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Is there any terrific pizza in OC?

I love terrific pizza...the kind I've had in New York City and in Tuscany. I have yet to find anything other than mediocre pizza in OC. Please don't send me to Pizzeria Ortica! I may be in the minority, but I personally can't stand the mushy limp and floppy center of their supposedly typical Neopolitan pizza. To me it tastes like uncooked dough or worse. Please let's not make this thread about why I don't understand their product...just help me find something that I'll like more. I generally like relatively thin crust pizza with a generous and chewy edge...and terrific traditional toppings, cheese, tomatoes, salume, sausage, greens, etc. To please me, the toppings must be outstanding and the crust slightly crispy centrally and chewy toward the periphery. Any suggestions?

Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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  1. Have you tried La Rocco's Pizzeria in HB?

    Nice try, asking CH's to stay on topic. That's like asking them to stop eating!!

    1. Sounds like you would really enjoy Mozza (or Mozze, I forget). It's Mario Batali's place in LA. I don't know of any really crisp thin crust pizza in OC. If you're ever in Vegas, make sure you try Pizza Place at the Wynn. It sounds lame (most restaurants at Wynn aren't great), I know, but apparently Steve Wynn really tried to recreate a NY style pizza and it's actually the only thin crust pizza I've ever liked. It's usually too cracker-like for my taste, but that one had great flavor and texture. FYI my fave place for pizza in OC is First Class Pizza in Newport Coast (other locations blow), their crust is thick, but it's crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, I really think you should try it. But don't get fresh tomato as a topping, it makes the pizza soggy. They do have a thin crust, but I haven't tried that one. I also like the pizza at Quattro in SCP, it's a thinner style pizza.

      Pizza Place
      170 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ashleylala

        I have a First Class Pizza right by me and I'm not the biggest fan. They put a ton of cheese, sauce, and toppings on their pizza and I guess some people like that. Every time I've ordered from them, there's so much "stuff" on the pizza that I have to be careful or it slides right off the crust. Definitely fork and knife pizza. I have to admit that maybe the location by me is just terrible as I did have an awesome pizza from First Class near my friend's house and they were pretty good when they were the official pizza of Honda Center for a season. Personally, I prefer Porky's Pizza.


        Porky's Pizza
        8285 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd Ste 110, Anaheim, CA 92808

      2. Slice of New York on Main Street in Seal Beach.

        Main Street Cafe
        12939 Main St, Garden Grove, CA 92840

        Slice of New York
        34665 Golden Lantern St, Dana Point, CA 92629

        1 Reply
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Totally agree on Slice of New York. Hole in the wall, nyc style slice place, very good.

        2. I was going to send you to Pizza Ortica, my first visit i had 3 of 4 pies were excellent..not really floppy or limp...Pizza e Vino in Santa Margherita, similar WFO style...2 of 4 pies were excellent..the issue at both joints was an undercooked crust...the pies that were "right" wer excellent.

          2 Replies
            1. re: josephnl

              Sorry, wood fired oven...id give them a second chance..maybe ask the pies be well done...maybe try one w/o tomato sauce...

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i forgot the name but it's on 19th and harbor.

              1. re: kevin

                Il Dolce.. Very good. I'm suprised no one has mentioned it yet. It got a lot of good buzz here when it first opened earlier this year.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                Sonny's pizza is very thin and really crispy, which is why I don't like it butthe OP just might. Right down the street is my new favorite - LaRocco's (related to the HB one somehow but not the same. They make only large size pies and around around $16 -$20. Toppings are mostly cheeses and they have anchovies, artichoke hearts, black olives, garlic, green peppers,jalapenos, meatball, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni, pesto,roasted red peppers, sausage, spinach, tomatoes. Thin crust, narrow but chewy edge.

              3. The closest I found to NJ/NY pie in the years I lived in OC was Pizza Pete's on Balboa. I'd definitely recommend getting a fresh pie, since we've had *meh* slices there before (never a bad pie, though ... YEA).

