Mozza update-no squash blossoms
Made the pilgrimage last night from Irvine to experience the much heralded Mozza and its infamous stuffed squash blossoms.After telling my wife how wonderful they sound in the reviews,we arrived to find the blossoms nowhere to be found on the menu.I thought there must have been a typo to the menu,but after asking the waitstaff why they werent listed,I was advised they had all died do to the heavy freeze in some part of the world,and would not have them for some unknown period of time.Feeling great disappointment,we quickly ordered the winter caprese to forget our woes.The dish was perfect and absolutely delicious.Our Margarita pizza,however,was overcooked and not impressive.I think we will wait for the squash blossoms before returning.
I was there last week, and missed the squash blossoms, too. I dream of them.
I've been there about four times now. It was tough to get reservations on a Tuesday. We wanted to try the duck, so it had to be that day. I think we had to wait three weeks...and at that, only had two choices--5 and 10. We took the 5 and by the time we left (7:30?) the place was busy but not totally full. There were seats at the bar--especially the wine bar.
By the way, I thought the duck was good. My friend, who is a chef, LOVED it. I've never seen her as enthusiastic about a dish.
We also had a pizza--potato, rosemary, radicchio? Very nice.
And lovely wines, including a very nice Sangiovese.
I really like this place, and agree that going off hours is the way to get around the reseration issue.
My wife and I went to Mozza last weekend - in spite of the hype, not because of it.
The place is a joy, undiminished by lack of squash blossoms. We had:
Arancine alla Bolognese - Delightful, though plainly undersalted - the only "disappointment."
Brussel sprouts with proscuitto breadcrumbs - Delightful, too tasty to be considered a mere vegetable.
Bruschette with chicken livers, capers, parsley and guanciale - Rich and delicious and generously portioned. A taste explosion.
Pizza with burrata, braised bacon, and escarole - Divine. Whether it is technically pizza or not (as some have argued), it is simply as good as it gets.
Lamb stracotto - Terrific lamb shank, tender and perfect, in wonderful sauce and on top of smooth and creamy polenta. For $20, which is less than other lamb shanks of lesser quality.
Three kinds of sorbet - pear, cassis, and blood orange - fabuloso.
Butterscotch budino - Wonderful, although we agreed it could have used more caramel and no cream.
Three pourings of wine - rosata, sangiovese, and nebbiolo - all priced as a single pour but served in a small carafe that gave both of us a fair sized glass of each wine. All were very tasty and not punishingly expensive.
Total bill, including nice tip: $135.
I don't know if it is possible to eat as much food and wine as we had anywhere else for that kind of quality at that price.
We stopped in after an early concert on Tuesday night and while it was still pretty hopping at 10:30pm, we were seated right away with no reservations. So, off hours seem to be a good bet...
and we also got the same explanation when I asked about the much-vaunted squash blossoms. Oh well - I'll try them another time.
Not surprised. It is winter, and there was a heavy freeze a month or so ago that destroyed a lot of citrus and tender greens in the San Joaquin valley. Best bet is to go during summer. Squash is normally a summer staple.
I don't see it as a supply problem. A good restaurant should always adjust their menu to offer up the best quality ingredients available at that time. I rather have that than plasticky tomatoes and bland strawberries in the winter.
The day I visited Mozza, they were out of the arancini bolognese. I had read good things about them, so I was excited to try. The first time around I went, they were out of pizza dough (at lunch time, no less). It's sad to hear that they're still having supply problems, but it looks like the squash freeze is out of their control.
That's just the risk of a place like Mozza that REALLY puts it's emphasis on fine ingredients. The menu DOES indeed change due to availability (I know I missed out on the Lardo pizza when I went :( ). The best thing to do if you have your heart SET on something is call the day of the reservation. That way you can check if it's there, and if there is LIMITED quanitities, in most cases they will hold the ingridients for you before they sell out.
My wife and I went for lunch on Friday and were told the same thing. We also were really looking forward to trying the squash blossoms after having a very tasty version at Onotria.
We did however enjoy a wonderful bottle of Italian sparkling wine, these tasty deep fried ricotta balls, chicken liver & guanciale crostini and three pizzas. Everything was very tasty. I rolled out of there.