December 13, 2010

Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

Ask anyone living in Los Angeles and chances are they have heard of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. How could they not? The restaurant was created by three power houses: Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton and Joseph Bastianich with a vision to bring "hospitality, local ingredients and wonderful food to Los Angeles."

When the restaurant first opened, it was nearly impossible to get a reservation. Although reservations are easier to come by these days the restaurant still has people waiting outside eagerly trying to get their hands on a slice of pizza. A friend of mine is absolutely in love with this place and when I gave him the task of picking a spot for our next get together he immediately said "Pizzeria Mozza."

A few weeks later we arrived at the restaurant for our 7 p.m. reservation. After a short wait we were seated in the packed dining room against the wall. The restaurant used every possible space for seating, which is why our table had to be pulled out into the walk way before I could squeeze by the table next to us to get to my seat. I smiled at the couple next to us and thought about introducing myself since we were sitting very close together almost like a communal table.

The bread sticks arrived immediately after we sat down and our waitress came by soon after to take our order.

Bread Sticks

The bread sticks were crunchy, plain and boring. Perhaps to distract the diners on the table to help diners forget about the long wait for food to come out of the kitchen.

Fried squash blossoms with ricotta
Two words sum up my experience with these blossoms: bland & greasy.

Bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage
This was a very cheesy and gooey pizza. The nutty rich flavor of the fontina cheese came through, but the truffle flavor of the sottocenere was lost amongst the competing flavors especially the sage. The pizza dough was very thin and parts of the outer edged burned which gave the crust some crunch. The outer crust was large in comparison to the rest of the pizza and made for some chewy bites.

Bacon, salami, fennel sausage, guanciale, tomato & mozzarella
This was a meat lover's pizza. All the proteins had a distinct flavored and the homemade fennel sausage was the highlight. With the strong flavors on this pizza, a few bites tasted too salty. It was also a very greasy pizza and the tomatoes weren't able to cut through the heaviness. A cup of black coffee was in need after the pizzas, but the waitress was no where to be found.

Overall, the food as Pizzeria Mozza was mediocre and the service was inadequate. With the big names attached to this restaurant, I expected better food and top notch service. The cramped seating and overwhelmingly loud space further took away from the experience. This is definitely a trendy spot and the vision of the three owners did not shine through during my experience.

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Valet is available and there is metered parking on Melrose.


Life On Two Wheels said...

Those blossoms almost look like deep fried chicken embryos! Not something I would want showing up at my table. I ate at Mozza once and had one of the specials...I enjoyed it but would never eat there again. To your point the service, or lack thereof, and the fact that I was sitting on top of the people next to me while I had to yell at the person across from me so they could hear didn't make it an enjoyable meal. This seems to be another one of those restaurants where people need to pull their heads out of their asses and focus on the food...not where they are.

eastside food bites said...

Bummer, but I'm suprised. I agree that the seating is challenging, but I've always found the food to be really delicious at Pizzeria Mozza. The meats are top notch, and the only thing I've ever been disappointed with was the salads.

That said, I'd take Osteria Mozza over Pizzeria Mozza any day of the week.

Pink Foodie said...

life on two wheels - sorry to read you had the same bad experience. Perhaps management will considering taking out a table or two to make the space more comfortable or just switch some to communal tables.

eastside food bites - What do you usually get at Pizzeria Mozza?

eastside food bites said...

There are two pizzas with yolky eggs that I enjoy--one has potatoes and bacon and one has Italian bacon and escarole.

I also like their charcuterie, and I've had better experiences with those squash blossoms. I admit, the ones you got look pretty sad!

Nice blog. I look forward to your next review! said...

The "stuff" served at P. Mozza (and 2go) isn't pizza. It's very nice flattened bread baked with stuff on it. People really seem to get that wrong.

To be honest, I've never actually eaten inside P.Mozza itself. Never wanted the pie badly enough to deal with the wait, crowd, noise, etc. and am thankful for the take-out parlor.

That said, I enjoy O. Mozza as much as the next sheep. Can't help it. I like to mentally leg hump N. Silverton while eating her burrata plates.

Pink Foodie said...

If it wasn't for my friend's desire to eat at Pizzeria Mozza, I probably would not have step foot inside the place. I will definitely try Osteria Mozza despite the experience I had at Pizzeria.