I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting restaurants, so when my friend wanted to go to Trenta for her birthday, I jumped at the opportunity. Several weeks later, we gathered a group and went back for brunch.
Trenta is a little restaurant tucked away off Superior Ave in Costa Mesa, on a street I rarely pass through. Had it not been for the many alerts via social media, I would never have found it. Right now, Trenta is one of the hottest new restaurants in OC, and there is a reason for it.
A friend of mine was celebrating her birthday and wanted to go to Trenta. I’d heard that the restaurant is small and we would need a reservation. Since it was last minute, we decided to arrive as soon as Trenta opens for dinner, without a reservation.
Arancini ($10) is unlike any other arancini I’ve ever eaten. These crispy saffron risotto balls are perfectly textured and stuffed with ragu. The house-made marinara is superb — I asked for more. This is a great item to share with the table, as you don’t want to fill up.
Who doesn’t love meatballs? Polpette ($11) is a cast iron skillet with three meatballs enveloped in a rich rosemary marinara, topped with mozzarella that’s been melted in the pizza oven. While they are good, they are far from life-changing.
I highly suggest you order some pasta while you’re here. Pappardelle al Brasato ($19) is divine, with perfectly al dente pappardelle pasta, enveloped in a rich, hearty, braised short-rib ragu.
And if I thought the pappardelle was good, the Gnocchi al Pesto di Pistacchio ($17) was mind-blowingly so. These little potato gnocchi are pillowy, drenched in a sauce of pistachio and basil pesto.
On the night of our visit, Trenta was running a Branzino ($25) special. The fish was deboned and stuffed with discs of potatoes, fennel and other herbs, a masterpiece in itself. The romesco on the plate was unnecessary and excessive, as it took away from the natural flavors of the branzino heightened by the roasting process.
Don’t leave without trying some of the wonderful pizzas. Reggio Calabria ($19) was one of my favorites. The crust is pretty amazing, topped with San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, N’duja, and mushrooms. I also love the fact that the crust isn’t soggy in the middle!
Caserta ($18) is another stellar pizza. The wonderfully chewy crust is topped with San Marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufalo, prosciutto, arugula, with a touch of truffle oil.
If you haven’t visited Trenta yet, it’s time to go. Make sure you have reservations as the restaurant is small.
Trenta Pizza and Cucina
1661 Superior Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627