As California Pizza Kitchen is being built to replace El Cholo Cantina in one part of Irvine, North Italia Restaurant is being built to replace a California Pizza Kitchen in another.
North Italia is part of a chain based in Arizona with restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas. The Irvine location at Park Place at the corner of Michelson and Jamboree will be its second in California after the El Segundo location, which opened recently.
Though progress is being made on the Irvine location, it doesn't look as though they'll make the “Summer 2015” opening goal they're advertising on the walls surrounding the construction site. When it does open, whenever that is, the menu will include small plates, salads, pizzas and house-made pastas that include a squid ink mafaldine and a bolognese that's the house specialty. Mains will likely feature grilled branzino and a proscuitto-wrapped tenderloin as the El Segundo store is currently offering.
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.