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Mozza's Pizza is NOT Pizza!

Wilde Nov 21, 2006 12:38 AM

I'm not a regular poster, but I lurk like crazy.... I've watched the flame wars over New York and Chicago style places, so I know how vested many chowhounds are in this debate. Which is why I feel like I've got to post...

Mozza doesn't serve pizza as I understand pizza.

I've had pizza all over the US. For reference my favorite pie is at the original Regina's in Boston (I know, it paints me in a odd light that I love that more than thin crust Chicago, New Haven, or New York, but I'm being honest here). I've also had pizza with the appropriate Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée all over Naples (Los Angeles already has a good rendering of Neopolitain pizza at Antica, named after the Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples).

Mozza is NOTHING like any of these.

Hence, in my book, Mozza doesn't serve pizza.

Mozza serves bread.

In fact, Mozza serves something that looks and tastes much more like the focaccia al formaggio that I had in Genoa... Nice, but not pizza.

I went expecting pizza and was MASSIVELY ANNOYED. Especially at their prices.

The "Why can't Californians have real pizza?" argument is going to have to continue, in spite of Mozza. Mozza is closer to Spago and CPK than it is to East Cost joints, or even to classic Neopolitain pizza.

Love it or loathe it, Mozza is yet another chimeric Californian pizzastein with a particularly bready focus due to the Silverton influence.

  1. monku Nov 21, 2006 01:32 AM

    If the internet existed when Spagos came out with gourmet pizza you would have said the same thing.

    Pizza can be anything people want to call it.

    Pizza Bagel is a perfect example.

    1. e
      epop Nov 21, 2006 01:55 AM

      Of course I think Wilde is approaching this with a grain of salt, much appreciated. It is very much like bread with toppings rather than pizza. If you went to a pizzeria and were served a pizza bagel without being told about the bagel part you would be disappointed.

      Where in all this is Batali, who does sometimes make wonders. I like his hand more than Silverton's, even though I live here. She knows what she's doing though; i just don't agree with it.

      I'm one of those that debates the virtues of the various locale's pizzas. One of the few NY'ers that doesn't care for NY pizza (except for Otto and a few others), finds Chicago and Italy to be much better places. + LA. But not Mozza.

      Maybe that's the point-- it isn't pizza. It is mozza.

      But I want pizza.

      1. n
        NumeroUnoEat Nov 21, 2006 03:46 AM

        Naan Bread, though very good naan bread. That's our opinion after
        two MOZZA visits. NOTHING like what Mario serves at OTTO in NYC.
        Question: "Where is Mario?"

        3 Replies
        1. re: NumeroUnoEat
          epop Nov 21, 2006 04:09 AM

          that's hilarious! it is in fact a whole lot like oliveoily naan!

          1. re: NumeroUnoEat
            AquaW Nov 21, 2006 04:09 AM

            rescuing the Princess alongside Luigi? ;)

            I think Mario only had a hand in planning the menu, but still works out of NYC. You'd have a higher chance of spotting Silverton.

            And from pictures posted of the place, I'd agree with you in looking like Naan bread with toppings - but I still wanna try it.


            1. re: NumeroUnoEat
              kevin Nov 21, 2006 04:12 AM

              what that's exactly it it's a lot like a more pizza bread type of naaan.

            2. g
              glutton Nov 21, 2006 04:21 AM

              This is a battle of semantics... whatever they served at Mozza, I liked it. It was good bread, good lardo, good everything. It worked for me.

              1. m
                manku Nov 21, 2006 05:47 AM

                ate this pm for the first time, and couldn't agree more...everything is too bready, even the deserts. fwiw, i thought the same about campanile all the times i went, and la brea bakery when nancy ran it...i don't really like that style of baking. i like crispy/light/flakey/airy baked goods - hers are the opposite.

                as for mozza, the apps were fine - decent fritters (4 tiny ones/no side sauce), overly salty chicken liver crostini, nice eggplant tapenade thingy - all overpriced, though.

                the pizzas were, as has been mentioned, overly doughy and bready. minimal toppings. very large crust. tasty, but not very pizza like.

                the best item was the chicken cacciatore - really superb flavors. excellent ingredients. again, pricey for only a thigh and leg.

                deserts were all ho hum, including butterscotch pudding (boring), profiteroles (too doughy/stiff) and a second rate affogato.

                in spite of all my criticisms, we had a good time and would return. it had a nice, new york vibe, and the staff seems friendly and eager. however, it's a casual place with casual food. not really worth driving across town for. and paying $6 for valet too.

                maybe if i'm in the neighborhood, after the buzz has died down.

                11 Replies
                1. re: manku
                  Bon Vivant Nov 22, 2006 12:47 AM

                  I would think that it would be hard to make affogato second rate - how difficult is it to screw up a dish with two ingredients?


                  1. re: Bon Vivant
                    manku Nov 22, 2006 06:56 AM

                    average gelato and watery/bitter espresso...

                    1. re: manku
                      chica Nov 22, 2006 07:02 AM

                      For an affogato that hits home every time -- Angelini Osteria.

                      1. re: chica
                        manku Nov 22, 2006 07:24 AM

                        thats what i was comparing it to...

