Yet another Mozza review...
Sorry, don't know if we're all posting these under one master thread.
Snuck out to Mozza this afternoon around 4PM - when the place was basically empty. Grabbed a prime spot at the pizza bar, so I could watch them work.
Had read up enough on do's and don'ts - so even though it was just me, I ordered a whole bunch of stuff. Started with the fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. Wonderful flavor to the breading with just a little bit of crunch. Ricotta had a nice body to it. Next, I had the chicken liver bruschetta - and let me just say, don't let any prejudices you have about organ meat sway you from getting these. Just phenomenal flavor, bursting with carmelized onions and capers. I will get this every time I go back. I then moved on to the mixed funghi pizza. Enough has been written about the texture and taste of the crust. Definitely wood-fired with a nice char to it - but if that's not your thing, no effort on my part will convince you. Mushrooms were good, if not especially flavorful, but the overall effect with the taleggio, pecorino and thyme was just delightful. All my food arrived at once, so I alternated between pieces of the bruschetta and the pizza - so that my palette could experience it fresh each time. Highly reccomended. I finished off with an espresso - which was the only thing I would say could use some improvement, as there was very little crema on the shot - and the butterscotch brudino, which was out of this world.
All of the above (2 apps, pizza, dessert) + a cuartino of the low end Montepulciano red and the espresso = $48 and change. Amazing value. Will go back many, many times. Nancy came in late, so she didn't prepare my food, but once she was in the kitchen, she had her hands on pretty much everything. Which I thought was nice to see.
Go, go, go. If they feature the duck special that everybody raved about, I might go back as early as next week.
"Nancy came in late...?" Actually, we were there from 2pm yesterday and she was on the line the entire time except for a brief period when she walked the room to greet the likes of Jonathan Gold, etc. Perhaps, a brief powder room break. David Rasoff, the GM, claims they've all been there from 9am 'til 1am every day while Batali and Bastianich are in Vegs readying the next two. Not much else I can add except to concur with the sublime flavors of the squash blossoms, the eggplant capanato, the charred crust of both the pesto panini and the margarita pizza, and the intoxicating butterscotch budino. The best new restaurant in L.A. since A.O.C. and a jewel in the probable crown to come.
This is a bread-lover's pizza. I felt I was eating bread scattered with high quality ingredients.
The magic of pizza is about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. I didn't get that at Mozza.
That being said, I appreciated the opportunity to eat something hand-crafted and baked by Nancy Silverton in real-time, right in front of me. She is a master baker and that crust is something special.
i don't get it. for me it was fine but nothing all that special. the pizza ingredients didn't merge with the dough. appetizers were quite good, for sure. but again not worth a drive and having to hear all the hype.
it is nothing comparable to Batali's restaurants in NYC, which can be extraordinary.
Sorry for the "Nancy came late" bit. Should have been clearer, as you never know who reads these things. The correct sentence would be "Nancy stepped out for a bit after lunch to see her child" is I believe what I overheard.
As for the pizza, I'm guessing it might depend on which one you get. I am a big fan of Batali's NY restaurants (particularly Lupa, where the food is never anything less than spectacular) - except Otto - where the pizza in particular was the least interesting thing I had. I think Silverton's touch is making all the difference here. Pizza shall always divide the masses.