Last week brought the New Year and my last chance to feast on whatever my tummy desired before starting my annual January juice detox. I thought long and hard about my inevitable quote, unquote "last meal", and decided to try out a trusted Italian restaurant referred to me by friends and family.
I chose Cucina Alessa. I'd heard great things about their Pappardelle Bolognese, and being a Bolognese connoisseur myself, I couldn't resist.
There are three locations in OC, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach where we went. The place is intimate with a small enclosed patio, and a romantically lit dining room that stretches to a small bar.
The hand model and I sat in both, starting with happy hour of course (3-6pm Monday thru Friday). In each spot, the service was jovial with an authentic Italian bartender, a waitress who explained how all the pasta is freshly housemade, and the owner who tended to us when our Paccheri was too al dente.
- everything I wanted it to be and more with soft & buttery pasta, tender meat, and just right tomato flavor, Pappardelle Ribbon Pasta with Bolognese Sauce $15
- fish is perfectly cooked with velvety flavored sauce that's not too rich, unfortunately pasta was too hard & chewy, Paccheri Con Salmone with thick Sun Dried Tomato infused Pasta, Fresh Salmon, Shallots & Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce $19
- nutty 'n sweet like dessert until the earthy Fried Sage cuts through, raviolis are small, served too hot so wait for it to cool, Ravioli di Zucca with Organic Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Brown Butter Sage Sauce $5
- warm 'n fluffy Bread and Salsa Verde Pesto with chopped Capers & Garlic (Complimentary)
Despite the undercooked Paccheri pasta, I was very impressed by the pasta sauces, friendly service (the owner offered to change out the Paccheri or try a different pasta altogether), and incredible variety of pasta dishes that Cucina Alessa had to offer.
I'm practically salivating just thinking about the meal, and ready to return in 1 month. (I wanted to order at least 6 pasta dishes that night because they all sounded so good, but the hand model had to restrain me.)
Piggin' out on pasta was definitely the perfect way to go out!