                        1. re: manku
                          chica Nov 22, 2006 08:31 AM

                          i'm confused. so you think angelini's affogato is second-rate, too, or Mozza's is second-rate compared to angelini's?

                          1. re: chica
                            manku Nov 22, 2006 10:16 PM

                            i love angelini's affogato

                            1. re: manku
                              chica Nov 23, 2006 03:24 AM

                              ah :-)

                              1. re: manku
                                lambrusche Dec 19, 2008 03:12 PM

                                For a laugh...ask Gino Angellini his opinion of Nancy Silverton's food...

                                With all the good Italian chefs in Los Angeles, what makes Nancy Silverton such an expert...

                                1. re: lambrusche
                                  a_and_w Dec 20, 2008 08:56 AM

                                  I wasn't laughing when I tried his restaurant La Terza, which was truly mediocre.

                                  Also, I haven't been at all impressed with the Italian chefs in LA. In fact, I'd say this city lags pretty far behind many others (SF, NYC, Boston) where I've lived.

                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                    lambrusche Dec 20, 2008 10:59 AM

                                    For all the people that complain about La Terza, it is the same people that rave about Fraiche. Angellini was Chef at Il Rex, Grand Hotel de RImini, and La Frasca. Maybe he can leave L.A. and get more credit, just like Thomas Keller has. BOSTON??? Good Italian... ugggh

                        2. re: manku
                          kevin Nov 22, 2006 05:24 PM

                          the ice cream here was nothing special, but then again i don't think it was gelato, just mrerely vanilla ice cream.

                    2. v
                      veloboy68 Nov 22, 2006 12:14 AM

                      i have to agree with the pizza comment- it is not really a pizzeria.
                      It does not have crust that you can sink your teeth into, but the ingredients are top notch.
                      i guess the pizza is the latest foodstuff to be turned into an art form open to interpretation!

                      The energy is good and the pedigree of the staff is stellar. it's worth the trip.
                      The wine list is screaming with great values. Just wait till the restaurant opens- you know they're going to go full force with great italian food.

                      1. m
                        mepolo Feb 1, 2007 07:10 AM


                        1. SauceSupreme Feb 1, 2007 09:28 AM

                          I guess the problem is that there's pizza and then there's Pizza. Capital 'P' Pizza refers more to a memory or an atmosphere. Hence the variance between Chicago, New York, or even Napolese pies.

                          Small 'p' pizza is a baked pie of Italian origin of a shallow breadlike crust covered with toppings. Thus, it can be open to interpretation, like what Wolfgang did ~20 years ago and what Mario is doing now.

                          If Chef Batali had called it "Mozza Panaderia" the flame war would ensue between Mozza and Mexican bakery purists!

                          1. w
                            wilham Feb 1, 2007 11:22 AM

                            Pizza is definitely a food open to interpretation. Look at the history.

                            Merriam-Webster online says: a dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked -- called also pizza pie.

                            Once, when i was a kid, i ordered a pizza from some place my folks took me—didn't know that they served it Chicago deep-dish style. When it arrived I said, WTF! And yet countless say deep dish is the real pizza. The only one. I was just not aware of it.

                            Certainly this thread proves that in LA, you should never talk about religion or politics at that dinner table...oh yeah and uh, pizza.

                            1. e
                              epop Feb 1, 2007 04:49 PM

                              that is the beauty of pizza. i think people who like mozza's are those that usually don't like pizza. i'll take batali's otto pizza any day over mozza's.

                              excellent bread, totally unsatisfying pizza. + the unbelievable hype as the first topping

                              1. r
                                radman123 Feb 1, 2007 10:07 PM


                                1. b
                                  bulavinaka Feb 3, 2007 12:16 AM

                                  Give it a chance - society will learn to eventually embrace it and accept it as another type of pizza... I am sure that people in Naples were ready to go to war when their covenants on the proper and only way to make pizza was violated. I am sure that as each successive wave of new variations of pizza was introduced, they received the same scolding and skepticism before acceptance. Chicago-style? Can anyone explain that one? But I for one will gladly finish off a whole pie myself. And these creations coming out of Mozza's ovens are pretty spectacular. The prices are steep but who's going to argue with the queen of dough$$? And only in Hollywood could a "chemeric Californian Pizzastein" raise its yeasty head and smile coming out of the oven on queue... Great post, Wilde!

                                  1. DanaB Feb 3, 2007 01:46 AM

                                    Mozza's pizza is the closest to the pizza I had in Naples, Italy, the home of pizza. It might not be NY Pizza (I lived there for 6 years, I know what you are talking about), but it's pizza, to be sure.

                                    Personally, I don't get the slamming on Mozza. It serves good, gourmet pizza. Think of it as the Spago of the 'oughties.

                                    1. b
                                      Briggs Feb 3, 2007 06:01 AM

                                      Regardless of whether is qualifies as pizza...THREE stars from S. Irene??? I haven't been yet, but when I read 3 stars, what popped in my head was the 3 stars she also gave Providence, with a FAR more ambitious and extensive menu. I know it's apples and oranges, but still...

