Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pizzeria Mozza

Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is the latest venture of Nancy Silverton ( Campanile, La Brea Bakery) and Mario Batali (Babbo, Del Posto). The executive chef is the talented Matt Molina. Mozza was a hit before day one with people burning up the phone lines for reservations and lining up on opening day. I’ve eaten there three times now and all I can say is, do believe the hype. I love it best for a late lunch and I especially love to sit at the bar or at one of the counters facing the wood burning oven.

The menu is very simple. There are antipasti, insalate, carne, bruschette, panini, a different special each day, and, of course, pizza made in a wood-burning oven, a rarity in Los Angeles. Nancy worked tirelessly to get the pizza dough right and it has improved over the past few months and is pretty much a success in my opinion. My favorite pizzas are the margherita with mozzarella, tomato and basil; the bianco with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage; and the egg, guanciale, radicchio and bagna cauda. Besides the pizza there are other great dishes: the rucola, funghi and piave salad is amazing, and I love the antipasto of roasted carrots and cumin honey. The bruschetta with chicken livers, capers, parsley and guanciale was totally addictive.

I’m a big fan of Italian wine because they are the greates with food; the wine list here is brilliant. The Vespa Bianco from Joe Bastianich, a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon and picolit grapes produced in the Friuli region of Italy, is so crisp and refreshing that it works with everything on this menu. I also loved the red Aglianico del Taburno La Rivolta from Campagnia. All the wines are under 50 dollars.

Desserts are equally genius. The one that I have not stopped thinking about is the biscotti with pignoli and rosemary— a rich butter cookie with this caramel-like topping of pignoli and rosemary. The blood orange sorbet was refreshing and a great way to end the meal

Soon to come right next door is the more formal restaurant, Osteria Mozza, with a center island which Nancy plans on making into a mozzarella bar. The menu will be much more extensive. I can’t wait for it!

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036


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