Food Porn Friday | Dueling Italians | Huntington Beach

Friday, April 26, 2013


No, that’s not the name of the restaurant sillies; it’s what I like to call Battle of the Bolognese: Huntington Beach Edition! I not every day I eat haute cuisine, sometimes I crave super simple Americanized Italian dishes like Olive Garden used to make. Can’t quite call myself the queen of food porn if all I’m serving up is endless salads and breadsticks, ya know??

So let’s cruise into HB and see what’s on the menu today hunnies:


Quickie dinner before catching a flick is ALWAYS my idea of the perfect Friday night. We ventured over to Luna Rossa after discovering that we’d get a free appetizer by unlocking their Yelp check-in app. Their modern Italian menu reads like traditional fare with dishes all appointed in their correct Italian monikers. We started with their Ortolana Insalate with mixed baby lettuce, roasted bell pepper, marinated eggplant, zucchini, goat cheese and aged balsamic dressing. I love a salad loaded with fresh veggies so the heap of sliced eggplant and squash doesn’t scare me. On the contrary, this completely vegetarian salad was one of the meatiest I’ve had in any Italian eatery. Love that you get hints of the rich robust vinaigrette throughout the entire dish, right down to the last piece of lettuce. Looks soggier than it tasted but definite bang for your buck even though this was the freebie appetizer we opted for. 


For our main entrees, I ordered the Penne Al Pollo e Broccoli with tube pasta in a light cream sauce with chicken, broccoli, shallots, and sundried tomatoes and watched nervously as le bf ordered Spaghetti Pescatora with clams, mussels, calamari and shrimp in a light tomato garlic sauce. I NEVER dare to order any types of shellfish at establishments other than a veritable seafood spot; however there were no fishy odors in his dish at all. On the contrary, the garlic sauce gave off such an aromatic fragrance I was half ready to push my Lean Cuisine aside to dive right into his. The spaghetti turned out to be quite satisfying as the penne was left untouched and devoured as my midnight snack instead. Hardly fair since I didn’t eat it right then and there but if that’s not a surefire sign of BLAH then I dunno what is!

7821 Edinger Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 890-9118


After Basilico’s closed down due to the owner’s grave illness (still praying for a re-open SOON!) I hopped down the street into the next neighborhood marketplace to find peeps linin’ up out the door for Ms. Mona. Quaint and cozy little Mom and Pop shop, everyone seems to know everyone here so bonus points for the “little guy”. Mona Lisa’s fare is definitely more traditional with a focus on Mediterranean specialties with mussels and manila clams. Their bruschetta is crunchy where it counts (the crust!) and fresh and light where it matters (the tomatoes!). Finished with a beautiful balsamic glaze and fragrant house-made EVOO. Delish! 


After venturing onto their claim-to-fame Prima Dona specialty pizza with ricotta cheese, caramelized onions, dry figs, and goat cheese, I felt like I had dessert before my entrée. The figs were wayyyy too sugary, even for my sweet tooth and topped with caramelized onions, this pizza felt more like BJ’s pizookie than a starter. Eh, pass! 


Tube pasta pour moi (yes, again!) and Spaghetti for him (no surprise there). I like my pasta bite-sized and he likes his stringy. I believe the best indication of authentic Italian is putting a taste test to the same menu items. Here, while my Rigatoni Con Petit De Pollo (Dino’s signature dish with tube pasta sautéed with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, chicken, rosemary, red onions, and light creamy balsamic) beat Luna Rossa’s penne by a long shot, le bf’s Buccatini Melanzane e Salsiccia (long pasta with eggplant, Italian sausage, basil, and spicy marinara sauce with added chicken) while filled with fancy extras, lacked the sweet scents wafting from fresh seafood as Luna Rossa’s had. The sausage/sauce/meat combo was simply bland and needed a heavy hand of parmesan and crushed pepper before seeming somewhat flavorful. 

9017 E. Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 593-2888

Moral of the story: Sometimes even suburban marketplace cucinas taste more authentic than your local family-run shops. I’m putting my moral compass to the ultimate test tonight and venturing out to Irvine Spectrum for some additional Italian eats. Cucina Enoteca here I come! The irony is I rarely crave pasta yet find myself haunted by the illusion that you can only get good Italian in Italy! 

Ima myth-bust my ass off tonight y’all! Will keep you posted!
Until then, TGIF and Bon appétit mes amis!

Follow HAUTE KHUUTURE

You Might Also Like

10 comments

  1. Everything looks amazing, but I am drooling over that first dish especially!
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm craving for some midnight snack right now! The past looks YUM xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh My! I think I have died and gone to heaven! That all looks soooo yummy you lucky thing. xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for making me love food and fashion and all things great in life again :)

    such inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my gosh, all that food looks way too good! ♥ xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its lunch time and I'm officially salivating on my keyboard!!! AHHHHH OHHHH!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE Italian food....we are vegetarian so pasta dishes are our favvvvv esp pesto pasta!!! YUMMMMMMMM!!! or linguini or spaghetti or pizza or..hahahahaha
    Love you babe!
    kisses
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

    www.BeckermanBitePlate.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. ahhh your blog always has the best food porn. my mouth is watering!

    xx
    francesca
    http://www.frankvinyl.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi!! :)
    I really like your blog and your style!
    I´m following you :)
    maybe if you want, you could visit my blog too,
    and if you like it, follow me back!
    http://modacapital-blog.com
    kiss

    ReplyDelete
  9. my mouth literally watered up seeing this! lol =P

    xo's

    -teeney
    http://christeeney.blogspot.com
    instagram: @christeeney

    ReplyDelete

Give it to me...gimme that funk, that sweet, that gushy stuff

Like us on Facebook

Yelp Golden ELITE Reviews