                                      16 Replies
                                      1. re: Briggs
                                        russkar Feb 3, 2007 06:38 AM

                                        My thoughts exactly! How can a simple Pizza stack up against Providence which has one of the best TM's in the Country? It doesn't!

                                        We thought Mozza is way overrated and liked the fish we ordered best of everything we had for lunch about 3 wks ago.

                                        1. re: russkar
                                          foodiemahoodie Dec 19, 2008 12:40 AM

                                          I third that. I llike Mozza a lot - and the idea that this isn't pizza is perhaps one of the more ridiculous threads I've yet to read on Chowhound. And it's pretty great.

                                          But three stars? Okay, perhaps three star pizza - sure - best pizza in town. (but I've been enjoying the very similar Riva's pizza in Santa Monica). I'm crossing my fingers that more and more people copy that pizza. Would absolutely love it if someone would deliver a Mozza-style pizza.

                                          But back to three stars - Providence and Melisse get three stars from Irene - and it's kind of insulting. Anyone who knows the unbeliveable effort and work that goes on in those kitchens knows this is wildly unfair.

                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                            latindancer Dec 19, 2008 07:53 AM

                                            Thanks for posting this.
                                            I'd love it if someone could come up with a better way to deliver great pizza.
                                            I tried bringing a Mozza pizza home a few weeks ago and it just didn't work (I'd been warned by my fabulous waiter at the bar). It transports fine but loses the crisp edge it has straight out of the oven.
                                            Same goes with any other pizza delivered, although hot most of the time, it's limp.
                                            I hate those cardboard box pieces of junk.
                                            I'm with you on Mozza, though. It will remain one of LA's icons, for sure. There are just too many people in love with the place for it to be anything otherwise.

                                            1. re: latindancer
                                              Servorg Dec 19, 2008 08:36 AM

                                              If you are picking up your pizza yourself (vs. delivery) simply open the top of the box on the way home so the crust doesn't steam inside the closed container and you will avoid most of the "limp crust" problem.

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                latindancer Dec 19, 2008 10:21 AM

                                                That's what I do but when it's delivered to my home it's always a disaster much like you describe....'steaming'. You'd think someone would come up with a better system.
                                                The pizzas at Mozza, however, must be eaten at the restaurant. They're just not the same when they're brought home. No matter how much their customers (me included) are instructed on how to reheat them at home they're just not the same as when they're fresh out of the oven.

                                                1. re: latindancer
                                                  a_and_w Dec 19, 2008 10:23 AM

                                                  Crisp it up with a pizza stone or even a frying pan. Works like a charm.

                                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                                    latindancer Dec 19, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                    I've got a pizza oven.
                                                    It's not the same as when served in the restaurant....

                                                    1. re: latindancer
                                                      a_and_w Dec 20, 2008 09:01 AM

                                                      You have a dedicated pizza oven?

                                                      1. re: latindancer
                                                        darrelll Sep 18, 2010 06:47 AM

                                                        You have a pizza oven... and you order takeout???

                                                        It would take less time to make your own than buy takeout, if you have the ingredients.

                                                        Mozza uses wonderful ingredients. I love the fennel sausage.

                                                        1. re: darrelll
                                                          bulavinaka Sep 18, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                          Don't know about saving time, unless one is all set up for making the pizza, from start to finish. Dough has to be ready to go (think of the process involved if you're starting from scratch, let alone have a ball of dough on the board), sauce, etc. And the oven - if it's a wood-fired oven, you're talking some serious time to start the fire, get the oven's bricks heated to the point of retaining the high temps, etc. And don't even mention clean up. This whole process definitely has it's place - we've pondered getting one ourselves for a lonely corner of our backyard - but considering why more people who have the ability would rather put this process in other hands on a regular basis is no mystery to me.

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                            hrhboo Sep 19, 2010 05:16 PM

                                                            You're absolutely right, it's a lot of work! Totally worth the effort once in a while but definitely not something you'd do every time you felt like eating pizza. We have a wood-burning pizza oven and once the fire's been started it needs to burn for a solid couple of hours before anything can be cooked in it. Having said that, once it's hot it's fairly easy to maintain the temperature with the occasional log thrown in.

                                                            At Mozza, they likely start the fire first thing in the morning in order for it to be ready for cooking pies when they open at 11.30am. I understand that their dough undergoes a 72 hour fermentation so a lot of time is invested in the finished product.

                                                            1. re: hrhboo
                                                              bulavinaka Sep 19, 2010 06:06 PM

                                                              I think pizza - great pizza - is totally underappreciated because of the casualness that our culture takes toward this food. Extremely pedestrian versions (and below) are available with a few keystrokes, a phone call or a pull from the freezer. This leads to a rather lackadaisical view on the whole realm. The thing about pizza is that like so many things that involve bread and heat, it such a combination of art and science. As you've already mentioned, the issues of sustained high heat and the process of creating a great dough are key, and that's just a couple of components that hopefully leads to a masterpiece. I have the highest respect for chefs who ply their craft in the baking world.

                                                          2. re: darrelll
                                                            aventinus Sep 20, 2010 09:49 PM

                                                            Wonderful ingredients that don't come together in a satisfying way -- at least for me.

