Restaurant Review July 2008

Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine Restaurant Review July 2008

California Pizza
The Place you remember from high school
By Dorothy and John Salmon

On one recent warm summer night, we made a dinner run to California Pizza at 2410 Jefferson Street (across from Napa High). While we waited for our takeout pizza, we chatted with Tom Kenny, co-owner with his wife Kathleen. California Pizza is easy to spot on Jefferson. Just look for the big yellow sun on the front. Tom and his wife Kathleen have owned and operated California Pizza for four years. They are a great example of friendly Napans who work hard, have an adorable family and understand the importance of giving back to the community. They also make killer pizzas that are not expensive, are sold from a “down home” pizza place that is not fancy, but is shrouded by love and attention. Tom is proud to make pizza “that runs down your arm” and is packed with meat, if that’s what you like. Tom throws his own dough like a pro. When you see him sling and flop pizza dough like a TV cooking show host, you would think he has been doing it for more than four years.

California Pizza is well known to students at Napa High School. It’s their favorite hangout during school breaks. You can be assured that you will get great pizza throughout the day until closing time at 9:00 PM. If you want pizza for lunch when school is in session, you might consider waiting for lunch after 1:00 PM because before that, the lines are long with kids waiting for THEIR pizza. Since Tom and Kathleen are easygoing parents themselves, kids and families like to hang out with them in the evenings for dinner pizza. The Kenny’s are great with kids. They are firm but friendly. If you want to relive what it was like when you hung out for pizza in high school, hang out at California Pizza and do the flash-back.

California Pizza is family friendly with great prices. They take Visa and MasterCard and you can call them at: (707) 252-3636 and order your pizza to go and pick it up on your way home. They are open 7 days a week and prefer cash, but will take checks if they are local. Their hours are Sunday to Wednesday 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday they stay open from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM for those late night pizza cravings.

Their motto is “Nuthin’Fancy… Just Good Stuff” Their e-mail address is:

Put your favorite topping on … Here’s your list of toppings to choose from for your pizza: Pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, Italian sausage, chicken, real bacon, red onions, mushrooms, black olives, jalapenos, green peppers, pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, green onions, chopped garlic and Ranch dressing. You can choose a thick crust, with extra sauce if you like, for a minimal charge. Like most pizza places, they serve small, medium, large, extra large, and XX large pizzas for those with a LOT of friends. We chose a half, all meat pizza and half, Hot and Saucy pizza. It was great, fresh, hot and delicious. We walked out of California Pizza for $15, which was the best dinner bargain we have had in a long time! Their special pizzas are: Hawaiian, Vegetarian, Deluxe, All Meat, Azteca with jalapenos and extra cheese, California, Combination, Italian, Hot and Sweet, and Garlic Chicken.

Tom and Kathleen serve garlic strips and Buffalo wings too, and their dessert specialty is “Sugar Pie” made with brown and white sugar on pizza dough with cinnamon, ginger and butter. A BIG favorite with little kids.

Speaking of kids, Tom points proudly to the homemade sign from St. John’s First Grade class thanking him for helping them with their fundraising. Rather than give the First Grade class free pizza, he let them come into the store and make their own individual pizzas! As the saying goes, it’s “better to teach them how to fish than to just give them one!” The walls of the pizza place proudly show off Tom and Kathleen’s daughter’s first pair of small loafers and plenty of kid’s photos, making it very homey. Tom Kenny is an amateur magician who loves to show kids his hidden coin trick and entertain your whole family. Next time you are looking for delicious, affordable no frills pizza, try California Pizza on Jefferson.


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