2121 W. Balboa Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
I have lived in OC all of my life. I feel I have a pretty good grasp on some of the best eats around our great county. I have to admit I did not know about this pizza place until a truck driver from my work, who lives in the Inland Empire told me about Original Pizza in Newport. I even lived in Newport for ten years, and had never been here before. Maybe besides the pizza I am about to eat, I should order a slice of humble pie.
The truck driver at work told me that he drives the 50 miles from Riverside to come here, and this is a guy that drives for a living. That would be like an accountant getting off of work, then doing all his neighbors taxes, just for the fun of it. I am sure this guy is not getting back on the roads for just any old pizza, so needless to say, I was really looking forward to seeing what Original Pizza had in store for us.
Original Pizza has been located near the pier in Newport since 1963. I must have passed this place about a hundred times in various forms of sobriety over the years. Inside the restaurant there is not much to look at. If you are into decor, go elsewhere. There are eight tables, stark white walls, and enough room for about ten tables. The menu is not going to blow you away with its diversity. This is simply a pizza place. They have ten specialty pizzas offered, along with one or two salads, and during lunch hours they offer pizza by the slice. Let's see how everything came out for us.
After ordering at the counter the girl brought out our drinks. We were talking about the kind of ice we like in restaurants at poker the other night, and this kind of ice was the clear favorite. Small little pellets that are like snow always seem to make drinks taste better and colder. Just wanted to share this little trivial tidbit with you.
Katie and I split this Tossed Dinner Salad ($3.50). This salad featured lettuce, pepperoni, red cabbage, mozzarella cheese, carrots, cucumbers, and peppercinis. We got this salad with blue cheese dressing. The salad was average, but we were not expecting more than that. The produce was fresh, the dressing was passable, and the mozzarella was thickly grated, which added more flavor here. We have had much worse salads.
Here is the reason that we came in, the Meat Lover's Medium Pizza ($17.25). This fourteen inch pizza included pepperoni, sausage, and Canadian bacon. Even though you can see grease on the pan above, I was surprised by the lack of grease on this. There was plenty of cheese and toppings here, which were solid. The crust had a great chew to it, but did not get in the way of the toppings. This really did remind me of an East Coast pizza, to a lesser degree. We made very quick work of this very good pizza.
Original Pizza is a very solid pizza joint. Best in OC? Probably not, but definitely in the top echelon of traditional pizzas we have had so far. The pizza did not blow me away, but when I am back in the area and craving pizza, we will not overlook this tiny pizzeria anymore. Some people might feel that the prices were a little on the high side for pizza, but to feed two people for $8.50 a piece is kind of a bargain, especially in this neighborhood. Service on the Friday night we were here was very good, even with a very loud youth church group in attendance. Special note, this place is cash only, so be advised of that. Glad my coworker from the Inland Empire could turn me on to a place that has been under my nose my whole life.
Out of five Neapolitans, (no not the three striped ice cream, but people from the city of Naples, the city that is the originator of the modern day pizza), five being best to zero being worst, Original Pizza gets 3 Neapolitans.
Original Pizza does not have a web site, but you can find information about them here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/original-pizza-newport-beach