                                            2. re: Briggs
                                              cvc Feb 3, 2007 07:11 AM

                                              As the great M.F.K. Fisher once wrote, "Still, my favorite food is a warm baked potato with salted butter."

                                              1. re: cvc
                                                djquinnc Feb 13, 2007 06:48 AM

                                                God bless your for invoking MFK! I don't know if what they serve at Mozza is a truly operationalized version of a "pizza" - All I know is that my two treks there last year were two of the best meals I had in 2006. I plan to go a few more times in 2007 and get what ever that round piece of baked dough with the Gorgonzola and fingerings, whatever one chooses to call it.

                                              2. re: Briggs
                                                KDEatsOut Jul 30, 2007 10:54 AM

                                                Virbila also gave three stars to Jar, possibly the worst meal I've ever had in L.A. and the most overrated restaurant. Quite confusing. However, Mozza is fun and full of interesting menu items. The pizza crust seems to be the recipe for La Brea Bakery bread so it makes sense that it's more dense and has a really crispy crust. But the best pizza is Monday nights at Vincenti. Oh, my...what a delight. Very expensive but out of this world.

                                              3. e
                                                epop Feb 13, 2007 07:44 AM

                                                let's not forget the huge amont of publicity and media coverage surrounding mozza; some of us expcted better food--- in my case i was hoping for more of batali's influence and touch

                                                1. a_and_w Feb 14, 2007 04:46 PM

                                                  People have the same problem with Otto in NYC, on which Mozza is based. Keep in mind that Batali is NOT trying to recreate traditional Neapolitan pizza. I'm pretty sure the crust is griddled, not cooked in a wood-fired oven, which may be why it reminds some of Indian bread. Bottom line, this is Mario's creation, loosely inspired by Italian flat bread.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                                    hrhboo Feb 14, 2007 09:07 PM

                                                    I agree with you wholeheartedly, and love Mozza's pizza for what it is.

                                                    I tried the pizza at Otto a couple of weeks ago and was massively disappointed. I ordered the lardo pizza after falling in love with Mozza's version. The crust was pale and totally flavorless, even the saltiness of the lardo couldn't save it. I find Mozza's pizza far superior, regardless of whether or not it fits anyone's description of pizza.

                                                  2. anthonyrza Feb 14, 2007 05:07 PM

                                                    it's funny how nobody would be having this heated debate if the restaurant served fried chicken or cheesecake or carnitas. the beauty of cuisine is that it's constantly evolving. honestly it annoys me when people say "IT'S NOT PIZZA" like they were around for the birth of pizza. WHO CARES if it's not what you think pizza should be. Judge it for what it is, not what it isn't. If every restaurant in the world served the same exact style pizza, we wouldn't be having this argument, but if every restaurant served the same exact style pizza..there would be nothing to look forward to. nobody would wait months on end for mozza to open just to see what sort of spin on "pizza" batali and silverton could come up with.
                                                    I enjoyed moZZa. A bit overpriced for the amount of food, but very tasty. It's of no concern to me what people call it, I call it damn good eats. cheers!!!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: anthonyrza
                                                      rednyellow Feb 14, 2007 09:34 PM

                                                      well said

                                                    2. e
                                                      epop Feb 14, 2007 08:13 PM

                                                      first off, undoubtedly, it is pizza, of an unsatisfactory type for many of us. a rose is a rose... you call it evolution, some of us feel it is decay. I adore the varieties of pizzas, if you look at previous posts I've made; there is no one way to make pizza.

                                                      Otto in manhattan is outstanding and satisfied me. I went there constantly for a couple years. So I was really looking fwd to Mozza.

                                                      The important thing, despite all the publicity, is whether one enjoys the food and that it is healthy. The latter i concede, all the ingredients are good ones.

                                                      But as far as taste I left there feeling totally unsatisfied. This place had so much potential and it just doesn't live up to it, for me. I'll go elsewhere for damn good eats.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: epop
                                                        anthonyrza Feb 14, 2007 11:04 PM

                                                        aight aight i feel that epop...So could you tell me a few of your fav. pizza joints in LA LA land? (only damn good eats, please)

                                                      2. e
                                                        epop Feb 15, 2007 07:35 AM

                                                        i like antica + casa bianca, as far as pizza. again, it all depends upon what one is looking for in a pizza. + i like pizzas, in general. Mozza was the disappointment.

                                                        i ship often from chicago, btw. i even prefer mulberry to Mozza, even though the latter has much better ingredients. i know foodies are raving about Mozza but i will never get it.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: epop
                                                          pizzafreak Feb 15, 2007 11:38 AM

                                                          Went to Antica yesterday for lunch. I had been there several years ago, read epop’s mini review, and decided to check it out again. I ordered the Margherita with garlic, my usual pie.
                                                          No question that they use top quality ingredients. You can see the pallets of KA and Caputo flour. Not sure about their canned sauce, because I couldn’t read a label. The mozz seemed to be fresh cow’s milk. The basil I found wanting. It was laying in a bowl, was very dark green and limp, as if it had been previously frozen. The pie came, and it passed my smell test. There was no charring on top, the end crust had a nice rise, very slight charring on the bottom. No doubt in my mind that this is the best Neopolitan pie in LA, far better than anything coming out of the slice places. On a 10 scale I would give it a 7.0. Doesn’t measure up to the top places in NYC, but very few pizza parlors do. I enjoyed the pie, but I wouldn’t make it a regular stop since I live in the Valley, and it’s a long haul to MDR, and there is that 405., but I will go back when I crave a good Neo pie.

