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Aug 13, 2007 02:14 PM

Osteria Mozza - Bummer

8:00PM res this past Saturday. Very excited. We sat down immediately upon arrival, and then met our waiter about 10 minutes later. Appetizers came about 8:30 - pigs trotter (very good), burrata with bacon (awesome) - at the same time another couple arrives and sits next to us. Food is good though -so far, so good. Then, our empty appetizer plates sit there for THIRTY minutes. We haven't been offered bread yet. I ask for bread (every other table in the place had bread) and finally get it around 9:15, when our pasta shows up (orrichiette, awesome) and the couple next to us gets their pasta. We both finish around the same time and it is picked up same time. Couple next to us gets their mains about 9:45...ours show up around 10:15!!! We had the exact same thing!!! Hangar Steak (whatever), Fra Diavlo (nice). Overall, some of the shittiest service I had ever had. The jerk actually looked offended when I ASKED for bread. It is too bad because the food is great and everyone else was having a great experience, except for us, who unfortunately got sat in Buddy Holly's section. Lame. Also waaaaaaaaaay overestimated the "fine" element of this "fine dining" establishment. Lots of jeans and t-shirts. Hollywood douchebag invasion.

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    1. should have sat in marilyn's section.
      i'm a fan of eating at the cheese bar where nancy keeps her eye on everything. service there should never be an issue.

      1. I agree- we ate there on friday night - the food was really good, but the service was very bad. All of our "mozarella" dishes were really yummy - very rich. I also had the orichiette which was good too - al dente and also very rich. We did get bread, and it was worth the wait. OUr wine service was terrible - they tried to serve it to the table next to us, and then came back 2 times before getting it right. I hope that they can improve the service.
        I dont mind jeans and t-shirts - who needs to dress up - this is la- no one wears a jacket anywhere.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chef74

          Try sitting at the bar next time...either the booze bar or the cheese bar...service is better there and it really fits in with the New York vibe this place seems to have. Great great great food here. I agree that bad service at a rest. this expensive is UNACCEPTABLE but the food is so darn good you have to give this place some time to get everything right.

        2. I'm sorry, but c'mon, get over it. Two of your dishes you describe as awesome, another very good. You got seated on time. Some of the service was shaky but this is a restaurant that was jammed from day 1 and isn't even a month old. Sounds like you focus on your wine glass being half empty instead of half full.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            I wouldn't call that shaky, I'd call it unforgiveable.

            Service is part of what you pay for when dining out, especially in a place like Mozza.

            I would have definitely spoken calmly to the manager.

            1. re: nosh

              Osteria Mozza is one of top 5 ristorantes in LA. Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Pease give it another try. The Mussels, Orrrchiette, Cheese, Orata etc, and the Dining room make this place very specal in LA.

              1. re: PaliBruin

                Unfortunately, the service at Osteria Mozza quite often seems to scuttle everything that makes the place special. Reading the threads here, it seems to be a recurring theme across the board. No matter how lovely any room is or how great the food, when the service is atrocious, that is often all one remembers.

              2. re: nosh

                I completely disagree with you here... when you pay the kind of money I am sure they are charging you expect stellar service across the board. Something as important as service should never be overlooked, there are enough places with "awesome food" and "awesome" service to go with it... For people that don't have a lot of money, going out to a place like this could be a special treat and to have it ruined by someone who thinks that they are soo above serving you dinner because they might be casted in the next Meryl Streep movie, is unforgivable. Maybe you just haven't had shitty service at a place where you wouldn't have expected it.

              3. I had a wonderful meal there last week...but oddly enough, had the same experience you did with bread. I am from the school – and I waited tables for many years – that if you serve someone drinks and a good basket of bread quickly soon after they are seated, and serve them a great cup of coffee at the end, you can ride over a lot of problems. And with a new restaurant such as Osteria Mozza, when you see everyone around you enjoying they drinks and bread and no one gives you any, you can feel quite slighted. It is a new place and things fall through the cracks. So the fact the bread was forgotten at our table did not bother me. What did bother me was the ‘What the %#$^?” attitude I received when I did ask for bread, well after our appetizers appeared. It’s just a damn basket of bread, don’t be so annoyed I want to try it (and it was quite good indeed.) I loved the food and will happily return – and yes, the coffee was excellent. But something is going wrong with the initial approach to tables, which is perhaps the most important part of a dining experience, it can define the entire night.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Tom P

                  I would prefer a more traditional basket-style service for the bread at Osteria Mozza as opposed to the wandering bread service they have now. At my table, everyone seemed to think they only got one piece of the three styles offered (white, wheat, or whole-grain), and when the bread guy passed by the next time, I was the only one who took a piece of each. My gluttony was punished when my fellow diners ended up snatching my surplus bread before I got to eat it, and I never saw the bread guy the rest of the evening. If the bread was brought by one's regular server, one wouldn't have to keep looking around for the one special guy roving about with the bread tray when wanting a refill, and diners wouldn't feel the need to limit themselves just to one slice at a time.

                  1. re: Woolsey

                    i'm a big fan of the wandering bread service. this not only keeps my carb intake in check but allows for more real estate in my belly to eat the real food.

                    1. re: wilafur

                      I am sorry to say I also had a similar experience at Osteria Mozza, this passed Friday evening. And if you're interested enough to look at my prior posts, I have been nothing but a HUGE fan of Silverton, Batali and Co.

                      It started with having to wait over 45 minutes for our table...For a 9:30 reservation! I was famished and getting tipsy after my wine at the very crowded bar. Once seated our server came over, eventually, and I must say he was lovely and extremely sweet. However, we got the wrong antipasti and mozz bar plates. We were confused at first as some of them were correct, but quickly realized they belonged to the table adjacent to us. The staff were great, and rectified the situation by sending us one of the apps we ordered. We kept the first round as well.

                      The sad thing is everything we tried (whether we had ordered it or not) was really very good. The octopus was delicious as were the mussels and the burrata dishes. Our sommelier was fantastic as well, but I was sorry to hear she is based out of Mario's Vegas Restaurant and would be heading back there shortly.

                      Our pasta arrived shortly after that and everyone was impressed and happy again. They comped us a bottle of great wine. Big ups for the fresh ricotta and egg raviolo, goat cheese ravioli (must LOVE goat cheese) and the agnolotti.

                      our entress took FOREVER! Almost another hour to arrive. By then, we were stuffed, pretty tanked and ready to go home. I asked that it all be wrapped up and went outside to get some air. When I got back, they had ignored my request and brought the entrees...and ANOTHER bottle wine.

                      It was really a nice gesture, but at this point we'd been at the restaurant for over 3 hours!! I had a few bites, and yes, drank some of the wine, and asked for them to box up the rest. Entrees again, were excellent with special note to the quail that my friend ordered. Not something I would have selected, but unanimously the best entree choice of the table.

                      So all in all, very mixed feelings. Have to give them props for amazing fare. Consistent, inventive and overall scrumptious. Also the TWO bottles of amzing and well chosen wine. But the service? Waiting almost an hour for your table, getting the order wrong and then waiting another 45 minutes for an entree? Especially knowing that we were already a slightly disgruntled table..? I am on the fence. I think I will give them some time to get it together.

                      In the meantime...I wouldn't be opposed to eating at the mozz bar early on in an evening. And I would definitely go back to the Pizzeria where I've had three delicious, and well served meals.

                      1. re: kellydeez

                        Kelly, I feel your pain and realize things should have gone better in an ideal universe. But you had a 9:30 reservation on a Friday night at the hottest restaurant in town, which isn't even a month old. They got backed up and they comped you a bunch of wine and food to make up.

                        I just don't understand the bitterness. This is the HOTTEST new restaurant in town (ok, I'll consider Craft) and you reserved the last real seating on a Friday night. OF COURSE they are going to be backed up. They have been open a month at best! You enjoyed the food. They bent over backwards to correct any flaws. Comps galore!

                        I view your post as a compliment to Osteria Mozza. If you demand perfect, kidglove treatment with absolutely no inadvertant delays or missteps, then make your weekend reservation at the Hotel Bel-Air at 7:00 and be pampered, pay the price, be fawned upon, and eat their upscale hotel food. Do NOT go to a popular new restaurant.

