Mozza -- Two for three
I have now eaten at Mozza three times.
First time - fabulous. Wait=45 min. We sat at the pizza bar for dinner. Service was excellent, wine was amazing, and the squash blossoms and salad were tasty. We also had the chicken liver appetizer- I liked it to be sure, but thought AOC's was stronger, less salty and a bit better. My husband disagreed - he preferred Mozza's chicken liver app. Then...the pizza. The lardo pizza made me swoon (we also ordered the funghi and the sausage- we took some of each of those home). The rosemary with the lardo on that amazing crust...yumm. The fennel sausage pizza was also very good, and while I liked the funghi, I strongly preferred the other two. Then came dessert--the butterscotch pudding dessert blew me away. The sea salt really made the dessert. I took photos and plan to post them online, however, I figured this post was getting stale so I better not wait.
Visit #2 - Wait=55 min. We had to sit at the regular bar. It was a busy night and people were hovering and reaching over us the entire time. I found that annoying, but I tried to focus on the food (and company and wine!) The prosciutto di parma was probably the best I have ever had, the rucola salad was as good as the first visit, and the lardo pizza was amazing. We also had the squash blossom/burrata pizza. With the cold burrata, the pizza lost its heat completely, which I didn't love. However, other than the temperature, it was very tasty. We skipped dessert. We could not wait to go back.
Visit #3 - The only time I had reservations. There were 3 of us and we sat at what is normally a two-top (2 of us were put elbow to elbow on one side across from the other person). I would have complained but I saw another table set that way. Suffice it to say I would never go w/ 3 again -- it was uncomfortable. (Strike 1)
I ordered the wine and our server presented it to my husband - you may find me over-sensitive, but that annoys me. Then the server referred to me as "young lady" - isn't that normally reserved for pre-teens? (Weird, and also Strike 2)
I tried to order an order and a half of proscuitto, but the waiter came back to tell me they were already portioned out. That is ridiculous, btw. If it's on principle, fine, but is it that hard to move a slice of proscuitto?? I should have realized that meant they were not slicing to order, but I didn't think about that until later, and agreed 2 orders was ok. My mistake. The prosciutto was not in the ballpark of our previous visit. Don't get me wrong, it was not bad. But no need for 2 orders for 3 of us--it was no better than what I get at Whole Foods and eat at home. We also had the fried squash blossoms, which were good, and the rucola salad, which was extremely salty for some reason.
As for the pizza, the lardo pizza was no longer on the menu. We were extremely disappointed. We tried the clam pizza, the margherita, and the bacon and goat cheese. The clam pizza was awesome--smoky flavors, strong cheese--just delicious. The margherita was boring and did not look like those we saw Nancy prepare on our first visit (she snipped basil on top of those - ours had none). I did not try the other, but it did not get rave reviews, but was said to be good. Finally, even though I was stuffed, we ordered the butterscotch dessert and the affogato. The latter was great, but the butterscotch had no discernible sea salt, which changed the dessert from amazing to just good.
All of that added up to a third strike. I'm not saying I won't return. I definitely will. But I won't kill myself to get there the way I would have (and did) after my initial visit. It's good -- no question -- and sometimes it's great. But the consistency issue raises concern. Also, I beg of you, Nancy, bring back the lardo!!
Nice review. We live two blocks from Mozza, but haven't made it over yet. (Tried on Sunday, but couldn't deal with waiting an hour.) Still in all, it's not so surprising that a new restaurant would have some consistency problems. Hope they get them worked out, though.
What? Last week (Wednesday?) I went and was told there would be no lardo for awhile because it was being cured. Then hrhboo got some on Saturday? Hm...
As for the "young lady" comment, it annoys me unless the server calls everyone, including 80 year old women, young lady. But it takes a very special person to be able to say it without sounding offensive. And I think the server should pour the wine for whoever ordered it from him, male or female.
We enjoyed our meal at the bar (2 people) but we are not clamoring to go back. The food's a bit heavy across the board, not something I can eat often. It is a good value for LA, and worth putting into the rotation. I'm not sure if it's more than that.
I would also like them to hold the salt a little, but that might just be me. I always think everything's too salty.
I was there Thurs. So sounds like they must have taken the lardo pizza off the menu for just a few days (it was not on the printed menu). Glad to hear it is back.