Short Review of Mozza
- David Kahn Apr 16, 2007 03:05 PM
Well, I finally made to to dinner at Mozza (http://www.mozza-la.com/ ). I'm not usually very good at reserving months ahead, but in this case, I lucked out and was given a Saturday night reservation by a friend who had a conflict arise at the last minute. As a point of reference, my favorite pizza ever is Regina's in Boston's North End. (Preferably followed by a generous slice of ricotta pie at Modern Pastry.)
Anyway, as for Mozza, I didn't like the atmosphere. It was very loud and filled with hipsters, hard to talk, crowded, and not terribly comfortable. On the other hand, we had an 8 pm reservation, and were seated right away. There were six of us, and we shared everything, so I got to try lots of appetizers, seven different pizzas, and a bunch of desserts. Not everything was great, and one or two things were not to my liking at all. In particular, I didn't care for the chicken liver appetizer; something about the liver and lemon flavors was really off-putting to me.
All that said, many of the dishes we tried were very good, and several were outstanding. The fennel sausage pizza, the egg pizza, the squash blossom appetizer, and the speck appetizer were genuinely excellent. (While it's very different from the Regina's, the sausage pizza reminded me of Regina's in a good way.) Easily, the best pizza I've had in LA so far. (Although I haven't yet tried Vito's or Casa Bianca.) I thought the eggplant caponata appetizer kicked a**, and I really liked the spicy broccoli side dish. Finally, Mozza has the best butterscotch pudding I've ever tasted.
Service throughout was okay, in a bemused, hip, ironic sort of way. I also thought the wine selection was nice and liked that it included a number of unusual, moderately priced Italian reds. But really, it's the food that stands out. Overall, there are enough really good items on the menu that I would return notwithstanding the things I don't like about the place. Also, I'd like to try lunch at Mozza; bet the atmosphere would be more to my liking.
I've been for lunch & dinner and definitely recommend lunch over dinner -- it's still a full house and reservations are still required if you don't want to wait for a bar seat, but the crowd is older and much more mellow ~ all the partying hipsters are still nursing hangovers from the night before ;)
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I had the pizza margarita there and I wasn't impressed at all. It was like eating a slice of good bread, there was nothing special about it at all. Also I had the squash blossom appetizer, I was mostly tasting the fried part, the blossom losses it flavor in the frying processes or maybe there isn't that much to begin with. However, I would return to taste some of the other pizzas and for the vibe and look of the place is cool. But it's nothing I would rave about, it's a cool hangout...
That was not fiori di zucca ripeini that you had at Mozza. You had tempura. Zucchini blossoms are extremely flavorful. It is amazing and very sad that Mozza somehow was able to destroy the very unique and strong flavor of the blossom. People will now think the blossoms are tasteless greasy tempura which is very incorrect and not Italian at all. Mozza's zucchini blossoms are the worst I have ever eaten in my life in the U.S. and Italy.
Good to know. Where in Italy did you have the blossoms? From the north to the south, I never had the blossoms in Italy. However, hopefully I will go soon and look for them. Which region, city etc...do tell??
I'm not that impressed with Mozza. I think if the owners were different, I'm not sure it would get all the hype it gets now.