                                                        2. j
                                                          jono37 Feb 15, 2007 11:48 AM

                                                          There is no arbiter or what is or is not pizza. You can decide whether Mozza serves good pizza or not, but is surely satisfies all the basic criteria of pizza. La vera pizza napoletana merely represents one set of standards, certainly not one adhered to frequently even in Italy, and certainly not necessarily the greatest expression of the pizza form. Much pizza in NY, and in Italy, for that matter is quite average, and does not hold any higher claim to the Platonic ideal of pizza than does Mozza. Mozza does, in fact, serve quite delicious pizzas and I am thrilled to have their fare available locally.

                                                          1. SauceSupreme Feb 15, 2007 04:03 PM

                                                            I've said it before and I'll say it again...

                                                            If Batali had called it Mozza Panaderia, we'd have all the Mexican baker purists crying foul. He can't win in a town like Los Angeles, where we even have can't even decide who's got the best cupcakes, let alone food with as many "moving parts" as (lower case p) pizza.

                                                            1. c
                                                              Charlie Parker Mar 27, 2007 07:02 PM

                                                              Mozza pizza serves pizza that I can't quite describe, other than gourmet and so damn good! It's a guilty pleasure that I do not at all feel guilty about. I tell everyone possible about Mozza.( I told a bunch during The Master Cleanse, which I could not eat food for days on end...hated it!) Any way... it's the first place I'm going to after the cleanse -kind of funny. Their pizza is awesome. I love their choice of toppings. Each pizza has it's own unique flavor. It's true EACH pizza has it's own flavor. The crusts are are so yummy I take them home with me to throw in salad as croutons. I totally recommend this place.

                                                              1. e
                                                                eberhard49 Jul 29, 2007 07:24 PM

                                                                I agree...Mozza is over rated. Way too salty, too soggy, not that good

                                                                1. Normal Garciaparra Jul 30, 2007 01:23 AM

                                                                  LOL, Have you ever given a thought about what a real Italian person would think about those Americans from NY or Chicago co-opting their invention!

                                                                  1. e
                                                                    estone888 Jul 30, 2007 11:14 AM

                                                                    I could care less. I ate it. I liked it. The can call it whatever they want: "baked flat thing with stuff on it," "pizza," "George." They can call it "Felix the Cat" for all I care. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I, for one, think it's good eating.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: estone888
                                                                      Woolsey Jul 30, 2007 04:50 PM

                                                                      Mmm... Mozza pudding...

                                                                    2. i
                                                                      icecreaminbed Jul 30, 2007 05:20 PM

                                                                      I agree! I agree!
                                                                      I was one of the curious, who braved the $7 valet parking,
                                                                      (are they kidding?),
                                                                      waited in the sun for the honor of sitting at the bar,
                                                                      (which was cool - fascinating to ponder the chemistry of fast rising dough + heat),
                                                                      just to order a pizza,
                                                                      and then receive -- a big puffy, bland, wheel of bread.
                                                                      luckily, I like bread - but i wanted pizza.
                                                                      the squash blossoms were good -- but the whole thing was not worth getting pushed out of the way by a nasty old couple who grabbed the last bar seats - and then started yelling at us. maybe they wanted pizza too.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: icecreaminbed
                                                                        donnival Jul 30, 2007 06:32 PM

                                                                        Seriously? Man, people suck.

                                                                        In other news, I'm planning on going tonight ... hopefully I'll grab a seat at the bar with nasty old people racing me ...

                                                                        1. re: donnival
                                                                          garlicgirl Jul 30, 2007 11:19 PM

                                                                          how was the bread/pizza? Did you get a seat at the bar?

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        skoop323 Aug 6, 2007 04:04 AM

                                                                        Great east coast taste is this extra extra extra large pizza place across from the hollywood and highland shops. And if you were looking for a good pizza you should know not to go to a upscale place

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: skoop323
                                                                          rogerthat Dec 17, 2008 04:55 PM

                                                                          y'all are cold tripping, call it what you will, it is EPIC and divine. the crust (which is kinda all that really matters, isn't it?) has some of the most mouth watering texture, flavor and chew of anything made these days in America besides Bianco (or so I am told).

                                                                          1. re: rogerthat
                                                                            epop Dec 17, 2008 06:27 PM

                                                                            I have changed my mind and like the pizza, now that they're cooking it more. It really wasn't anything special for a while. It took a year before I would go back but now I adore it.

                                                                            1. re: epop
                                                                              Frommtron Dec 27, 2008 03:48 PM

                                                                              There was talk of them carving out a groove so to speak. I was not one of the brave souls who endured the madness during its opening craze. They seemed to have ironed out all of the wrinkles by now, though.

