On the Line: Steve Samson of Pizzeria Ortica

It's hard to believe that Costa Mesa's Pizzeria Ortica, co-founded by David Myers and Executive Chef Steve Samson, has only been open since January. An instant hit, despite being slightly off the South Coast Plaza beaten path, it's known for its stunning pastas, meats, fish and pizzas. Not to mention its outrageously good desserts. We caught up with Samson for a chat.

1. Dish that you cook that most represents you. 

That's an easy one...Tagliatelle Bolognese. My mom is from Bologna. I grew up eating my nonna's and my mom's version. It will always be on the menu.

2. What was the last meal you had at home?

A half-eaten two-day old pizza from the restaurant. It still tasted good.

3. Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):

Sushi Nozawa in Studio City. I have been going for almost 20 years.  Mr and Mrs Nozawa run a tight ship.  I also love Shin Sen Gumi in Gardena and Fountain Valley.  It's a lot of  fun and they have great yakitori.

4. Fast food guilty pleasure:

Tacos and tortas at El Gallo Giro in Santa Ana, washed down with an ice cold Jamaica. Que rico!

5. Complete this sentence:  I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun]

I would like to baste Bobby Flay with Mario Batali's drippings.  Whatever that means.

6. Last meal of your life, what would it be? 

See my answer to no.1, but I'm not choosing between my nonna's and my mom's ragu'.

7. Items you always have in your refrigerator: 

Sriracha and Tecate Light.  What else do I need?

8. Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance:

Right now it's a perforated pizza placing peel. The perforations allow excess flour to sift through instead of burning on the bottom of the pizza. 


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