650 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
I had high expectations for Pizzeria Ortica, which, to me, resembles an Orange County rendition of Pizzeria Mozza. The restaurant serves a number of Italian specialties, focusing on pizzas and pastas. As always, I love an open kitchen and being able to the kitchen at work.
We tried just a few dishes, as we had dinner at Andrei’s just prior. To begin with:
Pappardelle al sugo d’agnello – Pappardelle pasta, braised lamb ragu, sheep’s milk ricotta
Disappointing. The pasta, made fresh in house, was good and prepared al dente. The lamb shank was a little gamey, but just mildly so. However, I was really missing the ragu here. I was expecting a rich sauce to bring everything together, but instead it seemed like just chunks of lamb on top of pasta on top of ricotta. As a result it was a little bit on the dry side.
Salsiccia – House-made sausage, caramelized fennel, mascapone, red onion, buffalo grana
Sausage is probably my single favorite topping on a pizza. The sausage was good here, but the pizza disappointed. The crust was rather chewy instead of crispy, and the cheese did not really stand up to the rest of the toppings
Milanesa – Fontina, asparagus, Parmigiano Reggiano, fried egg
The Milanesa was a little more unique, topped with asparagus and a fried egg. The toppings were pretty good, but I found the pizza a bit salty, and it struggled from the same crust problems as the above.
Pizzeria Ortica was rather disappointing in general. What really shocked me most is the pizza and the crust. Perhaps it was an off-night for the dough/kitchen? Whatever it was, it didn’t live up to the pizza at Mozza or Bottega Louie of the week prior.