                                                                        2. k
                                                                          KelleyLA Dec 19, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                                          You took the words right outta my mouth, Wilde. I think California is well-known for doing its "take" on dishes, after which they circulate around the rest of the country.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: KelleyLA
                                                                            Poeticalmath Dec 19, 2008 12:03 PM

                                                                            I'm a have to try this out to see what the rant is all about

                                                                            1. re: Poeticalmath
                                                                              PlonkMan Dec 19, 2008 02:35 PM

                                                                              About? I'd say it's about what Flaubert famously wanted to write a novel about: nothing. (Note that "nothing" is non-pejorative in this context.)

                                                                              I visited Mozza for the first time last week and found its pizza (in size, and density and texture of crust) a lot like the pizza I remember from Antica Pizzeria in MDR. (Though it's been a few years since I ate there.) Similar but better. (I had the goat cheese, leeks, scallions, and bacon. Delicious.)

                                                                              My bill would have been reasonable if they'd had a few inexpensive wines by the glass. Good thing I was in the mood to drop $17 on a quartino (250ml) of first rate Italian red. (Though I can't remember if it was a Nebbiolo or Lambrusco.)

                                                                              The noise level was excruciating, and it was just as well I dropped in there solo, with book, on a whim.

                                                                              1. re: PlonkMan
                                                                                Jerome Dec 19, 2008 11:42 PM

                                                                                just had the other day... a lovely nice very italian like in italy pizza at pomodoro restaurant (not the chain) on westwood blvd, 1393 or so, across from the borders books.

                                                                                fantastic margherita (margarita, can never remember how to spell it).

                                                                                that is all.

                                                                                1. re: PlonkMan
                                                                                  Adsvino Dec 20, 2008 09:32 AM

                                                                                  In size and appearance the Mozza pizza slightly resembles the MDR Antica. In taste and texture not at all. I far prefer the classic Naples style pie to the Mozza creation, which I really have no name for (and agree with the OP above, is really a foccacia derivative).

                                                                            2. j
                                                                              josephnl Dec 20, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                                              Agree with you completely. Mozza (both of them) are the most incredibly hyped restaurants in Los Angeles. In my opinion (and I know I am in the minority, but certainly not alone) they serve mediocre food in an unbelievably uncomfortable and noisy setting, and with extremely uneven service. After feeling ripped off on more than one occasion, I will definitely not return to either Mozza. If I want good Italian food in L.A., I save my bucks and go to Valentino where the food is outstanding and guests are treated with respect and graciousness.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                                a_and_w Dec 20, 2008 10:38 AM

                                                                                I disagree re the food, but I have to say, I've been underwhelmed by the service at Osteria Mozza myself.

                                                                                1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                  epop Mar 25, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                                                  concur with a and w

                                                                              2. SaltCod Dec 20, 2008 11:46 AM

                                                                                If you put one of Mozza's "pizzas" in front of 100,000 Americans and said, "What is that?", 99,999 of them will say "That's a pizza". That's good enough for me.

                                                                                Even better is to just call the place a breadhead's wet dream, which is what I consider it. Yum!

                                                                                1. dotrat Dec 20, 2008 01:13 PM

                                                                                  oh please! these arguments about what is/isn't pizza are SO boring (yawn). i was born/raised in boston & love Regina's Pizza and at the same time I LOVE Mozza. No they're not the same and so what?! apples & oranges.....once again (big yawn).

                                                                                  1. bernardo Dec 20, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                                                    My personal epiphany perhaps was on a trip to Italy where chowing down on pizza in Milan & Rome had convinced me Italian pizza meant relatively thin and simple, with single or few toppings. And then on to Vico Equense south of Naples home of "L'università della Pizza", or more properly "Pizza al Metro", apparently well known throughout Naples, the Amalfi peninsula & beyond. What surprised me was how varied the pizza was in style, thickness and toppings, what sacrilege, who'd thunk it? Ma questa è la vita......

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: bernardo
                                                                                      Jerome Dec 20, 2008 05:00 PM

                                                                                      E la vita è così.

                                                                                      the antica is thick, burnt on the edges and very neapolitan.

                                                                                      the one at pomodoro was like the ones I had in Milan (ithis is English, no o).

                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                      toptentipster Dec 20, 2008 05:23 PM

                                                                                      I agree. Too much for too little. Give me pepperoni pizza from a coal-oven pizza anytime. Just thin, chewy dough with that unmistakable charcoal flavor, tangy tomato sauce and REAL pepperoni a la Grimaldi's. It doesn't have to be fancy to be good!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: toptentipster
                                                                                        josephnl Dec 20, 2008 07:55 PM

                                                                                        Right on! A good pepperoni pizza from any good local pizza joint is heaven compared to Mozza's overly hyped bread with "artisanal" toppings any day....and for a quarter of the price!

                                                                                        1. re: toptentipster
                                                                                          a_and_w Dec 21, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                                                          I think we can all agree that a coal-oven pizza place would be a godsend in LA. But it's just not going to happen.

