Really is delish, despite my pendejadas...
Really is delish, despite my pendejadas...
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#88. Budino di Cioccolato, Pizzeria Ortica

Because ustedes gentle readers love lists, and we lazy scribes love easy hits, behold the latest entry in our Top 100 dishes list that continues until Best Of--at which point, we'll give you MORE lists! Now, on with the show...

I wouldn't be surprised if Edwin or Dave revisit Pizzeria Ortica for this list, because its pizzas--forget the silly debate about whether they're truly authentic or not; they're just damn good pies--offer a good, relatively affordable meal. But I did want to list Ortica's wonderful budino low on this list. Why the praise with one hand and a slap with the other?

Simple: it blatantly rides the train of success that is Pizzeria Mozza's budino. Sure, Mozza advertises their dessert as butterscotch, and Ortica makes theirs with chocolate, but the experience remain the same: cream top, decadent chocolate middle, and dark custard manna on the bottom, with sprinkles of salt throughout to enliven the senses with a dissenting, magnificent note. This is one of the better desserts in Orange County, but seriously, Ortica: couldn't you make up your own sweet star? I say this as I plan to order five and eat them all at once, to leave this vale of tears on a sugar rush that would've awoken ol' Lazarus himself...

650 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 445-4900;

The rest of the list:

#100. Jerk Carnitas Torta at The Crosby
#99. Nem Nuong Cuon at Brodard
#98. Pork Chop Anything at Nice Time Deli
#97. Flying Saucer at Alberto's
#96. Frozen Custard at Marc Burger's in Macy's Signature Kitchen
#95. Collard Greens at Johnny Reb's
#94. Strawberry Shortcake from Job's Daughters
#93. Cuban Sandwich at DeSimone's Deli
#92. Lamb with Preserved Cabbage at Mas Islamic Chinese
#91. Baked Rice at Luc Dinh Ky
#90. Beans on Toast at The Olde Ship
#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia


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