Opus Italian Restaurant
3538 East Chapman Ave. Orange, CA
Been driving past for several months and wondering about Opus. Almost in a small strip center near Carl's Jr., however positioned on the street. A friend suggested we go there and I was happy we did.
I enjoyed a light dish of lemon picatta. Portions of the tender chicken were small, but the salad and the side fresh vegetables were quite enough to satisfy my hunger. My friend had a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and proscuitto and draped with a nice sauce (marsala? I tasted a subtle layer of wine in the sauce). I wanted to switch dishes with him for a few more bites to savor more of the flavors I got a hint of in one bite. I really liked it.
Most dishes also come with a side of spaghetti. The sauce is a meat sauce, with very little meat pieces, but lots of flavor in the blend. And, a little spicier than many. Not too spicy for a child though, if not too much sauce.
I think they are trying very hard to be romantic and upscale in design, but they are missing something. They are doing everything right, but they just don't reach excellence in interior design and ambiance in that regard for some reason. However, the magnificent fish tank in the entryway was a delight for the children (and adults, too). And, it is a little too dark for a dinner business meeting or the like.
However, the flavors in every dish I tasted were delicious, even the salad dressings. The differences in the Italian oil dressing and the Casear oil dressing were from the anchovies and parmesan. Otherwise, they looked quite similar. Again, kind of spicier than your standard Italian dressing. Very, very good. My friend thought both should be creamy, but the combination of spices in the oil-based dressings impressed him, too.
The service was incredible - and good with (well mannered) kids and their requests and uniquities. Almost kindred, but not intrusive. The quality and flavor of food and service outranks some higher end Newport Beach Italian restaurants. Many main dishes around $15.00 with soup or salad, vegetable, and side of spaghetti.
And, the bread (large rolls actually) in a basket served to the table is great, too. They make their own. It is dense and soft with a crisp, but not hard crust. We were impressed with the quality.
I think Opus Italian restaurant is worth the drive from as far as 20 miles around. Seems to be mostly Southern Italian fare. Delicious.