                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                          lakeshow318 Dec 21, 2008 01:24 AM

                                                                                          pizza in my mind is bread with toppings. mozza is definitely more in tune with what pizza is in napoli than the bastardized greased cardboard stuff you get on the east coast. sorry, but mozza tastes good. i won't apologize for good food.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: lakeshow318
                                                                                            Frommtron Dec 22, 2008 10:28 AM

                                                                                            Quote: "mozza is definitely more in tune with what pizza is in napoli than the bastardized greased cardboard stuff you get on the east coast."

                                                                                            Yes. This is the truth.

                                                                                            1. re: Frommtron
                                                                                              rogerthat Dec 27, 2008 07:24 AM

                                                                                              If you want to get a "real pepperoni NYC style pizza" then go one of the million hole in the wall pizza shops in NYC and get yourself some, it is delicious and cheap, you'll be psyched. I am thinking that since this sort of pizzeria is pretty much well established in most East Coast cities, Nancy Silverton did not feel the need to open another one. She did however feel the need to open Mozza which as best as I can figure, is not meant to be like the hole in the wall NYC joints.
                                                                                              If you really want to torture yourself and challenge what you consider to be the singular meaning of the word "pizza", I suggest you go out with a well to do friend to Mozza for lunch, allow them to fork over the 15 or whatever bucks is costs for a simple pizza, close your eyes and take a bite of the pizza. I bet it tastes real good, whatever the heck you want to call it. The end result will be you HAPPY after having enjoyed some divine food, and not wining about how much it cost.

                                                                                          2. Frommtron Dec 29, 2008 04:22 PM

                                                                                            I think it's worth noting that what we widely consider thin-crust pizza is not what you'd likely be served in Naples. It's much lighter and . . . fluffier than the crispy, cracker-like crust we associate with "authentic" thin-crust pizza.

                                                                                            That kind of pizza is much more likely to be had in other areas to the north.

                                                                                            So while I completely agree with A_and_W insofar as Silverton is really doing her own thing, I would say that her pizza is closer to Neapolitan pizza than the average "utilty" slice (to borrow a phrase from Bourdain) you'd get in any number of places in NYC.

                                                                                            The point of Mozza is really this, though: You've got one of the best bakers in the city (if not the country), whom single-handedly made panna cotta and burrata household words by the way, making pizza in your backyard. Oh yeah, she's teamed up with the premiere Italian chef in the country. Complain about the prices and the service if you must, but rest assured, it certainly is pizza. I say stop debating the semantics and start eating.

                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                              moltomangia Mar 25, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                                              I could NOT disagree more. REAL pizza this, REAL pizza that: whatever; WHO CARES. I've eaten pizza all over from Italy to Boston, to Chicago to Toronto, to San Francisco and New York. This pizza is to DIE for, plain and simple. The crust, let's just say you bite into it and the top layer shatters into crispy shards and the inside is delightfully lighty, yet chewy. The toppings are double delicious and the Chicken Liver Bruschetta is unbelievable and I DON"T even LIKE chicken livers. Oh, and the butterscotch pudding is incredible--but I digress.....the pizza is phenomenal, I don't care if it's called real, fake, California, foccacia, or a donut!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: moltomangia
                                                                                                josephnl Mar 25, 2010 04:04 PM

                                                                                                Glad you like it, and many will agree with you, but many will very strongly disagree with you. I don't know of any restaurant in L.A. that causes such incredible diversity of opinion. I for one can't stand the place, but others like yourself adore it. Go figure!

                                                                                              2. OC Mutt Mar 25, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                                                                You're right. So don't go there. The rest of us will be quite happy to have one less person to compete against for reservations.

                                                                                                1. PommeDeGuerre May 4, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                                                  To the OP and some of the others (old as some of the replies may be), Mozza may not be "Pizza" to you, but Pizza surely wishes it was Mozza.

                                                                                                  1. sarahbeths Aug 12, 2010 06:02 PM

                                                                                                    To Original Poster- I agree with you! But what a can of gourmet worms to open, some people just LOVE mozza's stuff-whether it be pizza,bread, etc.

                                                                                                    I actually ate there a month after it opened and spent 2 weeks writing a very heavyhearted yelp review of my disappointment. It was naive of me, but I thought since Batali's name was attached it would be like eating pizza in Italy (which i've done a lot of but could never do enough of) and found it be more like puffy sourdough with a tiny smear of sauce (good sauce, but can barely taste it with all the puffy sourdough) and a tease-inducing portion of melted cheese (and other buzzword toppings that allow the pizza to be expensive and popular) .

                                                                                                    I have tried to give it another chance when it was served at parties now that my expectations had adjusted, but alas, I do not care for that pizza.

                                                                                                    My favorite pizza in the la area is antica in marina del rey, the closest to real italian i have had, though some days they charr the crust too much and it gets a little bitter.

                                                                                                    BTW, How annoying are those eat pray love ads with "I'm in a relationship with my pizza" in gigantic type? ; )

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: sarahbeths
                                                                                                      epop Aug 13, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                                                      Hyper-annoying. To the point where I think that movie deserves a boycott.

                                                                                                      I like Antica the most too.

