Italian eatery offers classic style and quality dishes

Ashleigh Johnson

Mangia Bene, which, according to the establishment’s website, literally means “eat well”, is an Italian restaurant located in a shopping center off of La Paz.

The building itself is sort of sandwiched, so to speak, between two other businesses, so it does not necessarily stand out to those who are not returning guests.

While a quick Internet search will display numerous other restaurants with the same name, do not be fooled: this particular place is family-owned and considered by some to be the only one of its kind.

The exterior of this restaurant may not look like much: just a small, shaded dining veranda with some wooden chairs and matching tables that sit on either side of a pair of heavy, wooden doors.

But the appearance seen at a closer look is what captures the guest. The handles of the door have handles that are in the shape of a spoon and fork, respectively.

Inside, however, is a warm and inviting atmosphere, with pleasant lighting and a cheery ambiance. The walls are cream-colored with simple murals, and a glossy, granite-topped bar is situated toward the back.

The service is very friendly and the food is prepared quickly for both in-house and to-go orders.

A word to the wise: the menu items have numbers printed next to the names of each dish.

Most of the people who work at Mangia Bene know how speak and understand Italian, so some patrons might feel inept as they stumble through the order and therefore should not even bother to pronounce the names of the dishes when ordering.As for the food, it is very delicious.

Dieters beware though, since this is an Italian cuisine, it is not exactly the most low-fat or low-carbohydrate of menus. For people who aren’t worried about a serious caloric splurge, this is the place to go.

The pizza is especially good. The cooks tend to go easy on the tomato sauce and opt for a generous amount of toppings instead.

Mangia Bene can be found at 27281 La Paz Street, Suite 1, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677. Anyone interested can contact them at (949) 831-0140.

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