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just ate at mozza

  • m

it was incredible. three friends and i tried five pizzas, the duck dish, and the butterscotch pudding dessert. pizzas: margherita, lardo, squash blossom, fennel sausage, and oregano salami. all very tasty, but the oregano salami pizza was amazing.

the crispy duck was one of the most delicious dishes i have ever had (available on tuesday only -- they have a different special every day). the entire table could not get enough of this.

butterscotch pudding was a perfect end to our lunch. good "burnt sugar" taste on the top layer.

the service was great and the pizzas arrived quickly (which was good because we were all starving). the total bill for four incl. tax and tip was about $140 (note that we also all had soda and coffee).

i'll definitely be heading back there soon.

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  1. Just ate there and had essentially the same meal. Yeah, it's all that. Fab wine, nice service though tremendously slow, which is totally forgiven the first day. The desserts were unreal, and the duck a standout. The pizza still has a ways to go, IMHO, but was a solid B+ Italian style, rustic pie. Bravo!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Adsvino

      Woohoo, "Fab wine" sounds very strong coming from you Adsvino, what did you find? Great bottles, great prices, both?

    2. that sounds like a lot of food. Did you folks finish it all... or were there leftovers?

      1 Reply
      1. re: young_chower

        the pizzas are personal size -- four small slices in each pie. i'm not a big guy and i could eat two. i was very full at the end of the meal, but we did finish.

      2. Anyone know if they are doing carry-out or delivery??? Trying to beat the sold-out status of this week's opening.

        1. how long in advance did u make a resv.?

          1. I'm eager to try Mozza, but I gotta say, I will NEVER make a reservation for a Pizzeria more than a few hours in advance!!! It seems to defeat the entire point of casual dining to book weeks in advance for a pizza pie!

            I'll probably hit Mozza next week, midafternoon...it should be relatively empty then...


            1. I just got back from dinner. My friend and I sat at the bar, had a couple glasses of wine and snacked on spiced almonds (fennel, red pepper, salt, etc.) and decided on stuffed squash blossoms and roasted olives for appetizers. The blossoms, even out of season, were phenomenal. The batter they use is absolutely perfect. A nice crunch, tossed with flaky fleur de sel. Incredible. The olives (a mix of tiny black ones, green ones, all with pits) were roasted with garlic and lemon rind, from what I coudl tell. Very tasty.

              Next we ordered the margherita pizza, the oregano salumi pizza, and the aforementioned duck with lentils. Omg. That duck. Seriously? The best dish I've had in L.A. in like forever. It was listed as "crispy duck legs with lentils" on the menu (Tuesdays only). The duck had an unbelievable crisp skin, and I usually stray from skin on poultry (unless it's done right) and I couldn't get enough. The baby lentils were tender with so much flavor. It was divine, and I could eat like 10 plates of it it was that good (there goes the heart!!).

              The pizzas were quite charred, as everyone anticipated. Blisters had a little bit too much char for us (some tasted outright burnt) but still, the chewy dough was perfect, the sauce perfect, the cheeses perfect. We walked out with a couple extra for our men waiting at home (wait... mine's out of town... bummer for him!). The wine's are all around $9-12 a glass and under $50 a bottle, which is a plus in my book.

              A manager came over to ask how we were doing, and I told him the duck was the best thing I've tasted in awhile. He asked, why is simple so good? And I said, because simple is so hard! Very few get it right, and tonight, Mozza did.

              Bravo! Can't wait till I go back (which is this weekend, I think!)

              1. Ric, the wines are reasonably priced and pair perfectly with the food, not standalone wines. $25-50 a bottle all. Try the rosato from Joe Bastianich (the co-owner), the ceresuolo, the alianico and the sparkling cortese, all nice (and served at the right temperature). It muct be mentioned that David Rosoff formerly of Opaline is the wine buyer and a real good one at that. Also, their single-glass carafes are lovely. For the best wines, visit BottleRock, for great simple wines, Mozza.

                1. And yes, the duck was absolutely mind-blowing. The whole table fell silent in chewed meditation.

                  1. Are they serving the full menu between lunch and dinner ???

                    If so is are there seats in the bar area that a mom and her chowpup could sneak in (w/o a reservation) at mid-day ???

                    THANKS for the help !!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: DuckDuckMom

                      Yes ther are open all day. I would try to sneak in (in a few weeks--packed to the gills now)

                      1. re: DuckDuckMom

                        I tried to call for reservations for this weeks lunch and they are pretty much all booked. They did have a 2:00 on Friday, but this is yesterday so that may be gone.

