Nesai California Italian Cuisine & Bar

217 Riverside Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92663


  • Open Tues.-Sun., 5:30-10 p.m.
  • $$$
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair accessible
  • Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Parking Lot Available, Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
To say that Nesai California Italian Cuisine & Bar is hidden is understating it. It’s in Newport Beach, a stone’s throw from the main drag, where the Rusty Pelican and all the other PCH landmarks are. But at the same time, it’s not there. It’s like a mirage or a chameleon you couldn’t see until you started to look for it and found it was there all along, in plain sight. You have to turn on a side street from PCH and go for a block until the road slopes upward. Just when you think you’re lost, you see the plain sign. It’s behind what looks like a warehouse with iron bars on the windows, located on the bottom floor of an office-space duplex. The specialty of the house is the crispy pork belly, an appetizer you’ve seen just about everywhere these days, but not like this. It’s not so much crispy as it is just good and simple. It’s braised, then dribbled with a sauce that isn’t just reduced balsamic, but something else you can’t put your finger on, except you do so literally, squeegeeing every last drop of it off your plate.

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