddled blueberries, lime and cranberry to give you a refreshing, yet powerful cocktail. The sangrias that CPK has put together are each a masterpiece. The Orchard Sangria starts off with a blend of white wine and gets a unique and subtle flavor from St. Germain Elderflower. The Red-Berry Sangria says it all in the name as you get a rich blend of red wine, Rémy VSOP, Monin Blackberry, raspberry purée, cranberry juice and lemonade. If you love a great tasting, fruit inspired cocktail this was made for you.
The CPK menu from top-to-bottom will make you forget you are at an airport. From the wide range of choices to the fresh ingredients that are all used to prepared this menu from scratch daily, this will become your go to stop whenever you are at LAX. CPK did not take any short cuts; they created a beautiful restaurant and have put together a staff that treats you like you are in first-class until your flight arrives.
For more information visit: CPK
Food images courtesy Stephan Martin