Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Pizzeria Ortica Restaurant Review

Posted on October 5, 2009 | 9:00am | Travel Costa Mesa

Debbie and I went to Pizzeria Ortica last Friday evening around 7.  It is located on Anton Boulevard across the street from South Coast Plaza.  The lighting is dim with every table lit by tea light candled.  There are four different seating areas: outdoors, at the tables indoors, the bar and the enclosed patio.  When we first walked in, a hostess immediately greeted us.  She asked if we had placed a reservation and we had not, so she asked if we would be interested in sitting at the bar or outside.  The indoor seating area was designated for reservations.  The restaurant was a little noisy indoors from others talking over dinner and it was a little chilly outside, so Debbie and I opted for the enclosed patio.

The patio area was much quieter than the main area of the restaurant.  The atmosphere was great.  It was relaixing and elegant.  Nothing was overdone and perfect for a casual date.  I would not recommend dressing in jeans and a t-shirt here, but one does not have to necessarily dress in their Sunday best either.  Wear something nice, but not overdone.

After receiving our menus, we were served fresh warm bread along with olive oil and balsalmic vinaigrette.  The bread was amazing.  It was soft and fluffy, but the portions were not so large that we could indulge and ruin our appetite for the rest of our meal.  Our server was extremely knowledgeable of all the food to help us make decisions.  Also, the food names were in Italian but she was patient enough to help us pronouce them as we stumbled.

We first ordered the L’Italo Americana, a chopped salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, salami, goat cheese (I think), a light vingaigrette dressing, and many other goodies.  Debbie and I split the salad to share as our appetizer.  She’s a vegetarian so we ordered the salad without the salami.  When the server arrived, he jokingly said, “So you guys wanted extra salami?”  Before I had a chance to reply, he put our plates down and smiled, “just kidding.”  The salad was excellent.  The dressing wasn’t overpowering and all of the vegetables were fresh and crisp.

Unfortunately, Deb and I were running later for a play at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, so we had to have the rest of our meal to go.  She ordered the Margherita pizza and i have the Ravioli di Burrata al pomodoro.  Although the timing of our meal was our own fault, the waitress was extremely apologetic.  She boxed the food immedately and was extremely attentive to our rush.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the service.  The staff was knowledgable, friendly, welcoming and understanding.  I enjoyed that there were different servers for different tasks.  We had our hostess, our server who took care of our order, a served for our bread and a server for our food.  It was nice to be able to meet a mix of different personalities.

After the play, Debbie and I microwaved our food to finish our dinner.  The pizza was fairly large and could have easily been split between two people.  The Margherita pizza was a traditional Italian pizza made of mozzerella cheese, tomato sauce and a few decorative leaves of basil.  The crust was a little thin for Debbie’s preference, but I like thin pizzas.  Other than that she really enjoyed the pizza.  My ravioli’s pasta was cooked perfectly.  I don’t know if it’s because I did not eat it fresh, but the cheese in the ravioli tasted a bit salty.  I would have liked a little more tomato to offset the strong cheese flavor.  The ravioli was stuffed with cheese and cooked with tomatoes and basil.  I liked that the ravioli wasn’t drenched in any type of special sauce.  Overall, I enjoyed my meal and loved that everything re-heated great.

All of the food was priced around $15 each which isn’t too expensive considering the excellent service, amazing atmosphere and high quality of food.  You can also share the food with a friend or date to save a little bit of money.  I would not recommend Pizzeria Ortica for a family because of the dim lighting and right spacing, but it is perfect for a date or a night out with a few friends.  You can dress up, eat excellent good while also not emptying out your entire bank account.