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It's my birthday: Anisette or Mozza?

wooster Jun 30, 2008 11:32 AM

Made reservations at both for next week. I haven't even seen the menu at Anisette, but it's definitely my kind of food. Anyone been to both?

If they could send over the marrow bones from the pizzeria to the osteria at Mozza I would probably end this discussion right now.

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  1. hrhboo RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 11:35 AM

    I love both and they are both wonderful in entirely different ways. If Anisette is your kind of food, you'd probably also love Comme Ca, which has marrow bones on their appetizer menu.

    1. e
      ExtraCheesePlease RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 12:07 PM

      Wow, what a great dilemma to have. I just ate at Anisette last night and I must say it did live up to the hype. Gorgeous, gorgeous space and the food was amazing. It's a true brasserie, more so than Comme Ca. The marrow was excellent. However, Mozza is probably the best restaurant in LA right now. My meals at Mozza have been consistently great so I can't complain. If it was my birthday, I would pick Anisette simply because I love the aesthetics of the restaurant more and I prefer French over Italian.

      1. n
        NYCnowLA RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 01:13 PM

        go to anisette and give me your mozza reservations. i have never been. :)

        1. Mr Taster RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 01:49 PM

          For what it's worth, it was my birthday on Friday and my wife's on Sunday (yesterday) and we took eight friends to China Islamic in Rosemead and stuffed ourselves silly on 10 dishes of fantastic food. Total bill: $103 + tip :)

          Mr Taster

          3 Replies
          1. re: Mr Taster
            Diana RE: Mr Taster Jul 1, 2008 11:32 AM

            a sound move. Woonderful place, fabulous food! Not as facny as the OP's choices by far, but in the face of great food, fancy sometimes falls by the wayside!
            What did you order?

            1. re: Diana
              Mr Taster RE: Diana Jul 1, 2008 04:26 PM

              So glad you asked! :) We rarely go to CI with more than 3 people, so this was really an opportunity to indulge in old favorites while trying some new dishes.

              We ordered:
              - 1 loaf sesame scallion bread (thick)
              - 1 loaf sesame scallion bread (thin)
              - Cold jellyfish appetizer (shredded in a sweet vinegary marinade)
              - Cucumber salad (julienned cucumber mixed with a dan dan mien sauce)
              - Beef with string beans
              - Eggplant in spicy sauce
              - Lamb with leeks
              - Lamb warm pot (big cast iron pot filled with lamb soup, mung bean glass noodles, tofu, and chunks of incredibly tender fall-off-the-bone lamb)
              - Chicken with asparagus
              - Lamb dough slice noodle chow mein

              All dishes were fantastic... but we've been here many times and know how to order. Thanks to posters here who guided us to delicious new dishes (chicken with asparagus, eggplant in spicy sauce, cucumber salad.) This was also the first time we ordered the thin sesame scallion bread, and while it was quite good, I think we all preferred the thick version. It's so much better for soaking up the flavorful sauces and stocks.

              In addition, I secretly had some friends pick up a birthday cake for my wife from Van's Bakery... $22 for a lovely 8" green young coconut cake with both silk and icing flowers, which the waitstaff gladly brought out for us with lit candles, extra plates and plastic forks (no extra charge!) In addition, I managed to secretly distribute to our friends a cribnote with English transliterated Chinese for "Happy birthday to you" (my wife is from Taiwan). Imagine her shock in hearing all of our non-Chinese friends sing to the tune of happy birthday "Joo ni san ji kwai le!!"

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                Diana RE: Mr Taster Jul 2, 2008 06:14 AM

                The one time I went, there were two of us, and we had the thick bread, the lamb with leeks, and plain dough slice noodles. We were stuffed, happy, and amazed at the great price. I wanted the eggplant, but the waiter looked at me like I was insane, so I decided he knew more about protion sizes than I and I should heed his opinion (silent though it was).

                Next time, I'm bringing a crowd.

                I gotta try the jellyfish and chicken with asparagus

          2. e
            exilekiss RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 01:58 PM

            Hey wooster,

            I agree with hrhboo: I love both restaurants. Wonderful food at both places.

            Ultimately you have to ask yourself, do you crave Italian or French food for your birthday? (^_~)

            1. n
              New Trial RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 03:52 PM

              Like being a dog with two (marrow) bones! Hard to choose which one would be best--perhaps, if your day and appetite permit, lunch at Anisette and dinner at Osteria Mozza? If that is not feasible, I would likely choose O.M. as the harder of the two reservations to get for dinner. Really, though, it is a no lose situation whichever one you pick.

              3 Replies
              1. re: New Trial
                lreeve RE: New Trial Jul 1, 2008 04:47 PM

                what's better? pizzeria mozza or osteria mozza?

                1. re: lreeve
                  tablefor1 RE: lreeve Jul 1, 2008 08:50 PM


                  1. re: lreeve
                    New Trial RE: lreeve Jul 1, 2008 09:53 PM

                    Think different, not better. It depends on what you are in the mood for--there are times that nothing will do like the fennel sausage pizza, the chicken liver bruschetta (though the marrow bones look mighty tempting) and the butterscotch budino; other times, I couldn't imagine skipping the scamroza panini, one of the pastas and the guinea hen or the brasato. The Pizzeria is more casual and less expensive but, sometimes, I just poke my head in to both and see which can seat me the quickest.

                2. Grog RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 03:54 PM

                  Coincidently, I called Anisette today to ask them to fax me a dinner menu (or sample). The website is not working and I couln't believe the response I got from the monotone, unresponsive young fellow answering the phone. "We will not fax our menus. We plan to update the website soon." But, how can I figure out what wine to bring? "I don't know...sir". Nice representation for a new business.

