Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mozza

The first appetizer to arrive: the bacala crostini. It was creamy and yummy, and not salty at all. The drizzle of fruity olive oil and the black olives were the perfect garnish.


And to drink with it a carafina of Rosato produced by Joe Bastianich's vineyard in Friuli:



I have to admit, I was all prepared to hate Mozza on my first outing there. Mumsy had already been a few weeks ago and she brought home some leftovers that were absolutely dreadful! "Nancy's" Chopped Salad had a virus killing amount of vinegar on it (plus it tasted like something that one would get at a big corporate chain) and the special sausage had a casing the texture of parchment paper plus the sausage meat tasted mealy. Mumsy said that the pizza was excellent but she ate it all before I could try it.

So I met a dozen women there this last Sunday for My Doppelganger's surprise bday party. Boy, was she surprised. And so was I by how damn good the food was!

One of my favorite things to eat is arancine. These arancine were smaller and more like suppli al telefono (so called because when you pull them apart the melted cheese looks like telephone wires):



Ooh, watch the bubbling roasted olives fresh out of the oven:



These smelled divine! However, there was too much rosemary in the dish and I thought that Lucques olives were too firm - I would have preferred a softer olive. But the garlic in the dish was fabulous and the oil/herb mixture made a great dunk for our leftover pizza crusts.

A must to order at Mozza, the chicken liver crostini with guanciale. The flavor combinations were great as were the contrasting textures of the smooth liver and the crispy guanciale:



Below, the squash blossom, burrata, and tomato pizza. This was good, but the burrata cheese was way too cold and clashed with the hot pizza crust. It would have been a lot better if the cheese were slightly warmer - it would have been a nicer contrast with the crust.


See the different pizzas that we ordered:





The special "pizzetta" in the second video had mascarpone, peas, ramps, and pancetta on it. I figured out right after I filmed the pizzetta that the weird flavor was anise seed. That pizza did not need that much anise seed, if any.

Here was the special on Sunday, the lasagne al forno:



I loved this but most people in our party did not because the dish did not conform to what they know as lasagne, i.e., it wasn't the Italian American lasagne, or what passes for Italian American lasagne in this City. This was perfect to me: the noodles were like silk hankerchiefs, a wonderful bolognese, and a creamy balsamella (bechamel); just a simple minimalist Italian dish.

The best dessert ever:



I don't mention it on the video, because I hadn't tried one, but the little cookies served on the side were absolutely incredible, nearly as good as the butterscotch budino. They were like a shortbread but I think that the fat was olive oil instead of butter and they had some carmelized pine nuts and fresh rosemary sprigs on top. Divoon!

I have to admit that Mario Batali's Lupa is one of my all time favorite restaurants, and while Mozza is not as good as Lupa, it's still an excellent restaurant.

Mozza
641 N. Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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8 Comments:

Blogger Raven said...

I loved the butterscotch budino and thought the appetizers and wine we got at Mozza (when I was there) were great. But I wasn't overly impressed with the pizza. It had too much crust for me. That lasagne you show looks yummy, though! If I go back, I'll get that.

8:47 PM

 
Blogger Julie said...

I love the idea of roasted olives. I have stuffed and deep fried olives before which is delicious but I will definitely have to try roasting them.
Thank you your photos were mouth watering.

9:45 AM

 
Anonymous Sarah said...

I love your videos! You use them really well, in a way that helps the reader experience what you experienced--the bubbling olives and gooey-ness of the arancine, for example. It makes everything look that much yummier.

3:02 PM

 
Anonymous Judy said...

wow, someone who loves food as much as I DO!!!

12:55 PM

 
Blogger Bon Vivant said...

Raven: I think that you would like the lasagne - it's very european.

Julie: I love stuffed deep fried olives!

Sarah: you know how I appreciate good photography so I miss that element of "beauty" with the videos.

Judy: I think that I love food too much but I don't really care if I do!

8:00 PM

 
Anonymous Maxmillion said...

I think I agree with you -- lucques olives seem too firm for a baked olive combination. They certainly looked yummy, though, bubbling away. When will they invent smell-o-vision, anyway? They put a man on the moon, didn't they??!!?

Bon Vivant -- (I hope you don't mind me reposting this comment from chowhound) -- Do you really love the lasagne?

I was *super* disappointed by Mozza's bland, pedestrian and unremarkable lasagne, esp when EVERYTHING else is so outstanding there. I suppose one's disappointment is proportional to one's expectations -- namely, making a special trip to Mozza on a late Sunday afternoon and waiting about 20 mins or so (*not* egregious) for two counter seats in order to experience the lasagne.

Best *authentic* Italian lasagne in LA, imho, is the Lasagne Verdi at Angelini Osteria, esp when paried with a glass of red wine from the same region (forget which one that is, but the excellent waiters always guide me).

1:16 PM

 
Anonymous Wanda said...

Mmm, I will have to try Mozza! The appetizers in particular all look fantastic. I've never had roasted olives; sounds very tasty. Speaking of roasting, last week I tried roasting (instead of my usual sauteing) broccolini and portobello mushrooms with olive oil and pepper and was quite pleased with the results.

1:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a regular dude who likes to travel and eat at the latest and greatest restaurants. In LA it's been sort of unconscious for a while until the buzz on Mozza started. I happen to be fortunate enough to live around the corner from table 8, but the thought of Italian food and pizza makes me salivate every time I drive home from the gym on Melrose past Mozza. What's the code word for getting reservations? I call the number and surprisingly they plan to be booked until 11:30 p.m. indefinately and won't accept reservations.

12:34 PM

 

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