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Alessá

234 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

949-497-8222

This village center magnet for robust Italian by chef-owner Alessandro Pirozzi boasts a prosciutto-and-mozzarella bar…

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Anaheim White House

887 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA, 92805

714-772-1381

In a vintage mansion that resembles 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., owner Bruno Serato indulges his flair for high style…

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Andrea Ristorante

The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, CA, 92660

949-467-6800

The Resort at Pelican Hill’s deluxe dining room is named for noted Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), but the elegant northern Italian dishes…

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Antonello Ristorante

South Coast Plaza Village, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

714-751-7153

Thirty years young and counting, South Coast Plaza’s Italian grand diva still reigns for ultrafine feasting on authentic…

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Brunos Trattoria

210 W. Birch Street, Brea, CA, 92821

714-257-1000

One of North County’s best venues boasts advantages that are fairly rare in these parts: thoughtfully executed Italian cuisine…

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Canaletto

Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA, 92663

949-640-0900

From the cognoscenti of Il Fornaio, this is the perfect SoCal vision of an upscale Italian trattoria…

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Cucina Alessá

520 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA, 92648

714-969-2148

Despite the exit of its founding chef, this two-story trattoria maintains a solid following thanks to a veteran crew at ease with the original menu and recipes that still attract a loyal following for housemade pastas, feather-light pizzas, and breakfast omelets…

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Cucina Alessá

6700 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA, 92661

949-645-2148

Despite the exit of its founding chef, this trattoria maintains a solid following thanks to a veteran crew at ease with the original menu and recipes that still attract a loyal following for housemade pastas, feather-light pizzas, and breakfast frittatas…

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Ecco

2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

714-444-3226

This easygoing trattoria at The Camp is downright mainstream compared to its quirky indie neighbors. Expect straightforward Italian fare from local organic goods…

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Il Barone Ristorante

4251 Martingale Way, Newport Beach, CA, 92660

949-955-2755

F Franco and Donatella Barone broke away from their longtime posts (he at Antonello, she at Nello Cucina) to create a family affair in the retooled site of the old Pleasant Peasant…

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La Bettola

18504 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA, 92886

714-695-0470

The name means “hole in the wall,” and it is. Small and slightly quirky, this warm hideaway serves up Italian specials that soar…

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Maggiano’s Little Italy

South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

714-546-9550

Getting seated is the hard part at this perennially popular Chicago-style pasta house. Ordering is easy for parties of four or more since most of the menu is served family-style…

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Mare Culinary Lounge

696 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

949-715-9581

This Coast Highway hotspot is the newest and swankiest Alessandro Pirozzi’s Italian restaurant…

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Pitfire Artisan Pizza

353 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA, 92627

949-313-6333

The first O.C. shop from this thriving L.A.-based chain is not your nonna’s pizzeria…

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Pizza e Vino

31441 Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, 92688

949-713-1500

The No. 1 pick in our 2011 pizza survey, this casual pizzeria by the lake is packed with disciples of Neapolitan pies that are authentic right down to the 850-degree wood-fired oven…

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Pizzeria Mozza

800 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA, 92663

949-612-9579

This is the O.C. outpost of the rustic, reverent Italian cuisine brought so smashingly to L.A. in 2006 by luminaries Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, and Joe Bastianich…

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Pizzeria Ortica

650 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA, 92626

714-445-4900

Chef de cuisine Justin Miller oversees this “It” pizzeria from L.A. star chef David Myers…

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Roma D’ Italia

611 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA, 92780

714-544-0273

Old Town’s durable red-sauce joint keeps ’em coming for family-recipe meatballs, pizzas, parmigianas and pastas…

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