If you remember where California Pizza Kitchen was in Irvine's Park Place, that's where North Italia Restaurant is now. It's part of a chain based in Arizona with restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas. This location is North Italia's second in California after the El Segundo branch, which also opened recently.
North Italia is part of Fox Restaurant Concepts, whose portfolio also includes True Food Kitchen and Flower Child, a health-conscious chain that's about to land in Santa Monica.
The menu consists of small plates, salads, pizzas and house-made pastas, including a squid ink mafaldine and a bolognese that's the house specialty. Just like at its El Segundo location, mains feature grilled branzino. The the full menu is available on its website.
2957 Michelson Drive, Irvine, California 92612
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.