Pizzeria takes over old Cafe Vienna spot

A new pizza joint opened in town, and the chef says it's serving up something locals don't get enough of.

NEApolitan Pizzeria and Birreria opened Nov. 3 at the former Cafe Vienna spot, 31542 S. Coast Hwy.

Chef Frank DeLoach, previously sous chef of The Playground in downtown Santa Ana, said the eatery is offering true artisanal pizza — which he said doesn't abound in Laguna — cooked in a state-of-the-art Stefano Ferrara oven.

DeLoach, who traveled Italy, says the restaurant offers rustic Southern Italian fare.

"They really don't have much Italian influence down here," DeLoach, 26, said.

Menu offerings include: roasted octopus with Dutch baby potatoes, orange, lardo and Castelvetrano olives; veal meatballs al forno; and autumn pizza with Guanciale — an unsmoked Italian bacon — pumpkin, ricotta, pecorino and agrodolce, an Italian sweet and sour sauce. A sweet blackberry pizza has spiced jam, ricotta, bacon and arugula. There's simpler offerings for the less daring, such as Margherita pizza and Laguna Market Salad with greens, avocado, red onion and lemon.

Since its opening, he said the restaurant has been serving up pizza and beer nonstop.

The kitchen gets its items from local farms from San Clemente, Del Mar and Temecula.

"We're trying our best to get as many people in our community as involved as we can and just do it right," he said.

Prices range from $9 appetizers to $18 pizzas. For menu and more information, visit NEAlaguna.com.


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