Cucina Enoteca in Irvine, CA

The night before the Surf City Half Marathon, my friend and I came here to load up on carbs and enjoy a dinner with the couple that we were staying with in Irvine.  Cucina Enoteca is a new Italian restaurant in the Irvine Spectrum near the movie theater.  It has a modern artsy decor, and the chairs for the tables in the center of the restaurant are cushiony white arm chairs.  It’s a good place for dates or for a nice dinner with a group of friends.

Bucatini all’amatriciana for $16.99- This dish comes with guanciale (pork cheeks), tomatoes, onions, Calabrian chili, and pecorino (a cheese)!  I wanted to try something different (guanciale), but this dish ended up just looking like spaghetti with tomato sauce!  I thought the Calabrian chili would be like hearty bean chili, but they meant chili powder.  The chili made the dish really spicy.  Flavor-wise, this dish was really good, and bucatini is thicker than spaghetti but has a hole running through it.

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