Restaurants & Bars

REVIEW: Cafe Lucca, Orange

Das Ubergeek | Apr 1, 200701:04 PM     7

When I'm home, I tend to eat whenever I'm hungry, which sometimes leads to my eating in a restaurant at an odd hour. The other day around 3 PM I decided I wanted to go to Frog's Breath for some cheese for a simple, late dinner, and I'd grab a sandwich while I was out.

I walked over to Cafe Lucca, just north of the Orange Circle, where I've had some really good gelato.

I went to the counter to order from the Chapman U. emo kid (you know the type -- eyeliner, long coloured hair that covers one soulful eye, etc.).

"I'd like a caprese sandwich, a bottle of Panna water, an espresso and a chocolate-orange madeleine, please."

"What kind of gelato?"

"Huh? No gelato. Caprese sandwich."

"Which sandwich?"

"CAH-PRAY-ZAY. This one [I point to the menu]."



"Oh. OK. And water and a latte?"

"A *bottle of Panna*. Then later an ESPRESSO, and a chocolate-orange madeleine."

"For here or to go?"

"For here."

I paid and sat down.

"Did you want that espresso for here?"

"Sure, but can I get it after my sandwich?"


A minute later, out come... the espresso and the madeleine. Whatever. I was hungry, I'm not going to let the espresso cool, and I'm convinced by this point that the staff are all totally stoned, or else it's opposite day, or maybe Pope Benedict dropped a couple more days out of the calendar and it's April Fools' already. But...

"Do you think I might have some sugar? And a spoon?"

"Um, OK."

The spoon arrived, but no sugar -- I went to the counter and got it myself. I had dessert first. The madeleine was REALLY good and the espresso, though premature, was well-made, good crema.

Next came the sandwich -- fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil en chiffonade and (don't ask me why) citrus vinaigrette on a French roll. The sandwich was very tasty, but the roll was totally the kind of French roll you get on airlines in business class. Edible but tough and hard to chew. Odd for a bakery-cafe. It came with some very good orzo salad. I debated whether there were any meat in the orzo salad but, having learned my lesson, I didn't ask. I figured I was going to confession on Saturday anyway. "Forgive me Father for I have sinned, it has been two weeks since my last confession. I think I may have eaten an orzo salad with meat in it. Or maybe pot. It would explain a lot."

But... no water. And Panna isn't cheap, and I paid for it.

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I ordered a bottle of Panna water, could I have it, please?"

"Um, you want water?"

"I asked for -- and paid for -- a bottle of Panna water."

The waitress delivers a bottle of Panna water.

"Do you have something I can open the bottle with?"

"It's open."

"I promise you it's not."

I followed her to the counter but was intercepted by Emo Kid. "I'd like you to open the bottle, please, and I'd like you to give me a glass." He did, and a plastic beer mug was procured, and I drank.

It was very tasty food. I enjoyed it quite a lot. But I didn't tip. It was ridiculous. And when I asked for the manager so that I could explain why I didn't tip, I got, "Oh, ummmmmmmm, nobody's here right now."

Go, but be prepared to fend for yourself. And try the gelato -- it's really good.

Cafe Lucca
106 N. Glassell
Orange, CA 92866

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