Well, many thanks to RSMBob, jsl, russkar, kc girl, torta basilica, and others for convincing me to visit Sabatino's in Newport Beach.
After trekking down to the watefront, I found the directions to get there weren't all that difficult (but then, I know this area...) If you can manage your way to the Blue Water Grill, it's further down that street and around the corner. I bought a coil of mild sausage (3.5 lbs worth at $17.50). At $5 a pound, it's spendy for sausage, but you know where the extra money goes. Trust me, it's some damn good sausage. The coiled shape reminds me of the street vendors at New York's San Gennaro festival who'd grill it with peppers and onion, only this one tasted better than the street vendors'.
Sabatino's, I think, is probably the most flavorful Italian sausge I've tasted. It's studded with chunks of cheese that melt and ooze out of the casing, if you're not careful about handling it during cooking. I'm going to guess the cheese is a romano type, probably not a super-aged one because of how easily it melted. The sausage was quite salty - maybe mine was overseasoned? I used it to flavor a big pot of tomato sauce, so the saltiness was a plus. After browning the sausage and cooking in the sauce for an hour, I sampled a piece of it, cheese oozing out along with the delicious juices redolent of garlic and parsley and who knows what else, and had it on a baguette from Lee's Sandwiches. Mmmmm..... italian sausage sandwich.
Get thee to Sabatino's!