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Can’t Find Great Italian Food in OC?


I often hear people talk about the lack of great Italian options in OC. I'm surprised because we have a handful of excellent Italian eateries such as Filomena’s, Mozza, Angelina’s, Oliver’s Osteria just to name a few. Now I’m hoping the naysayers discover Trenta Pizza & Cucina that just opened in Westside Costa Mesa.

Owners Giorgio Buzzanga, Marco Palazzo and Cristiano Leoni took over the Waffleholic Café on Superior Avenue in February and created the perfect spot to experience authentic Sicilian pizza and Italian cuisine--all original recipes from their families. As it turns out, Marco and Giorgio of Catania are childhood friends who played water polo and dreamt of opening an Italian restaurant forever.     

Their longtime dream is already receiving rave reviews—150 five-star reviews just on Yelp. It has a casual entry way patio and charming interior with tables and counter service where you can watch pizzas bake in the impressive Italian stone Marra Forni oven.

Chef John English formerly at Taco Maria and Royal Hen and his team are turning out wonderful antipasti, salads, pastas, pizzas, and desserts.

Favorites from the menu include the Arancini which is essentially fried risotto stuffed with fresh ragu, herb aioli, marinara and pecorino; and the oven-fried prosciutto wrapped asparagus with horseradish yogurt, lemon zest, and ricotta salata.

If you’re extra hungry (Giorgio says he’s seen people take down a 30-inch rectangular pizza solo) or with a few people, get the signature Trenta Trio pizza. Trenta means 30 in “thirty” in Italian, and this grand pizza is perfect sharing. You can choose any of the eleven pizzas to create your own.

There are four salads and please if you go, don’t order the Caesar. It’s heartbreaking to order a salad you can have anywhere. The Siciliana with fennel, orange, Mediterranean olives, burrata and lemon is perfect.

The buzz-worthy pasta is the Gnocchi tossed in a pesto sauce with an added texture of crushed pistachios--it’s light, yet rich, and the Spaghetti chitarra alla gricia, an ancient Roman dish with pecorino cracked pepper, and guanciale couldn’t be better. Most of their pastas are made in house, too.

Favorite dessert specialties include the Tartufo al Pistacchio, pistachio crumble with vanilla gelato, and the Cannoli ricotta with chocolate chunks and pistachio dust.

They offer a nice wine menu with several Italian and domestic choices, as well as draught and bottled beers, and Lavazza espresso and coffee.

Seating is available on a first come first serve basis. They accept reservations for parties of four or more.

Open 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; brunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. dinner 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday; brunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

1661 Superior Ave, Costa Mesa. 949.270.6652.

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