                        1. re: DuckDuckMom

                          I walked in at 4 PM yesterday and the entire counter was empty and there were plenty of tables. If you go in between lunch and dinner I doubt you would ever need a reservation.

                          1. re: epop

                            According to our waiter, the current dessert menu will be replaced in about 5 months with all gelato and biscotti, including the olive oil gelato. Can't wait!

                            1. re: BBB

                              great news but a little odd, no?

                              1. re: epop

                                Odd yes, but it sounded like the all gelato dessert menu was the original intention and that they are still working on completing the kitchen so I'm guessing the gelato machines aren't ready yet.

                          2. SO and I ate there yesterday. I was initially driving by to see how long the line was. No line! Open tables! Open seats at the bar! We loved it. Great bar almonds. Bartenders friendly and knowledgeable. I like the uniforms, very unpretentious little spot, everyone friendly. I didn't find the service OVERLY slow, maybe a little, well worth it. Hardly worth mentioning considering the quality of the food. I do agree with the "slightly too much char" comment, but only at the very very end of the crust. The rest is so divine as to negate that. We had a burrata and squash blossom, and a mushroom fontina. Actually mushroom, fontina, tallegio, and fresh thyme. One of the best things I've ever eaten. I saw others eating the duck and I'll be there next tuesday trying it out, looked fabulous. Had a Dolcetto which was incredible with the mushroom pizza, a vermentino, verdicchio, prosecco, the pizzas, butterscotch pudding dessert, the yogurt gelato and cherry dessert (which was just as incredible) and two dessert wines. Everything came out to 90 something but 50 of that was wine. So it would be possible to stop in for lunch and share an app, share a pizza, order a quartino (1/3 of a bottle, their version of wines by the glass, exactly like I had in Italy) and get out for much cheaper. (We waddled out in one of those wonderfully excessive late afternoon food/wine buzzes)
                            We have a res for this sunday evening. They're open from noon until midnight so if you can't secure a res, you can almost certainly stop in mid-afternoon for an awesome experience. It's 5 minutes from where I live and I couldn't be happier with L.A. at the moment. I hope they can maintain this.

                            1. Had the margherita pizza on Tuesday and was disappointed. Too doughy and a bit short on flavor. There are at least a dozen pizza places better that I can tnink of off hand (West End, Abbotts, Antiqua, the place across from Sony Studios, etc.).

                              If you're going just for the pizza don't bother.

                              1. My December reservation now seems way too far out...

                                So do they have both the squash blossoms as an appetizer (fried, stuffed with cheese and/or anchovies) and also on top of the pizza?

                                If so, I'll be in heaven!

                                Too bad the duck is only on Tuesdays. Hopefully with the rave reviews they will move it to the main menu. Still waiting for the website to have more contents - like the menu.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: notmartha

                                  The website does have the menu, NotMartha...you just have to click on "Press Kit." It's inside there. Reading it will probably make it even HARDER to wait for your December reservation, though!

                                  1. re: foodieqt

                                    heck, i have a reservation this sunday and with all these reviews i'm already feeling like i'm hitting it late!

                                    1. re: foodieqt

                                      Thanks for the pointer! Somehow I totally missed that.

                                      It will be difficult making up my mind on what pizza to get. Even eggs with pork cheeks pizza on the menu - thought I'll never see those ingredients on a pizza outside Italy.

                                      Maybe I'll have to make my way there earlier and sit at the bar. So at least it seems like with this restaurant not much report of kitchen/wait staff problems with the opening days.

                                      1. re: notmartha

                                        Batali did beef cheecks until the mad cow scare, that's all. at least that's how the
                                        progression was at Babbo

                                        1. re: epop

                                          I had beef cheeks at Babbo a couple of months ago.

                                          1. re: epop

                                            Beef cheeks have been on the menu for years now. The cheeks have nothing to do with mad cow.

                                    2. would be very interested to hear from anyone who has tried the wednesday special (and any future daily special, for that matter). any wednesday diners try the pesce involtini?

                                      1. i have reservations for tonight and for tuesday as well!
                                        ill report on the pesce.

                                        1. Did anyone go late last night? What do people think would be the prospects of showing up after ten p.m. either today or tomorrow and snagging a table? I need to make sure the drive from Pasadena will be worth the trouble...

