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“Not all that!”
Review of Pizzeria Ortica

Pizzeria Ortica
Ranked #124 of 514 Restaurants in Costa Mesa
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Park Center
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Highly rated by culinary publications, the pizzeria ortica claims they are obsessed with creating the finest pizza, and that claim I am not so sorry to say, is a bogus claim. From the locale being in a highly exclusive area you can tell you are going to pay above average prices for their food. That would be okey if the food was as good as the die hard loyalist had boasted.
Our experience with the place happened yesterday, 10-18-2012. I had read in the Los Angeles Magazine that this was a superior pizza in more ways than one, and of course like an innocent trout, I took the bait and went for it. I invited two lovely ladies hoping to impress both with my culinary knowledge of where the best was located, figuring if we indeed had a delicious culinary treat, I would score points of some kind. Regretfully that was not to be and pretty soon remarks where being thrown about how hard and chewy the dough was, etc.
This is my take, blow by blow: Arrived at 6:45 having made a reservation for 7:00PM at the insistence of the one who answered the phone. Better be safe than sorry, we did.
The place was half empty and we were seated in what you would call the ghetto part of the restaurant, right by the door where all the dirty dishes went in. This, in itself, was not enough to deter my enthusiasm, but did give me pause. The waitress, a young woman of petite nature dressed in black, was very efficient and prompt. She gets 4 Stars and it show on her tip.
She recommended, and I am sure it had been strategized before we arrived for all eaters, the meatballs appetizer that cost $9. She said it was made with chicken and beef, very new and delicious. We ordered it. 2 meatballs arrive, with two fragments of toasted bread, and some drops of marinara sauce. Very bad beginning, meatballs had no special qualities worth mentioning and the amount was (an indication of what was to come) ridiculously small. 2 Stars.
2nd appetizer: Roman styled braised artichokes, shaved ricotta a salata. What came to the table was one artichoke heart, no more, sprinkled with whatever I mentioned above, and it cost $12. Artichokes we do love, quantity we did resented. 3 Stars.
Of course all expectations were for the pizza of Pizzeria Ortica. We ordered:
Salsiccia: House-made sausage, caramelized fennel, mascarpone, red onion. Parmigiano Reggiano at $18 for what in any other setting would be smaller than a small pizza. This is where the baloney took a bitter turn: First of all the pizza only had a minimal amount of toppings and it was all concentrated in the center, while all the rest was dried dough (of which apparently they are very proud to serve) and with a total of 4 slices it was like chewing bread with a hint of anything else. 1 Star.
Next Pizza: Milanesa: Fontina, asparagus, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fried egg? The only decent topping was the egg, which I admit I did not even read it would be part of this pizza but it was there. The topping once again were so minimal that most of the surface of this high praised pizza was once again their famous dough, that by this time it reminded me of a bread they sell a a local greek market that taste exactly the same but costs 90% less. What a pompous kitchen that can send such a meager pizza and pretend it avant grade, that one should be honored instead of pissed off! Price? $16 for more bread basically. 1 Star.
Last and never to return for pizza: Calabrese: San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, rapine, Calabrian chilies, bottarga. Sounds good, doesn't it? The same serving. 5% topping, 95% dough, which by the way is Not all that! $18
Sad and rejected, we left the place with the solemn promise never to set foot on again. Be advised, nice world travelers, that not because the media claims this is the pizza to eat, does not make it so. Expensive, meager servings, in no way memorable, we paid full price to find out. Total bill? close to $100 buckaroos, sad day for the american dollar!

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Thank Luke17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (153)
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109 - 113 of 153 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2012

I loved the pizza and it was oneof the closest to the real italian one i have ever tried
A bit small and a bit thick but very good
It is a slightly sophisticated place with a nice architecture but the prices are more than acceptable
Can't rate the wines cause i did not have any
Free parking if you dine in
There is a tv screen if you want to watch a game at the bar while you enjoy the "happy hour" until 08:00 p.m. With the margherita pizza at a great price
Go and you will enjoy it

1  Thank Marco R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Party of 8. None of us had ever been to Pizzeria Ortica. To say the least, we were all underwhelmed.
My brother-in-law, who treated all of us, texted me afterward and said, “I was very disappointed with the restaurant that I chose. I hated that there wasn’t much for you to order, the food was mediocre and the service was really lacking. Sorry.” I think that sums it all up.
Every single one of us, in our party of eight, was disappointed with our meals. Too salty. Too buttery. Too little.
Oh! I forgot to mention that it was overpriced as well.
I have a few other notes, if you wish to read more:
We had reservations and were seated right away, in the outdoor/indoor patio area, which we did not request. The windows were open and they opened the door, but because it was a hot day, over 90 degrees, the room was warm and stuffy (they definitely need a ceiling fan, at least). They had not reserved a table inside and when we asked to be moved inside they very kindly informed us that there were no tables to accommodate us.
Two in our party have celiac disease (cannot eat wheat, barley or rye). The only items on the menu that we could choose from were three salads and two entrees. It seems to me that most restaurants now have either gluten-free options or a couple more menu items to choose from. Just not up with the times. We all did find something to eat though, so this is not a big complaint, more of a statement of fact.

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Thank SillyYakGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Went with friends and shared appetizers, pizzas and drinks. Food was remarkable!!! Drinks were very, very good - noteworthy. A bit noisy so not a place for a romantic dinner but great if you're with others.

Thank Erin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

We had dinner here last night before a Play at SCR Theater a block away. First they only had a reservation two hours and a half hours before the performance. SEcond the restaurant was soooo noisey. The place has tile floors and cement walls and very loud music. Plus tons of music speakers so there was no way to escape the sound. They offered to change our table to an area with less sound but no airconditioning. AS it was a very hot night we declined. The drinks were stingy sized but full prices. The food was very overpriced for the amount. However the food was good. Interesting menu.
Still the atmosphere was not appealing.

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    • Atmosphere
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Thank harrodsfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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