                  1. m
                    mrsjoujou RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 04:12 PM

                    Well, I was thinking of one of the two for my birthday also. After reading a lot of reviews, I made the reservation for Anisette. I have dined at Babbo and B&B and I feel Osteria Mozza is not going to measure up to Babbo.

                    1. r
                      raspie RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 05:31 PM

                      mm. there's something to be said about an icy cold bubbly Lambrusco, clams & pancetta with chiles in spaghetti and amaros and biscotti to finish... Mozza is really fun and consistent.. Anisette is still new and working out the kinks...

                      1. Emme RE: wooster Jun 30, 2008 07:36 PM

                        another idea... Anisette for brunch and Mozza for dinner??

                        1. b
                          bu dat RE: wooster Jul 1, 2008 08:33 PM

                          i love mozza's food - but the staff really makes things awful sometimes. lately, they consistently seat you 15-30 minutes past your reserved time which is very frustrating since there is really no room to relax or just have a drink before your meal.

                          i haven't been to anisette, but for a birthday meal - i'd pick that since you may wind up with an overly stuffy hostess and get rushed through your meal while mozza tries to turn tables. again - the food is outstanding -- but the staff makes it almost worth not going b/c it's such a bummer.

                          1. tablefor1 RE: wooster Jul 1, 2008 08:49 PM

                            Anisette for food and Mozza for dessert.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: tablefor1
                              Diana RE: tablefor1 Jul 2, 2008 06:33 AM

                              sort of a haul between the two. If one biked it, one would be hungry again by the time one got to Mozza!

                              1. re: Diana
                                lotta_cox RE: Diana Aug 8, 2008 08:58 AM

                                i like this idea.

                                *dons helmet*

                            2. omotosando RE: wooster Aug 8, 2008 12:07 AM

                              Went to Anisette tonight for a birthday celebration. We had a 7:45 p.m. reservation, but they asked us to come later because they didn't feel they could get the food out of the kitchen fast enough for a party of 12. We came at 8:30 p.m. and they still didn't get our entrees out until close to 10 p.m.

                              We had a very nice professional waiter. Everyone thought the food was blah. I had the roasted chicken which wasn't good at all - dry, not moist, and not flavorful, Came with a potato souffle like concoction, which also was blah. A few others ordered fish (cod I believe), which they found blah. Had a meringue tart for dessert - more blah, They have a tea menu, but only gimmicky flavored teas. Ordered one - predictably bad. One in our party wanted French press coffee, which they have on the menu, but they didn't actually have any -- something about not being able to get the coffee through customs (or something like that). She settled for drip.

                              The only thing I found stellar was the butter served with the bread - definitely a high grade butter. The bread itself was mediocre though.

                              On the bright side, our waiter was good (despite the painfully slow service, which wasn't his fault) and it wasn't terribly expensive. I just don't see how you can compare this place to Mozza in terms of quality of food.

                              My bottom line take - it's a neighborhood restaurant, not a destination restaurant. I don't live in the neighborhood and wouldn't willingly return.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: omotosando
                                kjs RE: omotosando Aug 8, 2008 12:55 AM

                                does anisette have a bar and if so, can you eat at the bar ?

                                1. re: kjs
                                  Servorg RE: kjs Aug 8, 2008 07:35 AM

                                  Yes and yes

                                  1. re: kjs
                                    Diana RE: kjs Aug 8, 2008 09:32 AM

                                    Asking if Anisette who has a bar is like asking if a pig has a grunt. " Brasserie" is literally French for "Brewery". , sort of like a brewpub for frenchmen. And what a bar! It takes up one whole wall,just about, and has shelves to the ceiling. Yes, they serve way more than beer!

                                    Don't know if you can eat sitting at it, though. Pretty packed over there!

                                    1. re: Diana
                                      New Trial RE: Diana Aug 8, 2008 02:30 PM

                                      You can definitely eat at the bar. They have also added some high tables to the bar area where you can eat as well.

                                2. lotta_cox RE: wooster Aug 8, 2008 08:57 AM

                                  I haven't been to Anisette, but we took my mom to Mozza for her 65th birthday and had both a wonderful meal and wonderful service. We were extremely well cared for.

                                  1. s
                                    StephC RE: wooster Aug 8, 2008 04:04 PM

                                    Annisette is fun but - the food didn't blow me away.

                                    If you want to be blown away - try Providence. That's where I'm celebrating my birthday.

                                    1. s
                                      sidwich RE: wooster Aug 8, 2008 04:26 PM

                                      I like the food more at Anisette, but the service is slightly better at Mozza which is not saying much. (Neither have very good service). To me it's a toss up on Eastside-Westside, Italian or French.

                                      1. w
                                        wooster RE: wooster Aug 12, 2008 10:40 AM

                                        Finally went to Anisette on Saturday. I enjoyed it, but could have been more adventurous Here's the order:

                                        french onion soup
                                        beets/goat cheese
                                        beef daube
                                        steak frites

                                        Overall I liked the meal. I thought a few items were a little salty (lanb, beets/goat cheese). The food was simple, clean, and well presented. To me, the highlight was the onion soup. It was excellent. Maybe that's because I haven't ordered it for awhile. I used to get it all the time at 5 Dudley and that was my standard. I like the venue, but hate being near the promenade. The beef daube was a little too simple for me. It lacked the depth of flavors that you often get with that dish. Perhaps it was thrown together in a shorter time or lacked a longer process of layering the flavors. Regardless, it was my lest favorite part of the meal.

                                        If I hadn't been with my fiance I would have tried either the foie gras, pate, or sweetbreads, which was lame, but she can't stand any of those.

                                        The highlight of the meal was a bottle of Jonata '04 Syrah.

                                        All in all, I think I will go back someday, but not before I go back to Mozza Osteria, which was amazing. I made the right choice for my birthday by going there. Pizzeria is next.

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