Review: Oliver’s Osteria in Laguna Beach is one of the best Italian restaurants to open in years

Nov 29, 2018 611

A catchy Italian pop song by Lucio Dalla cuts through the stillness at lunchtime at Oliver’s Osteria in Laguna Beach. The dining room is otherwise quiet, leaving me alone to contemplate the elegance of my cacio e pepe. It is the most stunning plate of pasta I’ve eaten in a long while. The pasta are rigatoni, toothsome and nicely chewy, slicked with a gossamer glaze of melted Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses and freckled with a gentle twist of freshly ground pepper.

The silence is politely interrupted. “How do you like it?” I look up to see the owner, a charismatic Italian, possibly in his mid-30s. He’s working the dining room by himself today. I’m his only customer. The restaurant opened last month next door to the Sawdust Festival complex.

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