Food Porn Friday | Cucina Alessá | Huntington Beach

Friday, February 06, 2015


Happy Friday lovers! 
It’s Food Porn tiiiiiiime! 

Today’s menu is not a newbie on the block, this Italian restaurant has been a mainstay in beach cities for a hot minute; however it’s taken me years to finally commit to dining at the cucina.

Voted Best Italian Restaurant in Orange County, Alessá features homemade pastas, pizzas, and a pretty popular happy hour that locals rave about. While I admit, Italian is probably my LEAST favorite type of cuisine (you can thank the high calorie count for that) I do loves me a heavy carb sesh once in a blue moon. Couple that with bottomless bruschetta and you’ve got yourself a date honey! 

Here’s what’s on the menu today: 

Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (above) with roma tomatoes, basil, and garlic served with focaccetta. Thin and chewy, with all the makings of a great appetizer when loaded with parmesan and fragrant herbed tomatoes. Their house focaccia is pretty bomb as well so between the two, you’d have bread for days. 
Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes
So delish! Easily my favorite dish we ordered that evening I dunno if that’s saying a lot or a little. The tomatoes were beautifully sliced, paper thin with a generous glazing of balsamic drizzled throughout. I fill up my bruschetta and sandwich pieces of burrata/tomatoes/arugula like a wrap. Who needs pizza when you’ve got this party pocket?

Pizza Di Parma with buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, parma, prosciutto, and arugula. Apparently le bf does, lol. He’s a pizza connoisseur, what can I say? I’m sorry but this pie PALED in comparison to their bruschetta and house bread. The hand tossed crust was not crunchy/crusty in the least, kinda flimsy actually, and the toppings seemed sad just wilting away beneath the tower of arugula. Total PASS!

Conchiglie Gamberi E Asparagi
Seashell pasta with shrimp and asparagus tossed in light lobster cream sauce. I’m allergic to lobster so I didn’t get to taste test my gf’s dish but she said it was “really good.” Sorry, that’s all I’ve got for this one, lol.

Pappardelle Al Sugo D’agnello with ribbon-shaped pasta, slow-cooked braised lamb shoulder, shaved ricotta salata. I swear I scan all menus for keywords like “slow-cooked” (YES!), “braised” (YESS!), and “charred” (2 outta 3 ain’t bad!), so I knew this was the winner for me. Just a warning: Alessá’s pastas are made SUPER duper al dente. Almost on the tip of slightly undercooked if you ask me. Although the flavors were rich and well seasoned, and the protein generously rationed at a 50/50 ratio to the pasta, I couldn’t take more than 3 bites it was so filling. I realized at this point that I like my pasta cooked just a tad bit longer, favoring the chew over the bite.

Homemade meat ravioli with Bolognese sauce topped with pecorino cheese. 
 This was le bf’s dish and while I had the same issues of doneness with my pappardelle, I have to admit, these suckers reheat like a dream! After having boxed both our dishes togo, I microwaved these for lunch the next day and they were BOMB.COM! The pastas were chewy just the way I like them. They tasted more homemade at home than they did when dining out. True indication that Cucina Alessá is a better take-out option than dine-in spot. Just sayin’.


House Special Pork Chop
The best dish on tonight’s menu. Look at that thing! Juicy and tender, smoked and charred in all the right places. Although the sauce was a tad bit on the sweet side, the fresh greens and side potatoes soaked it up just beautifully.

Cucina Alessá
520 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 969-2148

*Insider’s tip: Cucina Alessá is located on the north end of Main Street in Huntington Beach. You can walk another 5 minutes towards the pier for after dinner drinks at the dozens of bars scattered up and down the strip. Wine, they know. Cocktails, a complete miss. I couldn’t even get them to make me a decent tequila/soda mixed drink. How hard is that? So I’d stay for dinner and migrate for drinks.  While the cuisine at Alessá features traditional Tuscan flavors and style of cooking, I’d much rather prefer Cucina Enoteca’s modern approach to Italian classics. Plus Enoteca’s ambience is much more suitable for a socializing hotspot whereas Alessá is more “dinner after a long workday” kinda meal. Ya know what I mean? Cozy and comforting, I imagine that’s the draw for locals. But I hear their Newport Beach scene is livelier than HB’s so the verdict is out until I can complete a side-by-side taste test. Stay tuned.*

TGIF y'all! Hope you're eatin' good in the hood this weekend!
Bon Appétit mes amis! 

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6 comments

  1. I confess, I do have a weakness for Italian food - despite the high calories! Everything here looks super delicious.
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  2. I'm totally drrrroooooooling right now!!!! Soooo yummy! That pasta----delicious!!!! That pizza and caprese---yummmmmmm!
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  3. I get so hungry from reading your post :-)

    x Mieke

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  4. Really love your bunny bag!

    x Mieke

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  5. mmmm im so hungry now! Love it
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  6. Yummy!!! so delicious.

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    Kisses

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

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