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“Love Il Dolce”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Il Dolce

Il Dolce
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Ranked #227 of 510 Restaurants in Costa Mesa
Price range: US$15 - US$50
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Winner of the Golden Foodie Awards for Best Pizza in Orange County California 2012 and 2014, main cross streets is Harbor Blvd. And 19th, right on the corner. We serve Cocktails. MONDAY CLOSED
Costa Mesa, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Love Il Dolce”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

We live in Newport and have been to Il Dolce about 10 to 15 times and think its a hidden gem. As a local,I would definitely suggest those visiting the Newport / Costa Mesa area consider it. It's not down by the bay or beach - more up in the Newport Blvd / Harbor Blvd business district (corner of 19th St and Harbor Blvd.), but we go for the food not the location. Its more of a foodie experience.

The pizza dough is so sweet and light. Definitely the best pizza dough I have ever had. They have a wood burning pizza oven and the pizza's toppings are unique. Our favorite is the Fig an Ricotta cheese pizza when its in season, but we've tried many of them - all excellent. The size is more of an individual pizza, so my wife and I usually get a couple of split them.

I also have tried several of the pastas and one was especially awesome - combination of mushrooms and truffle oil. Had the salmon dinner once and was also excellent.

The ambiance is nice but could be better. It's small (seats around 40), open and casual. It they were located down by the beach or not on a busy intersection, it would be rated as one of the top restaurants in the area.

I believe the place is family run with the Dad as chef, Mom helping back of the house, and son as one of the waiters. I think they are originally from Argentina. They have always been very nice when we go.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Beachparks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto B, Owner at Il Dolce, responded to this review, 19 August 2013
Thank You for your nice review, we appreciate that and your opinion is important for us. Thank You.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    4
    1
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Always Excellent Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2013

We live 65 miles from this restaurant, however we often have business in the area so when possible we make a point to dine here. Dine it is, as each dish is prepared to order by the owner/chef. The food here is very interesting, although my husband only orders pizza, and why not, as late last year the place was awarded best pizza in Orange County. I most frequently order a pasta dish (although I have a weakness for the grilled octopus salad), if it is on the menu try Fig and Gorgonzola Saccheti, a beautiful dish of delicate pasta pillows bathed in tasty gorgonzola white sauce (one has a choice of pink sauce or the white.)
We finished lunch with cappuccinos and Cream Brulee Cheesecake made on the premises.
This is a corner restaurant with some serious food coming out of the kitchen.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RosesRosesRoses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto B, Owner at Il Dolce, responded to this review, 19 August 2013
Thank You your nice review. We appreciate that.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Costa Mesa, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I have never been treated so poorly”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2012

This was my 3rd time dining here. The first time was great! The second was alright. The third time I brought guests and was completely embarrissed by the waiter! I will never go back. The waiter asked us how our food was and when one of the diners said the duck pizza was not very good the waiter replied. "Try another bite, our chef makes great pizza." My friend asked for something else and explained that he had asked for a description of the pizza and it was nothing like what he was told.,It was more like some bread with salad thrown on top and some duck thrown in.
The waiter replied, "If there is something wrong with your food sir I can feturn it to the kitchen but if it is just that you do not like it, we do not replace it with something else!" I then jumped in with :I have never heard of such a thing in a restaurant" The waiter was very rude and said....Well have you ever eaten here before?" He said it like I was some kind of low class white trash that never exprienced fine dining (which this wasnt) I think the pizza was maybe $23 or so.

I got the feeling it was perhaps a bit of a racial thing along with a very tempermental chef! This really wasnt a money issue, more of a "The customer is always right kinda thing." I mean....if you want customers to return wouldnt you at least swap the meal out for something else?

He offered to box it up for my friend and my friend asked him to just "return it to the kitchen." As we were getting ready to pay the bill for the lousy pizza and our other food, the waiter came back to the table and told us the chef said he wouldnt charge us this time for the pizza but wanted us to know next time we would be charged.
I can tell you there will not be a next time! Even Mimis amd Cocos would bring you something ellse. This place is ridiculous!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Melanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto B, Owner at Il Dolce, responded to this review, 12 December 2012
First of all, that two customer never has been in my restaurant before, it was their first time. The waiter explain to the customer the ingredients on the pizza and both customer agree then they place the order, and they start to eat. Later, the waiter ask to the customer if everything is good or if there is somenthing wrong with the food, and they say no it is ok, but I don't like. If there is any problem with the food we take it back and replace for free, but in this occasion was not the problem, even the waiter asked if they want other dish, and they said no. The relation with the customer was correctly and respectful all the time, nobody said something discourteous like a discrimination. For courtesy we don't charge the meal in this occasion, but our policy if the food, has nothing wrong, the client have to pay for that. You cannot order the food and not pay for that only because doesn't like and even if you ate. Now you can see the customer rated 3 star for food which it's ok.
Thank You for the opportunity to explain.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Vero Cucina Italiano!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2012

Having an Italian background, and spending almost every summer in Italy, I know good Italian food. The owner and his wife comes from Italy, and are both extremely kind. With a forno a legno (wood burning oven), and homemade pasta, the food is stellar. My family came here four times in two weeks, including an amazing father's day dinner.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto B, Owner at Il Dolce, responded to this review, 10 November 2012
Thank You for your very awesome review. we appreciate that. Il Dolce la Buona Pizza.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Authentic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2012

This is a gem of restaurant if you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine that is personally prepared for each guest by chef, Roberto Bigne. This is a small place located on the corner of 19th and Harbor Blvd. in a strip mall. The food coming from Roberto's kitchen rivals or exceeds some of the well reviewed Los Angeles restaurants featured in the LA Times that we have had meals at. The daily specials are inspired with some items I had not seen before such as Spaghetti Bottarga Di Muggi, a dish of Sardinia, dried fish roe shaved over black pasta and lightly dressed. The flavors were delicate and the plate was visually pleasing. We always order at least one pizza when we are there with the Napoletana being one of our favorites (do not look for cheese on this one.) The food items come from the kitchen as they are prepared so they may not all arrive at one time, but that is just another indication of the quality of the food that you have odered. The desserts are also made in house.
This is not a fast food pizza place, but it is a restaurant to have good food prepared with care, precision and pride by a chef that knows food. You will not be disappointed.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank RosesRosesRoses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto B, Owner at Il Dolce, responded to this review, 7 November 2012
Thank You Very Much for your nice review we appreciate that.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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