By Liz Gunn || I know some of you are you still reeling from the piece I did on Trenholm Plaza. Well, I returned to Trenholm Plaza recently and got a more in depth look at Tazza Kitchen. Full disclosure, I’ve eaten at Tazza once before and enjoyed it very…

liz gunnBy Liz Gunn || I know some of you are you still reeling from the piece I did on Trenholm Plaza. Well, I returned to Trenholm Plaza recently and got a more in depth look at Tazza Kitchen.

Full disclosure, I’ve eaten at Tazza once before and enjoyed it very much. I wouldn’t dare, however, write a full review on a restaurant during opening week. Now that Tazza has been up and running for a few months I decided to revisit Columbia’s newest hot spot with my girlfriends.

Tazza is located in Trenholm Plaza, where Café Caturra once thrived. The décor and the menu have changed slightly, but the concept is mostly the same. There is currently an open kitchen and two front-and-center wood burning ovens, and the menu now features more regionally sourced ingredients.

We were fortunate enough to have planned our night out when it was the perfect temperature outside. We don’t get that a lot in South Carolina, so when we do – one must take advantage. We sat outside, and I highly recommend that if it’s an option.

We started with some bubbly, naturally. Then I went on to have their happy hour cocktail of the evening, the “Pleasant Surprise”. I’m a sucker for a fancy cocktail menu and this one was an instant classic. It’s made with Hendricks gin, St. Germain, Ransom dry vermouth, cucumber slices & orange bitters. The rest of table went with wine; Tazza has a really great selection of unique wines that you won’t see on every restaurant menu.

As per usual, we ordered a few small plates for the table to share. This was a great choice for my review because I got to sample a little bit of everything. You may not believe me when I tell you this, but my favorite starter was the “Brick Oven Okra”. Even if you’re not a big okra fan, I have a hard time believing any one could not like this dish. It’s smoky, spicy and loaded with garlic. I’ll never be able to eat plain okra again.

We also tried the “Guacamole” which is made fresh and served with large stone-ground corn tostadas. Lastly, we shared the crunchy potato and arugula salad, made with smoked mozzarella, toasted almonds and a maple vinaigrette that is out of this world.

For dinner we ordered a couple of different pizzas and two entrées. The pizzas here are phenomenal, with a light and crispy crust thanks to the wood fired oven. We tried the classic “Margherita” and the “Prosciutto & Arugula”; both were excellent. I’ve also tried the “Vegetable” and the “Spicy Sausage & Black Pepper Honey” pizzas, and I really loved the spicy sweet contrast of the latter, although both were delicious.

The two entrees we tried were the “Fish Tacos” and the “Aqua Pazza”. In this upscale twist on fish tacos they are served on local corn tortillas with tomatillo confit, day pickles, calabrese mayo and crunchy quinoa. The combination of flavors and textures is so good that you’ll keep eating long after you’ve reached the point where you realize you’re full.

The “Aqua Pazza” is the local fresh catch dish on the menu, and the night we were there it was tilefish. It’s served in an agrodolce (Italian sweet and sour) sauce with broccoli rabe, thai chili and fresh herbs. Again, the unexpected combination of flavors will keep you guessing and coming back for more. It’s fresh, earthy, sweet and spicy – everything I love, all in one dish.

If you manage to save room, which I urge you to do, dessert is not to be overlooked. While the dessert menu may appear limited, since there are only three selections to choose from, each one is as delightful as and different from the other. We tried all three, of course, and everyone at the table had a different favorite.

If you’re a chocolate lover, definitely get my favorite – the “Chocolate Budino” – a rich, mousse-like custard flanked with toasted almonds and sea salt flakes. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, try the “Queso Fresco Cake”; macerated blackberries, crème fraîche semifreddo, black pepper honey and butter pecans. If you’re looking for something a little less sweet, go with the “Gelato & Cake” – a flourless cake with house made gelato, sea salt caramel and basil.

In addition to serving dinner nightly, beginning at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday brunch starting at 10:30 a.m., Tazza is now open for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.! Just like the dinner menu, the lunch menu will change subtly with the seasons and the availability of local ingredients. I can’t recommend this place enough! Click here to preview the menu before you go.

