Not everyone loves perfectly executed Neapolitan-style pizza, such as they serve at Angelina’s, located at Los Olivos Marketplace. But we do. The crust, thin in the middle and thicker around the edges, is blistered and charred. The tomato sauce is freshly made, using San Marzano tomatoes. The cheese is Fior Di Latte Mozzarella or Mozzarella Di Bufala.
In addition to the two Margherita classics, we’ve enjoyed the spicy Diavolo, and somewhat surprisingly, the Melanzane E Scamorza and the Burrata. Both of those include eggplant, a vegetable we often have difficulty with at home. But it’s so delicious at the restaurant, we ordered Paccheri Salsiccia Melanzane E Ricotta, pasta sautéed with sausage, eggplant and ricotta cheese.
For those watching or avoiding gluten, the Pollo Alla Diavola is a delicious choice. It features a free-range chicken breast with a spicy rub that’s roasted in one of the restaurants two wood-burning pizza ovens.
We haven’t made it to the chef’s Pizza Con Nutella yet, a pizza topped with Nutella and your choice of pears and cinnamon or banana and strawberries. But definitely give the Affogato a try, if you drink espresso after dinner. The combination of Lilly espresso poured over excellent gelato is perfect enough for the purists.
Angelina’s is an excellent addition to the evolving Irvine culinary scene, but our endorsement includes a few quibbles. While we appreciate the open kitchen, high ceilings, extensive use of glass and mirrors and the wine display, the ‘90s-era Nagel-like art is a bit anachronistic. As are the berets for the bartenders and the pseudo-suede tan aprons the servers wear.
The restaurant is also in dire need of a kids menu (servers say the chef is working on it). Just a few simple choices would suffice. And please make it affordable. We don’t mind spending big on deserving adult entrees (like $21 pizzas), but nothing is more annoying than a $10 kids menu.