                                                                                                      1. re: sarahbeths
                                                                                                        bulavinaka Sep 18, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                                                                        >>BTW, How annoying are those eat pray love ads with "I'm in a relationship with my pizza" in gigantic type? ; )<<

                                                                                                        I can get on the wagon of a person seeking out the true meaning of what aspects of life have evaded her up to this point. The title, "Eat Pray Love," has three vital aspects to it - the need to nourish the body, soul and heart. However, the ads give one the sense that the title should have been, "Eat Eat Burp." Is the studio trying to pull us into this movie by capitalizing on not only our culture's inability to control our appetites, but also the trendiness of being so-called foodies?

                                                                                                        We love Antica as well, and yes - sometimes they do let the crusts get a little too black. I rationalize that my "burn" rate would be at least three times their's, so I shrug and eat on. The one other complaint that some have consistently brought up about Antica is the moisture from the fresh mozzarella bleeding through on the margarita pizza. Whether or not this is officially acceptable is not the issue in my eyes. It obviously takes away from the experience for many. We were at Pit Fire Pizza on Washington the other night and had a similar pizza but they schmeered ricotta on the pizza instead, along with FM heirloom tomatoes. I found this to be not only a good way to circumvent the moisture pooling issue, but the ricotta has a more luxuriant mouthfeel and richer flavor, and the brighter sharper flavors from the heirloom tomatoes made this pizza my new favorite margarita-style pizza for now.

                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                                                          maxzook Sep 18, 2010 02:14 PM

                                                                                                          "Eat Eat Burp" is a movie I would pay to see.

                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                        Ashleylala Sep 20, 2010 03:45 AM

                                                                                                        Well put! I too was disappointed, especially with their tomato sauce! Where's the tang? If I closed my eyes, I'd have sworn it was a cream based sauce. It was crisp and unique, but definitely didn't fit my idea of pizza. And the mushroom one was funky as hell.

                                                                                                        I LOVE THE PIZZA PLACE AT THE WYNN AND I WISH TO GOD WE COULD HAVE PIZZA LIKE THAT HERE!!!!

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Ashleylala
                                                                                                          kevin Sep 20, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                                                          what's the wynn? more details, please.

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                                                                            Servorg Sep 20, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                                                            Las Vegas hotel.

                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                          cutop Mar 11, 2011 12:29 PM

                                                                                                          I love Mozza. Sure, it's not your typical American pizza. But they sure serve up some yummy pies. And their desserts? Fughettaboutit! Holy moly! Whoever thought olive oil ice cream would be so delicious. Amazing!

                                                                                                          1. f
                                                                                                            foodiemahoodie Mar 12, 2011 12:17 AM

                                                                                                            Uh...hm, how do I respond without getting kicked off? Not easy. Listen, there isn't a pizza chef in the city who would say this isn't pizza. Because it doesn't fit your definition of pizza? Okay, fine. That's it then!

                                                                                                            I love the fact that your reference for pizza comes from....Boston! Why not Italy? Where you find all manners of pizza - and far more breadlike than Mozza.

                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                                                                              maxzook Mar 12, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                                                                              Note that the OP posted almost four-and-a-half years ago, and never responded to the thread.

                                                                                                              And did I ever tell you how much I hate Urasawa? ;D

                                                                                                              1. re: maxzook
                                                                                                                kevin Mar 12, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                You don't like Urasawa? Wow, the first person to have mentioned that.

                                                                                                                Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                1. re: kevin
                                                                                                                  Servorg Mar 12, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                  Too difficult to floss the gold flake out from between the molars...

                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                    kevin Mar 12, 2011 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                    mmm, gold flakes.

                                                                                                                2. re: maxzook
                                                                                                                  foodiemahoodie Mar 12, 2011 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                  Mazook. You HATE Urasawa (why did you post that here BTW? and how could anyone hate Urasawa?) but list Musso & Frank's as one of your five favorite restaurants?

                                                                                                                  We have different tastes.

                                                                                                                  Urasawa Restaurant
                                                                                                                  218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                                                                  1. re: maxzook
                                                                                                                    maxzook Mar 12, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                    IRONY ALERT, people. Jeesh.

                                                                                                                    I. Do. Not. Hate. Urasawa.

                                                                                                                    My point is, the way to get 100 responses without having anything to say is to bash a restaurant that almost everyone likes (if not loves, in Mozza's case.)

                                                                                                                    It's called trolling.

                                                                                                                    1. re: maxzook
                                                                                                                      foodiemahoodie Mar 12, 2011 10:25 PM

                                                                                                                      Sorry Mazook! Funny, but it just dawned on me a few minutes ago that - he must have been kidding. Hard to read irony in a post. (what's the emoticon for irony? Is there one). And I'm in the irony biz.

                                                                                                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                                                                                                        GlenBlank Mar 13, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                        "what's the emoticon for irony? Is there one"

                                                                                                                        Sure. (Let's see if this works here):

                                                                                                                        <Fe>This is irony</Fe>

                                                                                                                        There ya go. :-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: GlenBlank
                                                                                                                          OC Mutt Mar 13, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                          That's hilarious. Thanks for that!

                                                                                                                          1. re: GlenBlank
                                                                                                                            maxzook Mar 14, 2011 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                            You have no idea how many times that would have saved me. Thank you.

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