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.
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.
641 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Valet is available and there is metered parking on Melrose.