King's Ransom at Tazza KitchenFresh GuacamoleSaladBaked OkraFinishing Touches - Tazza KitchenProsciutto & Arugula PizzaFish TacosChocolate BudinoGelato & CakeTazza Kitchen Dining RoomTazza Kitchen Bar

Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.

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Grumpy Cat October 2, 2014 at 11:42 am

I like your work, Liz…but I see enough food pics on Facebook.

????????? October 2, 2014 at 11:55 am

Oooh, if you aren’t a fan of food pics, steer clear of my Instagram! (I do try and refrain on Facebook.)

euwe max October 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

can you put a whole ice cream sandwich in your mouth at once?

shifty henry October 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

A husband comes home with a half gallon of ice cream. He asked his wife if she wants some.

“How hard is it?” she asked.

“About as hard as my dick,” he replies.

To which she replied, “OK, then. Pour me some.”

????????? October 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Now that’s funny. I’ll be sure to tell this one at my next girl’s dinner out.

Smirks October 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

We need to revolt by putting pictures of plain, boring food on Facebook.

“Here’s my gourmet lunch: a processed chicken salad sandwich and a can of store-brand root beer. Mmmm mmmm good!”

euwe max October 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

… here’s my pic – a can of wolf brand chili, lots of grated cheddar and onions, fresh out of the microwave!

Philip Branton October 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm

****….meanwhile, over in the State Farm “Charleston 9” canteen…..***

Bill Frehse: “Can you believe this article..? Here we sit munching on Grilled Cheeze nachos and sipping Coke Zero because Bobby Harrell has torpedoed our sales leads and Lizz Gunn is posting such delicious pictures to rub our noses into food at a eatery we cannot be seen dead at..?

Paula Hampton: ” I am so embarrassed……I cannot believe Bobby would not give us fellow State Farm teammates a heads up on this big media fog he is taking knives for….”

Chelsea Heintz: ” I guess this is what happens when you pork 900 Million to BOEING without a taxpayer vote. I know I was totally floored by the BOEING news but my policy sales have been quite brisk up until this media fiasco….!!”

Troy Herndon: ” I wonder who Insures the Tazza Kitchen …? That would be a great residual catch. I can’t believe Liz Gunn would not divulge that info…! I wonder just how much a certain BOEING lobbyist credit card has been used to press some taste buds lately…?

Mary Joseph: ” Where is the link to the menu in this article? Do they offer carryout and free delivery….maybe we can get Bobby to fly up to Columbia to get our orders if we put some in…? ”

Gail Williamson: ” Ya know, that insurance “sunset” at the Sanctuary in a few weeks may be the perfect time to have Tazza deliver some Golf Course “snacks”. Maybe Liz Gunn will get some actual tastebud feedback. I’m gonna make a call……”

????????? October 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I do need to add a link to their web site – oops! Thanks for pointing that out. (No delivery, but I’m sure they offer take out)

Philip Branton October 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Liz…..when you have time and need something to read while munching on some Tazza “starters”…..

read this and have some reflection….

…what is one thing YOU have that Gary does not have..?

Dare to wonder what questions to ask GRAHAM while you both dine under a Tazzo umbrella…?

PhilUpHisAss October 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

This guy PhilMyAsswithDick is the biggest troll loser i have seen on Fits in years.. Let’s all guess what he does and what he likes ..ready go…

Kittyfucker October 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

I think Phil lives in a van and fuks cats.. And films it for cash ..

Philip Branton October 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Liz……..appreciate the menu update link. Also…….. have you thought about this info here..

How would Moldova Apples be used in a Tazzo Kitchen…? Dare to wonder if some Tyson (Clinton deal ) chickens will be traded for Moldovan Apples in a trade swap..? How would that benefit a Charleston Port or cold storage STATE FARM insurance dominoes…?

Liz…….do you like ……..APPLES..?

Philip Branton October 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm


third time is the …fashion “charm”….

Liz……dare to wonder why this is not reported in JASPER or Georgetown or Charleston..?

Liz……you can use Google Earth to map a Latino garment district in Hannahan…..can you not..?

Tostada Mirada October 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Never met a joint that wouldn’t give you a bag of food for 50 bucks.

E Norma Scok October 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

One day I hope that my biggest responsibility of the day is to go have lunch at some wannabe trendy restaurant with my friends (while my spouse works) and write an article about it.

Businesswoman, indeed.