                                          1. i got there a half hour before closing the other night and they had completely run out of food, they were just serving wine, which sucks, but it is expected.

                                            asked them some questions, esp regarding the olive oil gelatto and they aren't serving it one of the waitstaff said they were in the processing of getting a gelato machine to start making the darn stuff.

                                            1. btw, i went and i have a different take on the restaurant--- I love Otto and Babbo in NYC and so was
                                              eager to go to Mozza.

                                              Quickly, my verdict-- the pizza is well made, but somehow too precious. The margherita a bit sweet, the crust too doughy, it feels too thought out and lacks a certain soul that I want from a pizza. It is beautiful bread, for sure, but somehow i feel like the toppings are just that, not really merging with the pizza.

                                              Which brings me to really make a vote for Antica, which, in my opinion, is a better pizza.

                                              I was hoping to say otherwise but that's my feeling.

                                              BTW, the stuffed zucchini appetizer is delicious, as is much on their menu.

                                              With all the hype and publicity, I just don't think it lives up to the original places in Manhattan yet. But with lines out the door it probably won't change

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: epop

                                                You have to remember that this is more a Silverton enterprise. I also love Lupa, Otto, and Babbo, and I was expecting more of that from Mozza, but no such luck. Mozza's quite good, but it doesn't stand to Mario's places. That being said, LA is in desperate need of places like Mozza, and I'm very very happy that it's here.

                                                Which Anitca are you talking about? The one on 3rd or in Marina del Rey?

                                              2. Why is LA in such need for an overly precious pizzeria, full of publicity and hype? Mozza was fine but for me, even with the waiter's attitude, the cramped, loud environment playing camp opera. I won't be a regular there, as I was in Batali's NY restaurants.

                                                If anything I think LA is in need of a great world-class restaurant along the lines of Daniel. Or a seafood place with the variety and execution of Aquagrill. We have other treasures, don't get me wrong.

                                                Antica is in the Marina and it is a similar style pizza to Mozza's. I like it more, it is less doughy. Up to each person to decide but I don't let the name Silverton phase me. The best food I ever had was never made by famed people.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: epop

                                                  I agree with you EPOP.Mozza is too thick/doughy and not worthy of the hype. I also agree not to let the Silverton name phase me. She's a baker first, not an italian with roots in the pizza business, so this is more of an experiment for her than it is her forte (baking bread: which she happens to be great at BTW).

                                                  Additionally, you are so right that LA needs a Daniel, or a Le Bernadin, or a Piccholine. I was a regular at Aquagrill for 4 years until I moved to LA (scallops with fava beans was a favorite). It was fantastic everytime. No La seafood holds a candle to them, or Oceana, or Le Bernadin.

                                                  Spago has become an octagenerian hangout, with way too heavy food. It's over for me, but I still love Sherry Yards desserts.

                                                  1. re: globlamega

                                                    Aquagrill it is!! what a place. few in the world like it. so much to offer and all perfect.
                                                    I was hoping Water Grill would compare; went once and it didn't but i will try again.
                                                    Hungry Cat, no way. I wouldn't even go back there.

                                                    I don't think any LA restaurant, even beyond the seafood, stands comparable to those you mention, globlamega. i wish it were different + know that it could be, with the right chef. La Cachette is quite good, actually... but i don't know another yet.

                                                    but we have better sushi and international food than in nyc, by far. let me know if you stumble upon greatness, as i think we might see eye to eye.

                                                    1. re: epop

                                                      Thanks for your reply. I'll let you know what I find, and I have to try La Cachette. And yes , the Japanese is better here.

                                                2. I waited to go specifically on a Tuesday (last night) just (I'm not even exaggerating) to have the duck leg with lentils and fried rosemary-- oh, was it ever worth waiting until past 10 to have dinner!

                                                  My dining companion and I also shared the crispy goat cheese with beet greens, two 250ml not-quite-carafes of Montepulciano, and the three flavors of gelato (Greek yogurt) and sorbetti (blood orange and cassis because they'd run out of strawberry) ; I filched some of the pizza with salumi, chile, and what turned out to be more goat cheese (we thought we'd remembered seeing it with mozzarella on the menu?).

                                                  We were seated immediately and the service was fine...All in all, it was a pretty good deal at $70 (including tax and a generous tip...'cos we can be appreciative of people who have to work until past midnight after having worked late hours in FOH/BOH) for two.