Photo by Houston Press Staff

California Pizza Kitchen

This L.A.-based chain's Post Oak location is great for people-watching. It definitely has that West Coast feel, with a trendy, open and airy design and a creative Asian/Italian/Southwest fusion menu. Diners here enjoy a lot more than just fine thin-crust pizzas. You can't go wrong with the chicken lettuce wraps or the dumplings to start with, and the smoked bacon and gorgonzola chopped salad is a serious contender for best dish. CPK's Thai chicken pizza helped redefine what pizza could be when it was first introduced many years ago.