Clemson Tiger October 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

You always have enough time to write your smartass comments!

E Norma SCok October 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm

And I didn’t have to spend 3 hours at lunch to do it.

Tiger Boy October 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm

No, you spend 8 to10 hours a day trolling this site and writing your idiot comments. If you don’t like the article, move on.

carls jr October 3, 2014 at 7:47 am


Hhhhhhh October 2, 2014 at 10:48 pm

This is a dinner review you dumb fuck. Why can’t you read?? Clearly you can type.

Marisa October 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Hey a-hole….I’m one of the friends Liz went with and we went after work after all 5 of us worked our asses off at real jobs that day. That offends me because Liz is my good friend and one of the strongest, most intelligent, bad-ass women I’ve ever met, but it also offends me because you’re assuming we went at lunch in our effing poodle skirts while our hubby’s earn our martini’s. Get into this century, dick. P.S. Women can vote now too.

euwe max October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Women can vote now too
Are you liberated enough to snort cocaine and drink out of a keg while standing on your head?

E Norma Scok October 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm


Lord Haw Haw October 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Is that something like giving her the clap????

E Norma Scok October 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm told me!

I’d love to know what “real jobs” these are.

Laura Lee October 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Why don’t you start by telling us what real job you have that allows you to hang on FITS news all damn day.

dont waste time on a loser October 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

E Norma Scok has nothing else to do but type on here. Its the only reason he gets out of bed in the morning. He is a fat, pimpled, dirty, smelly, scared and therefore anonymous, 40+ year old man still living his mothers basement and calls himself a “gamer” while playing Halo so it sounds as if he has a title of some sort. He even claims to be married, although a blow up doll cant really be considered a wife. He doesn’t understand he in fact does have a title. Its called a Troll. The funny part about it is, while he keeps clicking here so much to complain and bitch and troll, its his clicks that help keep the money coming in, and he is too stupid to see that. Why waste anytime on someone like that?

Limbaughsaphatkhunt October 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Best not to feed the trolls Marisa but it is nice to see somebody get served up proper from time to time :-)

I for one thought it was a great review and anytime you ladies would like to go out again…give me call!

Constance Pate October 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

What about pics of the toilets? I want to know how clean a place’s bathrooms are before I go there to eat because when I eat I usually tend to shit. Are there brown smears or gobs on the back of the seats? What about cottage cheese on the front of the seats because the bitch before me had a bad yeast infection from screwing the Pillsbury Dough Boy the night before? These are the things I want to know about in a restaurant.

Deo Vindice SC October 2, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Here, Here, not to mention the smell of piss. I work with people that don’t flush the urinals, most, or all, black, disgusting.

euwe max October 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Now *that* is a *real* job!

I’ve worked with *workers* too.

Cletus McLongDong October 2, 2014 at 4:54 pm

You Miss, are a real lady. Can I buy you a shot and a pack of Marlboro’s?

9" October 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I hate restaurants.You usually have to watch other people eat,which is disgusting.If you don’t feel like cooking,go to,Hite’s on Dreher Rd.Best Q in the whole wide world.

Deo Vindice SC October 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Is that a restaurant ?

9" October 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Take-out only.It’s incredibly good.

Deo Vindice SC October 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Good to know, I’ll check it out, thanks.

euwe max October 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Restaurants are Ebola incubators.

Herb crusted dry vodka glaz... October 2, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Where do you catch a damn Tilefish in Columbia? Local fresh catch. These places.

Otherwise your review made me hungry and curious so I will check it out.

Stone ground corn tostadas, yada, yada, yada. I don’t care if they smashed them with a fire extinguisher as long as they taste good. I long for the simpler days where dishes had one or two word names.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt October 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Well done Liz. Great Review.

????????? October 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

"Guacamole" October 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Catura was decent but overrated. Tazo is pretty much the same but with a worse menu. I don’t get it. Anyone know why they shut down just for that? Same owner right?

I love food October 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

Hey Liz-

There’s another joint you should try in Irmo, it’s “Sun Ming”.

What makes it unique from other Chinese:

1. It has more authentic, actual Chinese food on the back pages of their dinner menu.

2. $5 mixed drinks that are pretty good.

Let me know how you like it.

????????? October 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I look forward to checking that out! Thanks for the tip.


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