Was treated to this Italian-American restaurant recently by someone I rather like, so I hate to be a critical, ungrateful a-hole. Mama D's used to be located in Manhattan Beach years ago before relocating to Newport Beach and has the usual array of accolades from local newspapers and Zagat adorning its walls. It occupies an old warehouse in the boathouse district with high unmodulated wooden rafters which gives the room a boomingly loud acoustic effect.
Service was busy but prompt. Very friendly service, which they take great pride in. I liked our greeter and waiter very much. They did an outstanding job.
Food was just eh, though. I ordered linguine with white clam sauce; others at the table shared a pizza. The linguine came in a deep bowl with about a quart of steaming clam juice, a half dozen in-shell littleneck clams, and some chopped, canned, clam meat. The broth had no particular seasoning working, just hot canned clam juice. Was more like a soup with pasta, not a pasta dish with sauce.
Pizza was ordered extra thin and well done. It's middling east coast pizza of no specific geographic provenance. The dough was a little sweet to my taste, and didn't display any artisanal care in its mixing, rising, or prebake prep. Your basic fast formula, single rise, sugared up dough with too much yeast. Nothing to write home about at all.
Maybe we ordered wrong. Does anyone have recent good experiences with this place?