Taverna Pizzeria and Risotteria, headquartered in Dallas, specializes in house-made pastas and wood-fi red pizzas. Most locations are in Texas, one is in Mexico, and the latest opened in Laguna Beach’s restored 1945 Laguna Federal Savings & Loan building. It’s a handsome spot, with a view into the kitchen, and a beautiful courtyard patio. Chef Nick Parker is the former executive chef at Bella Vita in Henderson, Nev., and his signature risotto, made with carnaroli rice, includes a version with Parmesan cheese, wild mushrooms, and black truffle sauce. Though the restaurant is inspired by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, pizzas are as diverse as the Napoletana with sauce, mozzarella, and anchovies, and the California with chicken, mozzarella, avocado, feta, tomatoes, and cilantro. Spaghetti with lobster Bolognese, above, is made with a Maine lobster ragu. Appetizers are $10 to $25; pizzas, $15 to $19; pasta and risotto, $17 to $26; entrees, $27 to $48.
222 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, 949-715-0821, tavernabylombardi.com