Consistency is the hallmark of a good restaurant. Our recent visit to Nello Cucina proved this once again.
Located in South Coast Plaza Nello has long provided outstanding Italian cuisine, some on the lighter side thanks to its location.
Located in a Mall customers vary from those wanting a light lunch to others interested in a dining experience.
The Nello menu provides both of these options.
We were there to meet Antonio Mattina, Executive Chef and General Manager. Until our meeting we knew him only by reputation. With 35 years experience on three Continents there is not much that Antonio does not know about the restaurant business.
His skill in the kitchen is undisputed and we took full advantage of it. My partner and I opened with the Calamari that arrived with a most flavorful red sauce. Then I ordered the Osso Buco and when it arrived at table we were awed. The veal knuckle was bedded in a creamed rice and nestled in a red wine sauce. This entree and others are on special order and always available.
My partner tried Antonio's homemade pasta with beef ragu, parmigiano and again on special order red peppers for added spice.
The regular menu offers a full range of soup, salads, pizza, pasta and main courses like Cioppino, and veal scaloppini. A house specialty are skewers which can be ordered with filet mignon, shrimp or chicken
Nello Cucina is located at 3333 Bear Street on the first floor of the South Coast Plaza and is open for lunch and dinner until 9 p.m. For more information call 714 540-3365.