A certificate from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana—a rigid Italian standard to gauge the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza—hangs on the wall at Il Dolce, not that it needs any further validation. Roberto Bignes' barely 1-year-old pizzeria has been the subject of intense scrutiny on food bulletin boards and by newspaper food critics who think they know better. Meanwhile, the graying Argentinean owner/chef, a man as driven as one half his age, continues to constantly fine-tune his pies to the Neapolitan ideal. He has added almond wood for fuel, made his own mozzarella cheese, and insisted on only the most expensive kind of olive oil. His determination pays off when you bite into his pie's crust. You hear the requisite crackle—the prickly of sound of a million tiny molecular bonds breaking. It's the sound only a proper pizza can make. Certificates? Approval from know-it-all critics? Who needs 'em?

Location Details

1902 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa CA 92627


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