Lucca Cafe, Irvine
6507 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA 92603
One of the things I really enjoy in life is going to a nice brunch on Sunday. I try to go almost every Sunday. This past Sunday I decided to try the brunch at Lucca Cafe in the Quail Hill area of Irvine. Brunch at Lucca is served on both Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM.
I dined at Lucca with a party of five. We decided to start our meal with a couple of their "famous" Cinnamon Rolls ($2.50 each). The cinnamon rolls are made with sweet danish dough and are filled with their sugar cinnamon "shmear." The cinnamon rolls were very good. They were warm, buttery, flaky and filled with lots of gooey cinnamon goodness. Two cinnamon rolls was plenty for the five of us to share.
For our entrees, I decided to order Lucca's "Sunday Sauce" ($13.95). T ordered the Eggs In Purgatory ($9.95), IG ordered the Italian Porchetta sandwich ($12.95) and V and R decided to share the Pain Perdu ($8.95) and a French style rolled omelet ($11.95).
(side salad served with meal)
Lucca's Sunday sauce is a menu item that is only available during lunch and brunch. It is not on the menu during dinner. Even though it is called "Sunday Sauce," it is available seven days a week. The name comes from Chef Cathy Pavlos' grandmother who used to make this sauce every Sunday. The sauce is similar to a bolognese sauce and it is served with a meatball and a couple slices of Italian sausage. The sauce is usually served over penne pasta, but I requested that mine be made with whole wheat pasta. This pasta sauce is definitely one of the best pasta sauces I have ever had. It was bursting with tomato flavor and had a great tangy kick. I started getting full when I was halfway through the bowl, but I couldn't stop eating until every bit was gone. I will be returning to Lucca to get this dish many times. I was also happy to hear that the sauce is available for sale by the quart for $13.95. I think I may buy a quart later and just eat it with a spoon.
T enjoyed his Eggs in Purgatory. The dish was comprised of two eggs that were simmered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. The eggs were served over breakfast potatoes and topped with cheese and avocado. He wasn't raving about this dish, but he thought it was pretty good.
IG's Italian Porchetta Sandwich was made on a toasted Telera roll. The sandwich contained lean pork loin, provolone cheese, arugula, caramelized onions and a sundried tomato aioli. IG declared this to be the best sandwich she had ever eaten in her entire life!
V and R both enjoyed their omelet and pain perdu very much. The fillings they picked for their omelet were goat cheese, avocado and ham. The pain perdu, aka french toast, was made with challah bread and was served with orange creme fraiche and maple syrup.
Overall, I was very impressed with the brunch at Lucca. I'm a little disappointed that the Sunday Sauce isn't on the dinner menu. I guess this just means that I'll be coming here mostly for brunch or lunch. I also wish they had some sort of champagne/mimosa/bloody mary special during brunch. This is definitely near the top of my list of favorite Sunday brunch spots now.