Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nick's - Costa Mesa

So, I got into a discussion about food in Orange County this afternoon. Imagine that. More restaurants were added to my list, and Nick's in Costa Mesa was one of them. Dear Ben and I thought we could knock that off tonight, and off we went. It's in a typical Orange County shopping center with a Home Depot and a TJ Maxx. The restaurant facade itself, however, is jazzed up a bit so it stands out. Nick's is definitely not the kind of place you'd expect to find right next to a Super Cuts.

We arrived around 8:00pm on a Tuesday evening. It was a quiet evening in the restaurant with only two other groups dining. Italian decor - exactly how you imagine it - but it wasn't too over the top. I would recommend they find some different music though. The rendention of Gloria is still ringing in my ears.

Alas, the food. We came for pizza, and pizza is what we got. We considered two smalls, but opted for one large. Usually a large entails more topping, and there's something special about a big slice of pizza. My half, tomato and basil. Dear Ben went with salami and olive. Mine was better, but I gotta say that the salami was great. Not whole slices, and thank goodness for that. Don't you hate it when all of the toppings come off in one bite?!

The pie

Tomato & Basil
Plenty of fresh basil tucked under lots of stringy mozzarella cheese and topped with sweet, cherry tomato halves. I was a little surprised that the pizza wasn't covered in large tomato slices, but the cherry tomatoes seemed to be just perfect for this pizza. I loved the freshness of the flavors. Even Dear Ben got big eyes when he bit into mine after his meaty slice. I'd order this combo again!

Tomato & Basil
The right and left profile of my first slice of pizza

Salami & Olive
One of our favorite pizzas is pepperoni and olive (Friend Jennifer's favorite too!), but Dear Ben decided to put a twist on it with salami. Each salami round was cut into about six slices each, a bit smaller than a typical pepperoni, and it's just the right size for biting. While the cheese at Nick's really does make the pizza special, the toppings on this pizza tasted just regular. Good, but not stand out.

Salami & Olive
The Pizza, Itself
Not super thin, not thick. Definitely hand tossed. They use lots of olive oil. You can taste it, and you'll see a bit of a shine on your fingers. The bottom of the crust is crispy, but just above was chewy yet pillowy. Friend Michael says it's the kind of dough that you kind of have to fight. I'd say, right on. You'll know exactly what he means when you bite into it.

Nick's doesn't uses a ton of sauce on their pizza. You know that I'm a saucy girl, and I've been known to order extra sauce, but it seems to work for Nick's. It's almost like it's dolloped around the crust before the toppings. It's a thicker sauce with great tomato flavor. I still think I probably prefer a bit more, and I'll probably ask for some on the side.

Bottom Line
It's not New York style. It's not Chicago style. It's not your typical pizza-chain style. Nick's is rustic Italian gone mainstream. I enjoyed the pie, and I'd be willing to eat it again. Next time, I'll probably opt for take out though.

Nick's Pizza Ristorante Italiano
2300 Harbor Blvd Ste K1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Nick's Pizza Ristorante on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hey,

    Nice review of Nick's! After reading your review, I'm thinking you could actually win an award for it. Yes, seriously ^_~ . There's a new award for the best reviews online being presented by Lunch.com (a site where people can share reviews on any topic). Lunch is recognizing the best reviews across a plethora of topics, and your restaurant reviews are fantastic -- I think you stand a great shot of getting nominated and winning a "Golden Thumb" trophy! I work for Lunch, searching for the best reviews and reviewers online, so when I came across yours, it was a great fit.

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    Good Luck!
    Tu Nguyen