Ok, I know other people are already done gushing and talking about the place ( like here, here and here), but I just took my dad there for the first time this Tuesday–yes Tuesday, 3PM no less. Gotta call in early for this one friends–and it was sooo goood. SOOOO GWOOOOOD. Even my dad loved it, and he doesn’t even like pizza. (or maybe that’s precisely why he liked it–because it didn’t taste like pizza, hah.)
Pizza bar (where you eat your pizza with wine….
because there’s also a wine bar where you drink your wine with pizza)
After much anticipation, waiting, and delay (and more delay), Pizzeria Mozza finally opened last November by a partnership between Nancy Silverton (of the legendary La Brea Bakery!) and the Batali-Bastianich duo. Interestingly, this is Molto Mario’s first foray outside New York City (along with Osteria Mozza, which is due to open anytime soon right next door from its Pizzeria counterpart). I have to admit I’m not too familiar with Ms. Silverton’s food (only got bread from La Brea three or four times and they were very good) so yea, naturally I was expecting Mozza to be more or less like a West Coast version of Mario’s Otto–the room a little more spacious and sunlit, tables not so obnoxiously crowded together, ceiling a tad bit higher, but essentially, the same thin-crusted pizza (which I like).
But boy, was I wrong! (well, to a certain degree…)
Well, the pizza…it was thin-crusted alright (just how I like it! fyi, I’m not really a fan of pizza, especially when the dough is thick and tasteless, which is most of the time. Yea…I like my crust microthin and supercrisp. Ok, I should just shut up and not eat pizza), but Mozza’s pies are nothing like the stuff they make at Otto to be sure. It’s like a gazillion times better! Ok, I shall table this pizza discussion for later since it’d probably make more sense to talk about the appetizers first….argh, I’m sorry this post is so disorganized!
Fried Squash Blossoms with Ricotta
So to start things off, we got the winter caprese and the fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. The squash blossoms were hot and crunchy and oozy–perfectly executed. But alas, poor squash blossoms could only go so far when they came alongside this revelatory, otherworldly omigod-food-can-taste-this-good thingy that was Mozza’s Winter Caprese. So I’m sure we’ve all had this simple combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto sometime before in our blessed lives, but OMIGOD, THIS MOZZA THINGY FUCKING KICKS ASS! The cheese was burrata, made in house from mozzarella and cream, and I don’t know if burrata always tastes this good because this was actually the first time I’ve had it, but it was light and airy and creamy and tasted of vast green pasture and beautiful happy cows…or well, I guess to be more accurate, a mouthful of that burrata conjured up an image of beautiful cows happily grazing in some vast green pasture–yea, very idyllic. If something could taste idyllic, this would be it. And then atop that heavenly cloud of burrata were the most gorgeous cherry tomatoes, roasted on the vine–they tasted orgasmic. Hah, I don’t want to be all food-sappy but I could almost taste the amount of love and care the grower put into his little tomatoes. He probably treated them like gems–yea that’s what they were, little red gems. Quite transporting indeed. (and now you’re laughing at me…)
Pizza with Burrata, Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Onion
It was hard deciding which pizza to get, but we settled with the burrata, asparagus, prosciutto, and onion combination. And then, something terrible happened: I succumbed to my incorrigible vice of ordering the plat du jour (or I guess piatto del giorno in this case), like everytime….why??? why Anisa why?? The Tuesday special was Crisp Duck Leg with Lentils, and I fell for it. It was good, but another pizza would’ve been soooooo much better. After all, we were there to eat what could be (ready?) the greatest pizza in the world, not the greatest duck leg, oops.
Crisp Duck Leg with Lentils
So what’s so great about their pizza?? I want to hear about their pizza!! Ok ok, I hear you. Mr. Levine summed it up pretty well up there (and he better, considering how he called it the greatest pizza in the world, well, almost). But personally, I loved how the crust was perfectly crisp and thin without losing its subtance–you know, it’s like…when it’s just crisp and thin…I hope that makes sense. Remember how I said I’d thought Mozza’s pizza was just going to be a replica of Otto’s? Well, not quite. This Californian baby had a high lip and it’s puffy and blistered at all the right places….so perfect. Ahhh! I can’t stop thinking about it. And the toppings, there were four beautiful dollops of burrata on there, need I say more? People have been debating whether Mozza’s pies should really be called pizzas because of their not-so-pizza-like crust and unconventional toppings (but so novel and delicious-sounding! I really want to try them all). But seriously, who the hell cares when their pizza/flatbread/whatevermajiggle you call it tastes this goodddd??
The menu told us to save room for dessert, so we did. We got the Butterscotch Budino and a trio of gelato/sorbetti. A lot of people have hyped about the butterscotch pudding…now I know why. It was intense–superrich and creamy and…sexy possibly? I’ve had the sea salt-caramel pairing before in the form of candy coated in dark chocolate, but that same powerful flavor is now magnified ten, twenty times, whew! And did you see the little cookies in the picture? Someone raved about them saying how they were the best cookies to be had in Los Angeles–hah, I’m not going to go that far, but I could see where he’s coming from. I usually don’t like rosemary, but…ok, you know what, I’m just gonna come clean: I hate rosemary. But their little cookies with rosemary and pine nuts were the perfect complement to the budino: they were just buttery and crunchy and sweet enough (not so sweet) for the rich pudding. I think you would love this, J. (J loves creamy pudding!)
Gelato Trio – Blood Orange, Riso, Espresso
The gelato was good as always! I was so pleasantly surprised to see riso listed as one of their flavors. D and I had loved the rice-studded gelato at Otto in New York, but then I don’t know what happened…it disappeared from the menu =(. I was so happy to rediscover it here. Oh this would make D very happy too =).
so rich and so dreamy!
Mozza really needs to come to New York, or we’re definitely coming down with a major major case of homesickness…oyyy
641 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038