2145 Placentia Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
It sees to me that some restaurants kind of love to be a bit vague. 2145 is one of those restaurants. If you've driven by their corner at Victoria and Placentia Avenue, you have seen their sign, which only lists their numeric name and mentions nothing else like what kind of restaurant this is, if this is even a restaurant, and the sing is even lacking a logo. Kind of refreshing but at the same time a gamble as to whether people will stop and give them a try.
We were out with our very good friends Tom and Daniele, Daniele of the very popular Dani's Decadent Deals. They had heard of this place, and I had just read a review of it in the OC Register and OC Weekly. Even with all the ambiguity about this place, we arrived at a full restaurant on a recent Saturday night. Guess their gamble has paid off.
2145 is housed in a former auto garage. There are the large roll-up doors out front, which served as auto bays in former days. The kitchen appears to be the former office, and now houses a large pizza oven, which is really the only clue you get from the street that this is a restaurant. There's a quaint back patio, which had lights strung up to provide a hipster, but very comfortable feel to it. The clientele here is varied but skewed towards a younger, more millennial demographic.
The menu is pizza-focused, and Chef Eduardo Salcedo uses Japanese flour to create his pies in the large, wood-fueled pizza oven. If I hadn't had read that he uses a Japanese flour, I never would have known. It's exactly like the double 00 variety that we have had at Neapolitan pizza places. Besides the seven varieties of pizzas offered, there's three salads, seven small plates, and the only other entree offered other than the pizzas is a steak sandwich, which we hear is more of a deconstructed sandwich. Pretty hungry by the time late stragglers Tom and Daniele moseyed in, we hurriedly made our dinner selections.
We started things off with these Garlic Fries ($6). These fries were outstanding. Freshly cut, and with your choice of sauce, we had the very solid garlic aioli, these fries had me wanting more. They came out fresh and hot, and even though these were garlic fries, they were not overloaded with garlic flavor. A very nicely balanced french fry.
Brussels Sprouts ($8) used to get a bad rap when I was growing up, but thanks to many talented chefs, they have made a resurgence. The sprouts were flash fried with some red wine mustard vinaigrette and then some toasted pistachios were added into the mix. A refreshing change from the suddenly predictable bacon centric version that many chefs go for. The mustard did not take over this plate but starred alongside its sprout counterpart.
Daniele, the only salad eater amongst us tried out this Mixed Green Salad ($9) and enjoyed it immensely. This is not your basic garden salad. They start with a bed of farmers market fresh greens, then add crumbled gorgonzola and candied pecans, and finish it off with a balsamic vinaigrette. At nine dollars there was more than enough for Daniele to share with Tom. I liked this simple salad and loved the crunch from the pecans the best. This salad inspired me to try their grilled romaine salad on my next visit to 2145.
The most talked about pizza on 2145's Yelp page is this Blue Cheese Honey Pizza ($15). I kind of winced when I heard about this pie. Honey and blue cheese did not really seem like it would work for me, but I must admit that I did enjoy it to an extent. I liked the piece that I had, but I think my taste buds would have been bored by eating this whole pizza. The sweet counteracted the slightly mellower gorgonzola used on this pizza, and the white cheddar and mascarpone kind of helped to even it out a bit. Not really a pizza for everyone, but Daniele was in love with this one, and had a hard time sharing any part of it with us. Very selfish.
More in line with what you expect when coming to a pizza place, this very photogenic Margherita ($13) not only dazzled with its looks but was very tasty as well. This classic Italian pizza used crushed San Marzonos tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a few torn pieces of basil. Katie loved this pizza and said it was one of her favorite versions of a Margherita pizza that she's had. She loved the lightness of the pizza, but it did not sacrifice flavor by being so light.
Proving once again that great minds think alike, both Tom and I gravitated towards this Pancetta and Egg Pizza ($17). This breakfast-styled pizza impressed. Of course, I loved the pancetta and the yolky egg topping this, but it also included some mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, red onion, and rosemary mascarpone. The dough at 2145 was sturdy enough to stand up to all of these toppings, without getting too soggy, which is usually my biggest complaint with these kinds of pizzas. I could eat it with my hands, and not worry about it falling apart on me. I also enjoyed the slightly charred crust on this, as it added a slightly smoked flavor to this pizza.
Not to ruin it for you, but skip the desserts at 2145. The Yuzu Creme Brulee ($6) could be one of the worst things I have eaten all year. The pistachio and candied ginger cookie that our server raved about was on the dry side and did not really satisfy. The worst part was the yuzu flavor that was running through the creme brulee. This might have been my first time having yuzu, which is a super sour and tart citrus fruit and comes to us from Asia. It'll probably be my last time having yuzu, which ruined one of my favorite kinds of dessert. The Horchata Tiramisu ($5) was not what we were expecting, but anything was better than that creme brulee. More of a budino than a tiramisu, the mascarpone, salted caramel, Mexican chocolate, and whipped cream did not really bring out a tiramisu vibe, but it was decent and helped get the yuzu flavor out of my mouth.
With the exception of the desserts, everything was pretty great at 2145 Pizza. I'd definitely come back and have their pizzas, fries, and sprouts again, but I also might like to try their pork belly and asparagus, corn dogs, and rigatoni on my next visit. The wine and beer list here were small but mighty, and they seemed to have something for everyone. Service was another story. At the start of our meal, our server was around making sure everything was alright, but as the evening went on he became AWOL a good amount of the time, and this was as the restaurant was thinning out, so it was not as busy as when we first showed up. Still, nothing that would make me skip this place though. I'm happy that we had found out about this restaurant, even if the sign out front was a bit vague.
Out of five video games, (because the Doom 3 video game released in 2004 takes place in the year 2145), five being best to zero being worst, 2145 Pizza gets 3.5 video games.
For more information about 2145 Pizza, head to their website here: http://www.2145eat.com/