CUCINA enoteca - Irvine

4.5
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1551 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
CUCINA enoteca is centrally located in the Irvine Spectrum! Owner Tracy Borkum's flair for combining great ambience, award-winning cuisine and unparalleled service are once again starring components in this latest Urban Kitchen Group creation. Executive Chef Tim Kolanko and Chef de Cuisine Cesar Sarmiento bring their artistry to the table as guests enjoy an open kitchen. The menu features Italian classics with a modern twist, made with the freshest local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Along with a diverse selection of wines by the glass, guests may visit the restaurant's retail area to select from over 200 bottles for dinner (corkage fee of $9 applies) or purchase wine to go. The energetic space features contemporary elements and vintage artifacts creating the feel of a modern Italian kitchen combined with the comfort of an old rustic farmhouse.
What 1551 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food but way overpriced drinks and the waitress was very pushy about buying the wine they sell when we clearly were not interested. Otherwise, I’d go again.

CL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very accommodating service, beautiful indoor and outdoor seating options. Parking convenient.

b
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

wonderful meal - started with apps and did not feel rushed

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chad was a great server, charismatic and helpful! Food was amazing and ambiance was phenomenal.

OT
Yosemite
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Cmocerall very enjoyable

f
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

This location of Cucina definitely has problem with their hostess and guess checking in. I have been there a dozen times and for some reason you wait for quite sometime before someone comes and seat you. There is always one of the hostess that's on the phone and the other not around. Yesterday there was a line of people waiting to be seated. And no manager to be found to assist

B
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food
We will return

DJ
Los Angeles
85 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Consistently mediocre... pastas are way over sauced, I do not understand this practice...way too much sauce for the amount of pasta. Salads do not have much flavor though the addition of a protein increases flavor, especially goo is the salmon. Pizzas are still this restaurant's strong point, dough is crispy and soft as it should be while unlike the pasta, they are not over dressed with toppings. Service is always cordial and efficient. Sitting outside is always a plus.

OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Charming beautiful summer evening sharing a delicious leisurely birthday dinner for my dear friend. Excellent service and a delicious meal! Will be back for other special occasions.

PU
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was especially good! I indicated on Open Table that the dinner was a birthday, but forgot to say anything in person. Our server must have seen it tho, and brought us a free dessert with lit candle without my saying anything!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 5

Dead Fly in salad :(

RB
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Overall consistently the most pleasant experience. Food is top notch, service always friendly and attentive. Wine list excellent

SC
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and our server was awesome. They did make us wait a bit even with the reservation, but the food was great.

SG
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here for an early dinner and absolutely loved everything. The ambiance, service and food were wonderful. Even the music that was being played made our experience memorable. Thank you.

AJ
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter Branden was awesome!! Very knowledgeable!!!

R
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great option for date night. Wine was outstanding as was the service. The octopus appetizer was the most delicious preparation of this dish I've ever tasted.

BW
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was amazing and the service was good. I really like this place for a date night or even a group setting. One can bring co-workers or close friends for a night of great drinks and food. Glad we have this restaurant so close to work.

G
Orange County
8 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

My wife and I brought our dog and sat out on the back patio. Food and drinks were amazing, though they forgot to put the arugula and balsamic glaze on my pizza (they caught it right away, at least).

Service was a mixed bag: the bus proactively brought a bowl of water for the dog, which was awesome. When it came time to finish and pay, however, the waiting was nearly unbearable; it took close to 15 minutes - during which time our waiter passed us and even made eye contact - to finally close out.

To be clear, this isn’t the normal experience we’ve had, which is why I still have it a 4-star review.

LE
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great authentic Italian meal

R
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food. Our waitress was very nice and helped us decide. I’m vegetarian and they had a handful of options that worked for us! Wine selection is amazing as well!

C
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Diverse and creative menu, with all dishes beautifully served.

J
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Josh was a great server. He took care of us like VIPs. His approach is very understated, but it is very much felt. We had a wonderful experience, largely in part to him.

P
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration for 3 out of 4 of us.

LC
Orange County
31 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Always interesting and unique.

A go to for northern modern Italian.

Great choice of wines.

Eat on either patio, the inside is crazy noisy. Mushroom pizza is outstanding and has been for 8 years!

R
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Absolutely ridiculous. Hostess staff was completely rude and pompous. We had a patio reservation for 4 people at 7pm and showed up a few minutes late (7:15pm). They said multiple times that they almost cancelled our reservation because we were late and after waiting for our table, tried to seat us inside. When we pointed out the available tables outside which is what we reserved, they said no and reminded us again that they almost cancelled our reservation because we were late. The way they responded was infuriating as they made it clear they didn’t want to be helpful in the slightest. The manager looked our way and didn’t care to offer any assistance. At this point, taking we are this restaurant off of our rotation as I’m not interested in patronizing this business any further.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for our anniversary before catching a comedy show. Food, drinks and service were spot on. We were very impressed with the food. Restaurant ambiance was pleasant and comfortable. Highly recommend. Thanks!

JL
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We've had lovely dinners before. However, this time it was a little off. My meal was extremely salty and drink had too much mint. Not as consistent as the last few times I've visited. But still it is a nice place to enjoy an alfresco supper.

g
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, service is great, and location is ideal.

OT
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Food and service was not of usual quality this time

IG
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and the service were absolutely marvelous. Both the lasagna and the pappardelle were flavorful, satisfying and definitely worth ordering again. Our server, Brendan , was courteous and friendly. He made our visit very pleasant.

BG
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We love to come here. Food and environment are always good.
However, we missed their old menu. The latest menu removed quite a few good dishes and replaced with something simpler (cheaper ingredient?). Hope to be surprised by their next menu.
Highly recommended.

WH
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife had the lasagna, it was outstanding. I had the short ribs that our server recommended. The server also recommended the calamari appetizer witch neither my wife or I are big on, but he sold it well so tried it and was delighted with the dish that came with a delicious creamy sauce.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The waiter recommended the buckwheat pasta. Unfortunately it was bland. I told the waiter I didn’t want a spicy dish for my son so I chose the spaghetti. He didn’t tell me that the meatballs were spicy. My husband loved the rotisserie chicken and my son loved the Wagyu Burger. Squash blossoms were awesome. The waiter brought me a birthday dessert with 4 spoons. He didn’t ask if others wanted dessert. Maybe this experience was affected by the service but I thought the menu was limited. Not sure we’ll return.

TS
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waiter acknowledged my granddaughter’s birthday with a special individual delicious panda cotta. Made her feel so special. Great food, great service!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

The server did not only leave us with no water most of the time, our cocktails and beer were also dry. We would have had twice the drinks if he had come around. . Needed to wait for a very long time for the food to come out except the appetizer. The burger was not cooked as we ordered. After 10 minutes we flagged down a different server to take it back for us and then it back it never came back over 30 mins later until we were ready to leave and had already cancelled the dish. They offered us a dessert to compensate but we had a concert to go to and didn’t want to Rick waiting on it. We were there 2 hours total.

S
Los Angeles
194 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was OK, and our waitress was great. It was loud and lots of screaming kids.

AW
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food! They always put a spin on things and make the dishes interesting!

OT
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Service was soooooooooo slow. The restaurant didn’t appear to be very busy. We were starving!!!

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

If you don’t want to be eating with a bunch of dogs ( I wish they left them at home as it’s gross) then insist on an area with no dogs allowed like inside.

Otherwise this is a great place with excellent wines at retail prices and the food is excellent

LV
St. Louis
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding in every way.

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