Costa Mesa: Pizza and Pasta at Ortica
In an attempt to diversify what I eat before a show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, I checked out Pizzaria Ortica. The only thing I knew about it was from David Myers who owns Comme Ca in LA and the Sotto guys; Steve and Zack used to cook at Ortica.
I started out with a Negroni. Oh no, they shook it! It was a bit of a bummer considering they were highlighting Classic cocktails on their list. Maybe it’s an OC thing?
It was made up though by the food. I really enjoyed the charred Mediterranean octopus and the L’Italo Americano which was a very meaty salad. The salad was essentially a chopped salad with spicy salame, provolone, pickled peperoncini, cherry tomatoes, red onions, grilled zucchini, and endive, raddichio, romaine lettuces.
The three of us shared the pizza and pasta. We decided on the pork jowl pizza (guanciale) with ricotta and scallions. For something that seemed very rustic, we got a very delicate pizza with finely shredded scallions. It was very pretty. I liked the pizza though I can’t claim it is the best pizza in Orange County since well, I haven’t eat very many pies in OC. Still, it was good.
We went straight for the meatiest pasta as well; the pappardelle al sugo d’agenello. The pappardelle was served with a braised lamb ragu and a cow’s milk ricotta. Like the pizza, the pasta had a level of refinement. We shared this but I would recommend getting your own pasta.
Although we had a salad, I wanted some more veg and the Tuscan kale seemed like a steal at $6 for a side of it.
I have to say I polished off most of the kale myself. By this point we were in a bit of a rush and each of us claimed a dish to finish off. I won the kale.
I would absolutely go back to Pizza Ortica despite it not being the quickest meal before a show. I’d allow an hour and a half to two hours before a show if eating with a group. Or there’s always happy hour at Charlie Palmer’s.
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