Though we don’t go out to eat all that often, and even less often at trendy LA eateries, when we got two seperate invitations to Mozza, (Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali’s new pizzeria) for the same weekend, we figured it was worth a try. Our friends Alex and Dana, who have now been to Mozza so many times that they have tried most of the 15-20 pizzas on the menu, had made a reservation a month ago and invited us to join them last night. We were pretty excited about it, having read articles about Mozza in Los Angeles magazine and the New York Times.
My hopes for the famed squash blossom and burrata pizza were quickly dashed when, on Saturday night, Ilya called us from Mozza to report that the recent frosts had killed off the delicate squash blossoms and they would be off the menu until new ones grew- sob!! But he also assured us that the 6 pizzas his group tried that night were all very good and very affordable at about $13 each.
Though the restaurant was filled to capacity and then some, the wait staff was friendly and quickly showed us to our table, which was wedged against the wall and had to be slid out to let us into the booth. Cramped seating like that always drives me crazy- I mean, getting up to, say, use the bathroom during the meal, turns into a production requiring your whole table’s teamwork. But that said, I understand having to do what you can with small spaces. We ordered a couple of appetizers- one, an olive oil-doused grilled bread and the other, a plate of prosciutto served along with a huge chunk of the most tender, melt-in-your mouth mozzerella. So we were off to a good start.
The pizzas followed quickly after the appetizers and I would say that one per person is the perfect size, no appetizers needed. We ended up sharing 4 pizzas among us…the guys split the legendary fennel sausage pizza and reported that it was very good, mostly because the sausage itself was so great. My favorite was the gorgonzola, fingerling potato, and rosemary pizza which was incredibly flavorful and definitely something I would order again. I was also impressed with the pizza bianco, a white pizza with sage, which was was a lot more interesting than the usual bland white pizzas you find elsewhere. Finally, we ordered the goat cheese and leek pizza (normally served with bacon) and while it was good, there was definitely something missing- perhaps bacon? 🙂 All in all, the pizza was very, very good. I can’t remember the last time I had such tasty pizza at a restaurant. But spectacular crust aside, Dylan and I could probably come up with similar pizzas at home that are nearly as good. Especially now that we own not only a pizza stone, but a pizza peel- don’t ask.
Pizzeria Mozza is worth a trip. Were it in Pasadena with a shorter wait for reservations, I’d probably go once every month or two, but I don’t know that I’d say it was so outstanding that it merits the drive into LA on any regular basis. On as scale of 1-10, with 10 being mouthwateringly amazing, I’d say it was a 7 or 8.
Incidentally, since I’m a relatively new food blogger, I haven’t worked up to the point of wanting to carry around a camera or notebook with me to record restaurant outings, but check out photos and other accounts of dining at Pizzeria Mozza by KT and Jonah on LA Foodblogging .
Pizzeria Mozza, 641 North Highland Avenue (cross street: Melrose), Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323)29-0101