Molly and I have been going to Cucina Alessa, an exceptional Italian spot in the heart of Huntington Beach, since they first opened their doors in 2009 and have been loyal customers ever since! To start, the ambiance can be described as a mix of a formal Italian restaurant with a relaxed Huntington Beach vibe. The staff is always awesome and plays a huge part in the overall atmosphere and positive energy of the restaurant. From the moment you walk in, to the moment you walk out, everyone greets you with a genuine smile and makes you feel at home.
Now for the best part… THE FOOD.
Without question, the spaghetti and meatballs are by far my favorite meal here. I know, I know, some may think it’s the most simple and generic thing you can order at an Italian restaurant but this place takes such a simple dish, like spaghetti, to a whole ‘nother level! Not only does it have that homemade taste with impeccable freshness, the pasta is always cooked perfectly (not too soft and not too hard) with the perfect amount of rich, authentic sauce. For an appetizer, my go-to is the calamari. This dish is lightly breaded with a great tender yet crispy element to it . Paired with a delicious arrabbiata sauce, between Molly and I, these things rarely last on the table for long. Keep in mind, I don't order calamari at too many places (picky eater) but Cucina Alessa is the one place I always make sure to get it. My second, or backup, choice is the Chicken Parmesan - two baked boneless chicken breasts topped with Asiago and Parmigiano cheeses with a fresh basil tomato sauce; served with penne al pomodoro - *mouth is watering as I write this!!* Molly typically goes for Ravioli Leggeri - spicy. This is a great option for all the vegetarians out there and, like most of their menu options, the option to make it spicy or not is great!
In addition to great food and service, Cucina Alessa boasts a great location - right on Main Street. However, it’s not too close to the water so parking is easier - huge plus, especially during the business and chaos of summertime. The fact that you can pretty much walk there from anywhere downtown, yet, are also away from some of the heavily populated touristy spots is also a huge plus in my book. Prime spot for watching sunsets with their corner lot location and great orientation. I can’t tell you how many times we have brought people to the restaurant and request to sit upstairs with views all the way down main and overlooking the ocean. They recently opened up outside seating - which is also great to enjoy almost any day of the year.
All in all, Cucina Alessa receives a 10/10 from this picky eater! It’s very rare to be able to go somewhere where you feel like they truly take pride in the food they serve as well as how much you enjoy your meal. Like most people I know, the vibe, the food and the service are top priorities when dining out and in my opinion, this place absolutely hits every single one out of the park! Not only do I recommend this place to “normal’ eaters but “picky’ ones as well. From the large variety of menu options and the eagerness to try and accommodate each and every special requests you may have, there is something here for everyone! They have plenty of options and really do adjust food to your needs.