Alessa is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The first time I tried it was my birthday a year ago before they opened the spot in Laguna. We tried the Newport Beach location, which was definitely not as nice, but still had good atmosphere. My only complaint there was that when we arrived we were unable to be seated since we had changed our reservation and therefore had to wait an hour before being seated. It seems that the Laguna location is much easier to deal with. Although they do not take reservations if you know one of the managers you can call in and have them reserve you a table. Also it is easy enough to put your name in and then take a stroll around town before eating.
Now for the food, it is amazing. My favorite appetizer is the burrata caprese, so delicious. This is definitely the best burrata mozzarella I have tried. The heirloom tomato carpaccio is so good and it is all served with some arugula, olives and a touch of pesto. Now for entrees I have a multitude of favorites. I love the rigatoni ugo d’orso, which is rigatoni with a mushroom cream sauce and chicken. It is also delicious to order it with their homemade pappardelle. I am also a huge fan of the pappardelle al sugo d’agnello, which has braised lamb shoulder and ricotta cheese, so yummy! I have tried a few of the pizzas and they are also delicious, thin crust Italian style. A pizza is good to order if you want something to share. Most of the pasta dishes are also large enough to share if you order an appetizer as well. I have also tried the risotto with shrimp and asparagus, which was very good as well, even though I don’t really like asparagus all that much.
This is a must try if you haven’t already. It is always a go-to for comforting Italian cuisine.