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.
641 N. Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Labels: appetizers, Butterscotch Budino, Italian food, Mario Batali, Mozza, pizza, Pizzeria Mozza