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234 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA, 92651


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

Website: http://www.alessalaguna.com


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Anaheim White House

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


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

Website: http://www.anaheimwhitehouse.com/


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Andrea Ristorante

The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Road S., Newport Coast, CA, 92660


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…

Website: http://www.pelicanhill.com

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Antonello Ristorante

South Coast Plaza Village, 3800 South Plaza Drive, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626


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

Website: http://www.antonello.com

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Brunos Trattoria

210 W. Birch Street, Brea, CA, 92821


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

Website: http://www.brunosbrea.com


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Fashion Island, 545 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA, 92663


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

Website: http://www.ilfornaio.com

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Cucina Alessá

520 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA, 92648


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…

Website: http://www.cucinaalessahuntingtonbeach.com


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Cucina Alessá

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


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…

Website: http://www.cucinaalessanewportbeach.com


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2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA, 92626


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

Website: http://www.eccopizza.com/

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Il Barone Ristorante

4251 Martingale Way, Newport Beach, CA, 92660


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…

Website: http://www.ilbaroneristorante.com


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La Bettola

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


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, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA, 92626


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…

Website: http://www.maggianos.com

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Mare Culinary Lounge

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


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

Website: http://www.mareculinarylounge.com


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Pitfire Artisan Pizza

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


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

Website: http://www.pitfirepizza.com

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Pizza e Vino

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


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…

Website: http://www.pizzaevino.net


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Pizzeria Mozza

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


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…

Website: http://www.pizzeriamozza.com


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Pizzeria Ortica

650 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA, 92626


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

Website: http://www.pizzeriaortica.com

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Roma D’ Italia

611 El Camino Real, Tustin, CA, 92780


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

Website: http://www.romaditalia.com


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