Saturday, June 01, 2013

Margherita Pizza at Stonefire Grill - Irvine

The margherita pizza at Stonefire Grill is better than it has any business being. It defied my expectations, because Stonefire was not a place I ever thought could produce a pizza like this--a pizza that is pretty darned close to the Mozzas and Orticas of our world.

Perhaps I liked it so much because I didn't think I'd like it, like the film Idiocracy, which I saw with very low expectations but now has me chuckling every time I pass by a Fuddruckers.

This pizza is like that. It surprised me. What I anticipated was a dense, doughy crust--a pizza that tasted more like something you'd get in Naples, Long Beach rather than Naples, Italy.

I expected a pizza more like the one Stonefire's closest competitor makes, which shall remain nameless but rhymes with Flo's. What I got instead was light and thin-crusted, a pie that was hand-formed, coaxed to have bulbous crust you wanted to eat, baked in an oven that blistered it to charred pock marks similar to Batali's much-lauded pies.

I even liked the crust here better than the one I had at Newport Beach's Mozza during its first month in business, which was overworked at the time. Stonefire's has an elastic-but-not-too-taut pull. The toppings were applied with a measured amount of restraint. It was a good, honest, serviceable, impressive pizza pie.

Like Idiocracy, it charmed me, but I think I may need to try it again at least several more times. A friend who was similarly delighted at Idiocracy, saw it again, this time convincing his wife to watch it with him. Afterward he told me he thought the film was still good, but he saw more flaws the second go round...and his wife thought it was rubbish.

Stonefire Grill
3966 Barranca Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 777-1177

Bistrot Massilia - Yorba Linda


At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Eileen Likes To Eat said...

We've been to Stonefire Grill many many times, yet we have never tried their pizza. Just as you, we thought their pizza can't be good so we rather stick with their salad and BBQ. Now I am very curious to try the pizza. I think I'll drop by sometime next week to pick up a pie. Thanks for the post!

At 7:16 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Eileen! Please tell me what you think! I really want a second opinion on this! :-)

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous MikeHs said...

Wow, I always figured Stonefire's pizza would be just like "Pat and Oscar's" since they seemed so much alike in other regards. But, of course, Stonefire is still around these here parts, while "O's American Kitchen" (or whatever they call themselves these days) has been heading for the hills.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Elise Vu said...

Love Stonefire Grill! I'll have to try this the next time I'm there! I work for Dishcrawl and would love to invite you to an event we're having at the end of the month! Is there an email I can reach you at? My email is

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to watch the movie and take a rain check on the pizza but it sure does look yummy.


At 3:33 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Actually, that's the competitor I was alluding to!


I thank you for the invite, but I'm afraid I will have to decline. If anyone e-mails you claiming they are me, they're an impostor! :-)

But I thank you again! Very sweet!


The movie is hilarious...or at least I thought so when I went in with low expectations.


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