Birthdays are a very special time of the year to the individual. It signifies another year passed in the life and gives the individual time to reflect on all they have accomplished within the past year. This leads to a traditional celebration, and with a good celebration, you need good food. Buca di Beppo is the perfect place to go for any aged birthday bash. Located on 13390 Jamboree Rd., Buca di Beppo is approximately 5 miles from Irvine Valley College. Through the intriguing history behind the restaurant, the exciting environment, and the generous portions of authentic Italian food, one cannot go wrong when hosting a birthday at this restaurant.

I walked through the doors of Buca di Beppo for the first time with about sixteen girls behind me, in celebration for my best friend Katie’s birthday. As we approached the host stand, the hostess was already prepared with our reservation for 7:00. She greeted us with the most sincere smile and walked us back to the table. She sat us at the “Pope’s Table”, which seats twelve to eighteen people. At Buca di Beppo, they strive to make the dining experience as authentic as possible. The “Pope’s Table” spins to accommodate the family sized portions that are meant to be shared around the table. Doing this, allows Buca di Beppo to bring the traditional Italian family culture dining experience to the restaurant and their guests. As I sat down at the monumental table, my eyes moved in every direction. I couldn’t help but to admire the historic Italian family photos and the candid shots of Italian- American icons such as Joe DiMaggio and Sophia Loren scattered all along the walls in a cluttered collage format. It was remarkable; there was not one blank spot on the wall. It gave my friends and I a lot to talk about before our meal came.

The exciting and diverse clientele of Buca di Beppo allowed the birthday bash to be filled with interesting conversations and new connections. The restaurant was filled with the most differing clientele, there were big families with lots of kids, young couples on a date for two, and even old folks enjoying a nice Italian dinner. Buca di Beppo welcomes guests from all over to come and enjoy a meal or celebrate their special occasion. As we were waiting for our food to come out, we started meeting all sorts of new people. The table next to us was made up of college professors that sparked up friendly conversation and gave us seniors in high school some advise on what we should be expecting come the next year. We also met a lovely couple that was celebrating a 25th anniversary, the couple started sharing very creditable relationship advise with all of us young women. Buca di Beppo is filled with a variety of people but they all have one thing in common; great energy.

The wait for our dinner seemed significantly short because of all the conversations that were sparked up. Finally, it was time for the most important part of the evening- the food. We ordered the family portion of the Caesar Salad, the Chicken Pesto Pizza, and the Spaghetti with Meatballs. We spun the Pope’s Table so every girl could dig into the gigantic platters and get their share. As soon as we started eating, the table went silent. We were all focused on our taste bud’s appreciation of the food. Everybody agreed that the food was magnificent and it was the best Italian food that they’ve had. After all of the hearty Italian food, the servers brought out an Italian Crème Cake as they sang to Katie on her seventeenth birthday. We were all so full, yet we couldn’t resist the temptation of the creamy, smooth texture of the desert to clean our palette. Buca di Beppo’s enormous portions and their complementary dessert was the perfect pairing to Katie’s seventeenth birthday.

Buca di Beppo is the perfect place to go for a birthday of any age. The extraordinary history of the restaurant, the interesting and kind- hearted guests that give the restaurant depth, and the wholehearted Italian food makes one feel like they are part of something very special. My friends and I ended our night feeling happier than we did as we walked in. As we walked out to the care Katie screamed, “I feel refreshed!” Buca di Beppo was the perfect place to go in celebration of Katie’s new year of life.