Richard Rosenfield, an original co-founder of California Pizza Kitchen Inc., plans to open Roca, an elevated fast-casual interpretation of Roman-style pizza, with a pop-up experience at the Americana at Brand in Glendale on Memorial Day weekend.Opening May 28, the pop-up will serve as a prelude to two brick-and-mortar Roca locations set to open this fall – the Americana location, taking over the former Tsujita restaurant at 769 Americana Way, as well as a storefront in Caruso’s Marina del Rey development Waterside. During the pop-up operation, guests will enjoy a limited menu of pizzas with outdoor patio dining and cuts or pans to-go, with delivery options available in the coming weeks via third-party apps Caviar and DoorDash.The full menu, available when the stores open later this year, will combine imported ingredients with locally sourced produce. Items feature traditionally topped pies such as barbeque chicken – similar to what launched California Pizza Kitchen to stardom – as well as seasonal items like squash blossom and asparagus puree.
The pies are cooked in a specialty oven, imported from Rome, that cook the dough with a crisp bottom and honeycomb texture. The artisan dough requires three days to make.“I have always been a lover of pizza – whether it’s deep dish in my hometown, crispy New York-style, and California’s creative interpretations – but when I tried ‘al taglio’ for the first time in Rome a decade ago, I knew it was something I wanted to bring to the states and elevate with California’s fresh ingredients,” Rosenfield said in a statement.After 25 years co-leading CPK, which he sold in 2011, Rosenfield developed other dining concepts, including the downtown seafood restaurant Bottlefish, which permanently closed last March due to the pandemic.
The name is meant to celebrate the Roman origin of “al taglio” or “by the cut” style of pizza (“Ro”) with a California ethos (“ca”).