Once again, we are all excited about a little neighborhood restaurant in a Huntington Beach strip mall. This time, it's Sicilian and the chef/owner Joe Maiale has realized his longtime dream of opening his own ristorante, along with his wife-to-be, Laura. (They are getting married in September.)
A native Sicilian, Joe grew up in New York City and worked for many years in the pizza business. His new venture, Mazara Trattoria, has a full menu, and almost everything in the restaurant is made from scratch.
Laura says, "We are doing everything ourselves, except churning the butter."
Beware! Don't fill up on the rustic focaccia or garlic knots served with a knockout sun-dried tomato dip that is positively addictive. Hold on until the frittura mista arrives. This gigantic portion of golden fried calamari, shrimp and some slivers of zucchini is served with another fabulous tomato sauce for dipping. The tender seafood was cloaked in a very delicate batter that was super-crispy and delicious.