Located in one of those ubiquitous Irvine OC upscale malls, you’ll find a slice of Italy, Angelina’s Pizzeria. By all means try the pizzas which are fired in their 900-degree wood-burning oven, but what makes them so extraordinary is that EVERYTHING is imported from Napoli, including the non-GMO flour, the San Marzano tomatoes, and the mozzarella.( Only the basil is grown locally in California.) With a carefully curated wine list of only Italian wines (naturally) there’s something to meet every budget.
We started with the Bruschetta Assortita, made with an assortment of Heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes and bell pepper ($8) and then shared a gourmet Napoletana pizzas ($14 + up). Look for the DOC notation beside menu items which tells you the origin of the ingredients — just like wine.
If you’re not in the mood for pizza, there’s a tempting list of pastas, such as the Ravioli Mimosa (House made ravioli stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese and spinach sauted with baked ham in DOP San Marzano Pomodoro Sauce And Cream, $18) or the Pesce Del Giorno (fresh fish of the day) from — you guessed it — Italy within the last 24 hours. (Never frozen in the process.)
Service is attentive and all the servers we spoke to – plus the manager, Antonio, are Italian, lending Angelina’s a sense of authenticity. (Try and get Sergio, an expert on the menu and wines.)
By now you know the desserts will be made from scratch in-house so go for the Holy Trinity of Italian desserts, Tiramisu. ($8.) You won’t be disappointed.
Only when we left the restaurant and were greeted with soaring palm trees did it break the spell of eating in a small Northern Italian restaurant.
The one thing we wish? That they’d open one in the South Bay so we could eat there all the time.
Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana
Los Olivos Marketplace
8573 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine CA 92618