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Italian near Santa Ana

zelucifer Mar 14, 2013 10:43 PM

Any suggestions for Italian cuisine (not pizzeria), bordering on fine dining? Trying to get one of my friends to expand his horizons beyond spaghetti and meatballs. I'd love a place to get a good francaise at, or someplace with an exceptional eggplant rollatini and a good balsamic reduction.


  1. n
    New Trial Mar 15, 2013 01:03 AM

    Not for the specific dishes you mentioned but for the type of place you seem to be seeking: Antonello in Santa Ana, Il Barone in Newport Beach (at the airport end), Onotria in Costa Mesa (wine list is very pricey, though), or Pina's Bistro in Tustin (more casual than the other three).

    5 Replies
    1. re: New Trial
      kevin Mar 15, 2013 01:32 PM

      I second and third Pina's Bistro.

      Delicious food in my opinion in the old classic, red sauce style.

      Their desserts are ridiculously good.

      And the veal parm hero transports me back to a time of meats and potatoes. which is to say really good.

      1. re: kevin
        Servorg Mar 15, 2013 02:04 PM


      2. re: New Trial
        josephnl Mar 15, 2013 02:08 PM

        How does Pina's Bistro compare with Da Bianca's also in Tustin (or perhaps it's Orange)?

        1. re: josephnl
          kevin Mar 15, 2013 02:24 PM

          I've never tried Da Bianca's. So I can't compare.

          But caveat: Some people will not like Pina's I would guess.

          But in my opinion, it's still great. But it is pricey.

          $27 veal parm in a strip mall setting. $9 or even $10 tiramisu by now probably, and it's the middle of Tustin, we are not talking about Hollywood or the Westside of LA here.

        2. re: New Trial
          zelucifer Mar 15, 2013 02:28 PM

          Thanks a lot for the recommendations, I'm leaning toward's Pina's or Antonello's. Probably going to check out Pina's tonight.

        3. JAB Mar 15, 2013 08:01 AM

          Like New Trial, Antonello came immediately to mind based on what you're looking for.

          1. j
            josephnl Mar 15, 2013 08:20 AM

            Add to New Trial's list Prego in Irvine, and Rothschild's in Newport (only semi-Italian). What you are looking for are Valentino or Madeo...both unfortunately, in LA.

            1. d
              Dirtywextraolives Mar 15, 2013 03:26 PM

              Il Garage in Stanton?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                kevin Mar 15, 2013 04:32 PM

                I've never been or possibly heard of it. Unless its the small plates place opened by a relatively OC famous chef.

                Please tell me more.

                1. re: kevin
                  Dirtywextraolives Mar 15, 2013 05:26 PM



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