Its sister restaurant, Angelina’s Pizzeria, in Irvine, is one of the most popular eateries in Orange County. So, it’s not surprising that Bottega Angelina in Laguna Niguel was an instant hit with lines out the door when it soft-opened the third week of October.

It held a party for media, family and friends on Oct. 28 and officially opened to the public on Nov. 3. Now the plan is to gradually add more hours, open a market and start scheduling live entertainment — check out the sleek black Essex piano built by Steinway & Sons.

Background: This large property at Ocean Ranch Village — 7,000-square-feet  inside and 3,000 outside, with seating for 350 diners — used to be Savannah Chop House. Owners Shokoufeh and Filippo Fusco hired Kelly Architects and Shawmut Design and Construction for its $8 million complete renovation: It’s a stunner with an ocean view.

A Santa Barbara-style stucco facade is fitted with stone accents, refinished chimneys have touches of copper. The landscaping around the patios, which are set with furniture from Restoration Hardware, has an Italian touch that includes olive and cypress trees as well as lavender.