The idea started years ago when Rance Ruiz visited his older sister in Chicago, IL and fell in love with the Chicago stuffed pizza. Stuffed pizza is a thin layer of house-made dough pressed into a 2-inch deep-dish pan. The pie is filled with cheeses and ingredients and topped with a thin layer of dough. It is covered with sauce and baked until golden brown and the fillings are bubbling hot. At the age of 18, Rance made his first pie in his parents’ kitchen. In September 2013, Chef Rance began sharing his beautifully crafted Chicago-style pizzas with Orange County with the opening of Rance’s Chicago Pizza. This is a scratch kitchen, meaning that all items from the sauces to dressings to dough are all made from scratch.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip is jalapenos, bacon, and spices blended together with savory cheeses. The jalapeno adds a refreshing zing, not too spicy, to the creamy, gooey cheese. The artichoke flavor is really great but, sadly, the spinach flavor disappeared. The green spinach adds a nice color contrast. I love the bacon, adding a salty, smoky flavor to the mix. Thumbs up!
Bruschetta is topped with freshly diced tomatoes, sliced red onion, a hint of garlic pesto, sprinkled with French feta cheese, and dressed with house-made balsamic vinaigrette. It could use more punch from the garlic pesto as it is too mellow. The feta and onions brightened up the flavor a little. The tomato was piled a little too high making it very hard to eat.
Garlic Cheese Sticks are house-baked dough with an herb and garlic blend, topped with mozzarella and served with marinara sauce on the side. The bread is garlicky, buttery, and crispy which pairs well with the sweet marinara sauce for dipping. Thumbs up!
House Salad is leafy mixed spring greens, red onions, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, covered with shredded mozzarella cheese, and served with your choice of house-made dressing. My favorite dressing with this salad is the house-made Ranch. It tastes like homemade and is very creamy. The herbs from the dressing complement the ingredients in the salad. Thumbs up, way up!
Veggified (Thin Pizza) is topped with artichoke hearts, black olives, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions. I found this pizza to be a bit bland. The crust is actually the star as it had more flavor that the actual toppings. A sprinkle of garlic salt or dried basil & oregano might punch up this pizza.
Spicy Hawaiian (Thin Pizza) is topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and jalapenos. The sauce is good, not too heavy. The crust has a great flavor and texture (like a good loaf of sourdough bread, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside) and doesn’t overpower the toppings and sauce. Canadian bacon and pineapple are always a good combination and the jalapenos kick it up a notch. Thumbs up, way up!
Rance’s Favorite (Pan Pizza) contains meatballs, bacon, and jalapenos. The meatballs were a little bland. Bacon was visible but undetected on the palate. It was definitely missing something, maybe some salt. The jalapenos helped a little, but it still needed something to bring the meat flavor forward.
Tomato Basil (Pan Pizza) is a delicate blend of crumbled feta and mozzarella cheese topped with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. This pizza is light and refreshing. It’s really cheesy (in a good way) and the feta adds a salty flavor note. Thumbs up, way up!
If you’re craving Chicago deep-dish pizza, look no further. Rance’s Chicago Pizza is ready to feed that craving.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars
For more information:
Rance’s Chicago Pizza
1420 Baker St Ste B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm