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Lardo Pizza At Mozza...What's All the Fuss About?

Over the past few months I've tried the egg, blossom and burrata, margherita, and sausage and fennel pizzas at Mozza and have loved them all. Since the opening, Chowhounders have been raving about the lardo pizza. My last few visits it has been absent from the menu. Yesterday, however, it was on the menu. When it arrived at the table i thought, "Oh, how minimal...that lardo must be a flavor bomb!" You see, this pizza was just the crust, thin slices of lardo, and a sprinkling of rosemary. It basically tasted like pizza crust with extra-rich salty butter (lardo) and rosemary. Which wasn't bad being that I love Mozza pizza crust and rich salty butter isn't bad either but I felt I was missing something. I thought there would be more depth of flavor in the lardo. All in all it felt a bit blah. I'm glad I tried it but am I missing something here?

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  1. I think it's just the fact that it's LARDO ... I guess people just like fatty meats, who knows. Never been a fan myself.

    I like the egg pizza the best. It's like when you get a hot bowl of noodle soup (or ramen) and crack an egg over it. So delicious.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I like the egg pizza, too.

      I shall re-create it at home! And save a bundle!

      1. re: ipsedixit

        The grand irony is that the Egg Pizza (Which I also love) is WAY more rich than the Lardo (Had the two side by side recently). The Lardo is great when you want to really enjoy the nuances of Nancy's Crust. The Egg Pizza is great when the only thing you want the crust for, is to hold up all that Oozy Goodness... :D

        --Dommy!

      2. I had it a couple of weeks ago and sadly it didn't translate as I had hoped. Idealy what it is supposed to do is highlight the crust... the Lardo is supposed to be melty, salty, herbal.

        Sadly my Lardo was not at that point, it was solid, the flavors didn't release as well... Perhaps that was your experience...

        In a way, it's supposed to be like the Emperors New Clothes... Idealy it's about nothing... but flavor..

        --Dommy!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dommy

          I think my lardo experience mimicked yours. Nothing herbal really came through for me. It was like paying 14 dollars for pizza crust slathered in rich salty butter.

          1. re: love2eat

            Yeah, that is pretty much what you pay for. I CAN totally see how that would be dispointing and feel like a rip (I felt that way about Nancy's Chopped Salad! :P). Next time I think you'd be better off ordering a Sausage... And hey, at aleast you gave it a shot. :)

            --Dommy!

            1. re: love2eat

              Oh god, that actaully sounds soooo good right now. Not the $14 part, though.

          2. I adore the lardo pizza, it's my favorite one on the menu. It's that combination of crispy charred crust with the melting sweet/saltiness of the lardo that lends a whole other dimension of richness. It is definitely subtle but absolutely unlike anything else.

            1. I have not had lardo before (Mozza ran out when I went!) but I suspect it's a lot like the pork aspic my fiance makes sometimes. We love it: cold bits of pork and fat suspended in its own gelee, with soy sauce and cilantro. Most of our friends say it's flavorless and borderline disgusting.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Pei

                Nope, that is more like Head Cheese...

                Lardo is basically the layer of pork fat under the skin that has been cured. As noted, it's supposed to just MELT like butter... here's a picture of the kind that Armando Batalli makes.

                http://www.salumicuredmeats.com/produ...

                I believe that Mozza cures their own...

                --Dommy!

                1. re: Dommy

                  Holy heart attack...J would love it. Thx!

              2. Would anyone be waxing eloquently about Mozza if it wasn't owned by Silverton/Batali?
                And, I know this question has been raised before but please...how many more discussions must be had about the burnt crust and flavorless toppings at this restaurant? Soon it will be sold like La Brea was and no one will care anymore. Why, in 2007, is making pizza dough such rocket science?

                5 Replies
                1. re: iwannaeat

                  well I'm happy to hear that there is one less person I have to compete for reservations... If you can name a better pizza in the city let alone, the US, please recommend cause I've never had anything better and I've had everything from Di-Fara's to Zachary's and they pale in comparison to the pies from Mozza's ovens.

                  1. re: Tacomato

                    Hi Folks: just a brief note to ask you to keep your responses concentrated on better pizza in the LA area.

                    1. re: Tacomato

                      Have you tried Angeli or Spago? Since I can't discuss restaurants outside of LA, I can't post the laundry list of other great pizzas to be found in the country.
                      I think I'll pose your question about pizza in the greater US to the New York and Chicago boards and see what they suggest as the best pizza in their city.

                    2. re: iwannaeat

                      That operation is ridiculous: the pizza was decent, the sides stank, and the space was senseless--so where did they get the impression that they could get away with crap service? The NYT write up clinched it. I haven't eaten very much in LA, but I find it hard to believe Mozza is most exciting thing happening in terms of pizza. Someone please tell me it's a very different story at Otto

                      1. re: iwannaeat

                        I think that, yes, people would still be excited about Mozza, Batali and Silverton aside. The pizza's good, the salads are good, the food is good. Is it the best food in town, bar none? No. Does the service have issues? Yes. But look at the prices. For pizzas of comparable size and simplicity, they are on the same price point as the awful California Pizza Kitchen, which maintains an astonishing level of popularity that continues to confound me.

                        As for the lardo pizza, it is intriguing, a bit like a deconstructed focaccia. I'm glad I had it. Part of me thinks it was a bit overrated, and part of me thinks it was a wonderfully simple treat. I would say it's great to have once, but probably only once.