For Harvard Square It's Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

Your hometown suburb might be the home of "Pizza, pizza." But perhaps only in Harvard Square or in a dieter's nightmare can you find pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza and pizza.

Harvard Square is hardly notorious for a shortage of America's favorite semi-Italian food. Previously, Harvardians could find seven pizzerias within a four-block radius on and around JFK Street.

But today, the California Pizza Kitchen chain opens the doors of its 43rd restaurant on 16-18 Eliot Street, bringing the number of Square pizzerias to (count 'em) eight.

The restaurant held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and private dinner last night in honor of its imminent opening. The franchise will be the second California Pizza Kitchen in the Boston area.

Sarah A. Goldsmith, spokesperson for the California Pizza Kitchen chain, said the restaurant's trendy, up-to-the-minute menu makes it unique.

"Certain foods go in and out of style," Goldsmith said, "We had Cajun pizza when that kind of food was popular in the mid-1980s, but we removed it a couple of years ago when it became less popular."

At yesterday's dinner, early impressions on the food were favorable.

Milli Blackman, director of the Principals' Center at the Graduate School of Education, was more than pleased with her (free) meal--a Greek salad and eggplant pizza.

"I think this is going to be a great addition to the Square," she said. "I'm sure the Kennedy School is going to gain 150,000 pounds this year."

Goldsmith also stressed the distinctiveness of the restaurant's atmosphere, which originally sought to "cater to the lifestyles" of former attorneys and co-founders Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax.

"When they founded the first restaurant [in 1985], Rick wanted a place where he could bring his kids and not have to make reservations weeks in advance," Goldsmith said. "And John was single, so he wanted a counter where he could watch the food being made, with no impediments."