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Mozza -- Batali in DA HOUSE!

Was just at Mozza today for a late lunch -- report to follow.

The big guy himself, Mario Batali, was there, checking all the dishes as they came out. Of course I went up to say 'hi' and tell him how much I'd enjoyed the meal.

I really did.

There's been so much hype on this board about this place (whether or not it's really pizza etc etc)

All I can say is -- our lunch was fantastic and it absolutely lived up to my high expectations. More later...

Mario says he'll be there 'till Thursday, so if you wanna meet the man, here's a chance to do so, and dine well while you're at it.

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  1. Did he mean through Thursday or leaving thursday? Do you know?

    1. Well, that was unclear, but I'd venture to guess through Thurs...

      1. Just called Mozza, but they weren't too sure how long Mario would be in town. "I don't know -- a couple of days, I believe," was the reply, which makes me think through Thurs could be right.

        Hope that helps.

        1. maybe mr batali has the wherewithal to improve the bread with toppings they're serving

          1. Was just there, and yes, Mr. Batali is there standing conspicuously. Cool and all, but I lived in New York for years, and he was often around Otto and such.

            More importantly, I ignored the board consensus and quite enjoyed the Margarita. The arugula salad was fantastic. I highly recommend it. I hate to dissent, but I have to admit that previously I tried the burrata pizza -- people on the board seemed to like it -- and, really, I thought it was disgusting. I just don't find that cold slimy cheese and hot crisp bread mix. That said, they were bringing burrata pizzas by for the staff (who obviously know what's good), so I guess it is personal preference. The wine is great. The energy is even better. Mozza is a wonderful, and desperately needed, addition to LA.

            1. I was at Mozza for the first time last night (Wednesday) and yes, Batali was there again. We sat at the pizza bar right in front of Nancy Silverton and Batali pretty much just stood in the kitchen all night and oversaw everything. It's pretty amazing to see how organized the kitchen staff is. And besides Batali being there, a couple of hollywood stars were spotted and introduced themselves to Mario.

              Anyways, besides all that, the food was great but I was quite disappointed that they didn't have the Lardo Pizza on the menu as I was looking very forward to trying that. Anyone know the deal on the Lardo? I've read here that sometimes it's on the menu, sometimes not. Instead, I had the egg and guanciale pizza and it was delicious. My wife had the funghi misti and she was pleased with that as well. We are definitely going to go back soon. Hopefully next I will be able to try the Lardo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: martymitz

                I was there for lunch on Tuesday - Duck Leg day - and exchanged a few words with Mario who I knew from my NYC days. Nancy was not there then. I took home a menu, and the Lardo is on my menu. Do you mean it was not on the printed menu, or were they just not serving it that day? BTW, I have eaten it, and was not impressed. So far my favorite pizza is the fennel sausage, favorite bruschette is the chicken livers, favorite salad is tricolor. I wish they would add a little kick to the tomato sauce, and use a larger capacity ladle when they spread it on the dough.

              2. i was there too, but pretty late, i missed mr. batali, or else shoul've asked about the olive oil gelato.

                1. I was there last night around six. Mario and Nancy were both there as were Phil Rosenthal (the crator of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) James Brooks and a very dirty-looking Tom McGowan. The guy looked homeless. Sad.
                  The food was great. The service not so great. Loved the carmel custard and the blossoms. Clam pizza was also amazing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: smoochie

                    That wasn't McGowan.

                  2. I was there for lunch on Tuesday - Duck Leg day - and exchanged a few words with Mario who I knew from my NYC days. Nancy was not there then. I took home a menu, and the Lardo is on my menu. Do you mean it was not on the printed menu, or were they just not serving it that day? BTW, I have eaten it, and was not impressed. So far my favorite pizza is the fennel sausage, favorite bruschette is the chicken livers, favorite salad is tricolor. I wish they would add a little kick to the tomato sauce, and use a larger capacity ladle when they spread it on the dough.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: pizzafreak

                      Yeah, those duck legs coming out, on top of lentils, looked might fine.

                      I also had the fennel sausage pizza. I liked it a lot, even if the toppings were sparse.

                      But I'm confused -- did you request tomato sauce on your fennel sausage pizza? Bc it comes with panna (cream) and slivers of red onions. I was going to ask for the fennel sausage on a tom sauce base next time. And plenty of it.

                      1. re: pizzafreak

                        No, Lardo was definitely not on the printed menu on Wednesday night. And when I asked the server about it, she said they didn't have Lardo and that she didn't know when it would be back on the menu. I thought it to be very strange.

                        We sat at the pizza bar and it seemed that the most popular pizza that night was the squash blossom. I would say the fennel sausage was also largely requested that night.

                        1. re: martymitz

                          Huh. I was there on Tuesday night and had the lardo pizza. It was good, but I think that the sausage is best. That sausage and the dusting of fennel pollen makes it.

                          1. re: ken

                            ^ ditto -- I was there for Tuesday lunch, and -- like pizzafreak -- I took a menu home. Lardo is there, second from the bottom...

                            But I probably would order the fennel sausage pizza again over trying the lardo one for the first time. Fennel pollen!!

                            As for the intermittent availability of lardo pizza, isn't lardo a hand cured product made by families in one specific region of Italy, and that it's possibly difficult to obtain a reliable supply?

                            http://www.dolcevita.com/cuisine/lard...
                            scroll down to read about the 1996 "lard scandal"!

                            1. re: Maxmillion

                              Their Lardo is made by Armandino Batali, Mario's dad. It probably runs out due to the serious demand. Lardo is exquisite!

                      2. No, I haven't made any special requests yet, but down the road I intend to, like putting oregano on the Margheritta instead of basil. Nothing drastic.

                        1. both the margherita ans squash blossoms pizzas are good though not great. i like that it's open till midnight, so i can hit it up as a nightcap instead of dogs or chilburgers.