                **Just a psst ... I'd be curious whether other CHers have been there. We've been LA for a couple of years, so haven't been there too recently.**

                Pizza Petes
                701 E Edgewater Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92661

                1. Al's NY Pizza in Costa Mesa at 17th/Irvine Blvd is the best NY pizza that I have found in OC. Its better than Slice of NY in Seal Beach, La Rocco's in HB, First Class Pizza in NB, and other NY-style pizza that I have sampled in OC. The problem with Al's is that its a small joint that only has a couple of tables and is mostly for take-out.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: adamclyde

                      Al's is called Al's NY Cafe, they do serve pizza by the slice, and it's good but I prefer La Rocco's.

                      There used to be a NY style pizza place on or near Lake Forest Blvd, within a couple miles north of the 405, that used to be very good. I think it was something like BG Aroma or close that. It is now closed but the store is a sports bar now and serves pizza. Not sure if it is the same as the closed store.

                      1. re: adamclyde

                        Yes they do. I had a slice (2 bucks !) of their cheese pizza.

                        I thought it was really good !

                      2. re: HBfoodie

                        Place Link (added their website to it) for Al's here:

                        Al's New York Cafe
                        1673 Irvine Ave Ste B, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                      3. Try Stella's in Monarch Bay Plaza. Excellent pizza and the owner is from Brooklyn.


                        1. I second the Il Dolce recommendation - similar to Pizza e Vino. Ask for it well done.

                          5 Replies
                            1. re: josephnl

                              Is this it?

                              Il Dolce Pizzeria
                              1902 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                              1. re: Servorg

                                Yes, Il Dolce Pizzeria on Harbor. Thanks for linking it.

                                Il Dolce Pizzeria
                                1902 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                              2. re: josephnl

                                One more time at Pizza e Vino, and then I'll throw in my two cents by comparing PeV, Il Dolce, and Ortica, but you should know that Il Dolce's roller-coaster journey has finally converged to a slightly wet pie. This evening I had the "Prosciutto e Rucola: tomato sauce, prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella, arugula," which seems to be the one pictured on the home page at www.ildolceoc.com . It wasn't soupy (as the pizzas were so often during Dolce's first few months in business) and wasn't overcooked (as they were earlier this summer, apparently in response to complaints about soupiness). The interior crust on the one tonight was very much like those I've had on each of my half-dozen visits to Ortica this year -- perfectly moist (but, again, not soupy or raw), creamy, and, to my taste, delicious.

                                I wanted to dash off this post, so that josephni knows the style, in case he's thinking about going. As with both Ortica and Pizza e Vino, Il Dolce will bake a pie to the well-done stage on request, but I don't recommend it, unless you can't stand the moist-center style.


                                1. re: Harry Niletti

                                  So truth be told, we were less than enamored with il Dolce but absolutely relish Mozza (www.pizzeriamozza.com). So we were both amused & tickled pink to find out Mozza is about to land in Newport, and in all places, on the former site of a rather different Dolce on PCH!

                            2. I don't know if there's any truly great pizza in OC. I've been quite pleased with Rustic Pizzeria at Lake Forest and Dimension in the Portola Hills portion of Lake Forest. Meats are locally produced, although perhaps a bit saltier than the ideal. Crusts are on the thin side, and properly baked. It's a relatively small restaurant with the decor showing a bit of creativity compared to the normal OC sterility. I'd opine that a visit to this place would be worth your experimentation.


                              1. Agree with josephnl. Ortica Pizza was skimpy and mindless.
                                Original dough must have been good...but what I got had a flattened texture and rewarmed flavor. Good pizza should have airy holes, with a bubbly rim like they have in Rome or Naples. Not a rolling pin flattened dough baked carelessly.

                                Pizzeria Ortica
                                650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                                1. South coast pizza
                                  410 E 17th St
                                  Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                                  Thin crust pizza in a old school parlor setting.........

                                  1. In today's LA Times, Ecco, 2937 Bristol, Costa Mesa