Restaurants & Bars 30

Critiqua of Ortica

OC Mutt | May 23, 2009 04:05 AM

Last night I ate at Pizzeria Ortica. Here is my message David Myers - you should be ashamed of yourself. This place is embarrassingly mediocre. Compared to Pizzeria Mozza, the restaurant that Ortica was theoretically modeled after, Ortica is a disaster. Mozza is flat out spectacular an I would do anything to eat there again. I will never go back to Ortica, does that tell the story? if not, I'll describe the food. Our waitress suggested that appetizers and the food in general are good for sharing. Really? The portions, other than the pizzas, were tiny. Our party of six was immediately disappointed at the arrival of lamb skewers and the artichoke / octopus appetizers. You could literally feel our excitement over trying a new restaurant drain out like a popped water balloon. The "skewers" consisted of 2, and you literally could've used a tweezers to pull the pieces of lamb off, as well as to eat the microscopic chunks. The pizzas looked good, charred crust, interesting colors but they are nothing beyond that. Nothing special at all as a matter of fact. I make my own pizza at home without a wood oven and my date, who had also been to Mozza with me before this, remarked after dinner that she likes mine better. So do I, and that pisses me off. The crust was wet in the middle, failing to remain crispy even right out of the oven, and towards the end of the meal, the cheese on the "ala norma" pizze was like rubber as was the crust (just an FYI, I use Trader Joe's crust which costs .99, and its better than this, even a day later). Our Salame Piccante e fungi pizza was ok. The salame was the best part, but that's about it. The pizza with guanciale and ricotta was decent, only because the piece of guanciale was good. You got one piece of meat per slice of pizza (oh and to add insult to injury, they did a crappy job of slicing the pizzas as well!), but it is painful how little I care about returning. The pastas got a much better review from the table. I agree to a certain extent, but the portions were tiny. I had the lamb ragu, and it was more like pulled lamb, on pasta with some cream slathered on the plate. Not much nuance, or depth to the dish at all. The space itself, doesn't help either. It's really long and narrow with a weird vibe - the lighting makes one wonder if it's actually open or if it's just testing while waiting for the actual lights to arrive. Finally, I had a decent hazelnut gelato for dessert. Overall, the bill for each couple was $87, and we did not order a bottle of wine. That for a dinner of pizza and pasta that is flat out extortion. That realization was the final nail in the coffin and guaranteed my never returning. I've never tried any of Myers' other restaurants, but now I won't. This one is a joke. Do whatever it takes to go to Mozza, ignore this place and hope it goes away.

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