                        1. re: nosh

                          Nosh: If you read my review thoroughly, you'd see it was very complimentary but honest. This is not the first "hot" new restaurant that I have been to, and as you see at the bottom, I even said I'd venture back and sit at the bar.

                          I do not think it's being ridiculous to say that spending 3 1/2 hours at a restaurant was a little too long. I felt I gave then their due credit, but realized it might take some time to make it better. I see a lot of potential there, maybe that did not come through clear enough.

                          On the other hand, I dined at the Pizzeria the first week and subsequent times after and have NEVER had anything close to this experience as far as wait time and screwing up the order. So you do the math, I guess. I noticed a few other tables that night getting upset and we met a group outside that had a similar experience and got their whole meal comped. It's nice that the restaurant did the right thing, but service is paramount at a fine dining restaurant and after spending $450 for 4 people (and that is after the comped wine), I expected a little better.

                          1. re: kellydeez

                            The Pizzeria has also been overbooking their reservations. I was just there last Tuesday and was seated at around 10:20 for a 9:30 reservation. Again, on a Tuesday. Not a Friday here, and not at a place open for just a month. When we got there at 9:20 there were at least 6 parties of 4 ahead of us, and we all had reservations and were all waiting. They clearly overbooked.

                            To be fair, within minutes of sitting down a free appetizer was brought to the table, so that at least made me less annoyed. Not because of the food (between 4 people it was like 2 bites anyway), but because it was basically an admission of them screwing up. Apologies go a long way!

                          2. re: nosh

                            nosh, I don't feel like Kelly is being unreasonable or overreacting to her blog. All in all I feel like she posted a more than favorable review to a new restaurant. But when you are paying upwards of $400.oo dollars for a meal out your expectations tend to run as high as the bill. Working in the restaurant business and having been on the opening staff of a couple new restaurants I have expectations as to how well the restaurant is run as far as seating, service, and food times. I happened to be at the osteria with Kelly and the wait time far exceded a normal wait time for even a very busy restaurant. And the mishaps with the appetizers was a bit annoying not only for our table but the table next to us whom ordered those dishes well in advance of ours. Yes they did a great job in trying to turn around our experience with treating us like family. The service was outstanding and the food ( at least most of it ) was very good. But its hard to enjiy yourself when you were suppossed to be seated at 9:30 you get seated around 10:30, it takes around 45 minutes to get your first course, another 45 for your pasta and at least an hour for your entree. All new retaurants have growing pains and you have to accept that, but between my multiple smoke breaks, I would say 2 out of 4 groups had at least part of their meal comped over time issues. At least they are addressing it and making sure their guest feel compensated. But after dropping over 2 bills for our dinner I would have rather had paid for our meal entirely than being comped some wine and having our entrees boxed up. I don't feel like my expectations were too high I feel like the osteria grossly dropped the ball. I left a little drunk, and disappointed. I'm sure they will turn it around if the pizzeria is any indication but I would give it a good few months.

                        2. re: wilafur

                          Agreed. I hate having a bread basket on the table, which is totally inelegant to my mind. (Plus, it's too easy to graze on bread if it's right in front of you. I'd rather focus on the meal itself.) I don't want to feel like I'm eating at a low-end Italian chain at a place like Osteria Mozza. In fact, the wandering bread service seems to be the norm at most of the restaurants I enjoy (such as Babbo in NYC, or Hatfield's here.)

                          We happened to have had a very positive first experience at Osteria Mozza. We had to wait a bit at the bar despite our reservation, but service was pleasant and efficient (bordering on too efficient, actually -- stuff came out fast!) and the food was quite good, especially the mozzarella specialties and the pastas.


                      2. re: Tom P

                        I completely agree with this: the initial approach is at least half of the experience. And I don't think the fact that this is the hottest restaurant in town is any excuse to not get this right. I recently had lousy experiences at Ford's Filling Station and Charcoal that were entirely due to bad service. At Ford's, we had an identical experience with the phantom bread basket; we had to ask for it, and we never did get it, even though we were told at one point that it was taking so long because it "had just gone in the oven." The table next to us, seated after us, got bread, and it looked damned good. There are a lot of carbo-phobes in this town, but I'm not one of them, and when I go to a restaurant that's reputed to have great food, I want to try as much of it as possible, including the bread.