HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Celebration Dinner in Irvine - Italian Restaurant Recs?

  • f

Taking a friend out for celebration dinner in Irvine area, looking for a good italian restaurant. Any recommendations? Close to Irvine also ok. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Antonellos in Costa Mesa (across from SCP) is very good.

    Il Fornaio is pretty good. Chain restaurant, but nice atmosphere and good food in Irvine.

    1. Vessia on Barranca & Culver in Irvine is really good. Roma d'Italia on Camino Real in Tustin is a family run place that;s been there for years.

      1. I really like Prego, the Agnolotti d'Aragosta is delicious.

        http://www.pregoristoranti.com/

        1. I know it's a chain, but when I worked in Irvine people I talked to really liked Maggiano's near Southcoast Plaza. I can't vouch for it myself though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: crystaw

            Maggianos is pretty good. They have a family style dinner (I think 4 or 6 persons minimum) for 22 dollars (this price may have changed) that is 3 courses, all you can eat. They even pack up all the leftovers for you to take home. Buca di Beppo is another chain, they're in Tustin off Jamboree, decent food at a decent price. This is a family style dining place, so everything is large portions intended for sharing.

          2. I second Vessia. I am from Irvine and my family goes there all the time for celebration dinners...It is off of Barranca and Culver in the Crossroads mini-mall...

            Just had dinner there 1 month ago and loved it!

            1. Are you looking for more authentic Italian or American style? What about atmosphere?

              1 Reply
              1. re: cdmedici

                Thanks for suggestions!! Really appreciate your input... will check out Vessia.

              2. One more to throw into the mix if it's not too late: Ristorante Max. Owned by a family who has a restaurant in Positano that I've been to.

                Try the lobster with spaghetti as a split starter and the shrimp scampi (it's like the scampi you get in Italy with the hard-shell claws but super-sweet meat)!

                Very authentic and not as saucey as American Italian restaurants.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: brekkie_fan

                    brekkie fan:

                    It's in Newport Beach:
                    1617 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach
                    949-515-8500

                    It's expensive but a different Italian than Antonello's and Maggiano's. I like the fresh pastas. I miss the preparations of fresh seafood and pastas in Italy - this place was not the best in Positano but it's pretty good for OC.

                1. Antonellos is better than Il Fornaio. However, it's pretentious and a little tacky.....murals of Italy, waiters with Pantomime Italian accents and fancy plates.Food beats Il Fornaio though which is about as Italian as Taco Bell is Mexican

                  Think I'd take a drive to LA

                  1. I would highly recommend Onotria in Costa Mesa. High end. Great wines.
                    For Southern Italian and more family style, try Roma d'Italia in Tustin. Been there forever and always busy.