Even though Angelina’s is in Irvine, it has taken me a long time to stop by. On a recent visit, I am immediately enamored by the restaurant’s open layout, even though some of the tables are set rather close together.
The menu is straightforward, featuring an extensive selection of pizzas, and a handful of pastas. We love the solid appetizers which form the basis of our meal.
Melanzane alla Parmigiana ($13) is one of the best I’ve ever eaten. The eggplant is lightly breaded and perfectly tender. There is Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a fresh San Marzano DOP pomodoro (tomato) sauce slathered over the layers of eggplant. I am always wary of this dish because more often than not, the eggplant is coated in a heavy breading and cloying from the oil. This is not the case here!
I always judge an Italian restaurant by its meatballs, and Polpette al Sugo ($16) is a sure order. Three Napoletana-style meatballs are bathed in DOP pomodoro sauce, with a dollop of burrata, and fresh basil. The meatballs are tender, and make for an ideal item for the table to share.
If you’re looking for a salad, Galosa ($13) comprises chopped romaine hearts, red onions, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, pumpkin seeds, tossed in a house-created mustard lemon dressing. The triangles of fontina cheese is piquant and I can’t stop eating it.
If you’re looking for a pasta, the Ravioli Mimosa ($18) are made fresh in-house daily. These little pillowy pockets are stuffed with a mixture of fresh ricotta cheese, spinach, and baked ham, in Angelina’s signature Marzano DOP sauce with a touch of cream. They are a perfect al dente, giving that toothy texture indicative of a stellar pasta.
The pizzas here are outstanding. Prosciutto ($18) pizza is topped with buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano DOP pomodoro sauce, fresh basil, and strips of paper thin prosciutto de parma which add that savory component which I so love. The crust is thin, yet flavorful, with a great chew.
I wish we had more room to try another pizza, but I can’t wait to come back again and eat through the entire pizza menu. The restaurant gets busy so if you’re planning to come, please make a reservation. Waits can be up to an hour or more on the weekends.
Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana
Los Olivos Marketplace
8573 Irvine Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92618