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Pizzeria Mozza - your thoughts

My sister was in town and I'd gotten a late night dinner reservation @ Pizzeria Mozza. I'm originally a New Yorker who's spending the summer in LA so I was pretty excited to see what the west coast take on Otto was. I started off with the Rucola, funghi & Piave salad, which was excellent. Simple, yet delicious - the mushrooms were really flavorful without being overpowering. But entrees came and I was really disappointed. Now I know some west coasters don't see why New Yorkers make such a big deal about NY pizza, but really, the pizzas @ Pizzeria Mozza were just an oily mess. The bread-y crust I could overlook because because it has a great deal to do with the water, but both pizzas we ordered (Clams, garlic, oregano, parmigiano & pecorino and Long cooked broccoli, caciocavallo & chiles) were just WAY too oily. I felt like I was picking up a pizza marinated in olive oil. It was really a shame because the flavors of the pizza toppings went really well together and had they not drenched my pizzas, I would've been really happy.

What are your thoughts on this place? Anyone with a similar experience? Is Osteria Mozza a much better deal?

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  1. I also just went there and sat at the counter. Everything WAS just marinated in olive oil, I could see them drizzling it on the pizzas from where I was sitting...

    Overall I thought the pizzas were good (I liked the prosciutto+rocula combination, etc) but nothing AMAZING or anything.
    Osteria Mozza was better, but then again more expensive.
    I saw a lot of the salad you had going around and it looked really2 good! I didn't have it but now really wanna try it ..

    --burumun
    http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com

    3 Replies
    1. re: burumun

      Here you go 60 comments on Mozza http://www.chowhound.com/topics/405016
      Yes, you are right about the olive oil, but ours wasn't that overbearing and very tasty, but I did get one with sauce(no oil( that was excellent for one of three we had.

      1. re: burumun

        From what you are saying, " I could see them drizzling it (the oil) on the pizzas from where I was sitting"...Mozza has changed their way of making the pie. What they used to do was stretch out the dough, put it on a peel, then BRUSH on a slight amount of olive oil on the base, keeping the oil off the end crust before putting on the toppings, Can you confirm actual drizzling oil from a can before putting it into the oven? I haven't been there in a few weeks, always sit at the pizza bar, and have never seen them drizzle oil onto a pie.

        1. re: pizzafreak

          Was just there last night and sat at the pizza bar. I didn't pay attention to the *before the oven* preparation, but they don't drizzle oil on any cooked pizzas except the margarita pizza.

      2. I actually really liked the pizza. I just found the ambiance and price and attitude not to my personal liking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Diana

          I posted my long version here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/525303
          but I basically agree with Diana.

        2. it's good food -- the beets w/horseradish are great; the fried squash blossoms are amazing; the pizzas are cooked perfectly and the toppings are delcious. the wine/beer selection could use some work. the butterscotch budino is delightful.

          unfortunately, the vibe of the staff makes it seems as if they wish you hadn't come to "their" restaurnat. they are extremely rude, typically seat you later than your reservation, and rush you through the meal. it's very offputting and leaves you feeling - food was great, but i feel like crap. and i've had a mixed bag - sometimes the attitude is only slightly awful. but most of the time it's torture.

          6 Replies
          1. re: dtud

            dtud, I want to recommend sitting at the bar. I usually go in between 5:00 and 6:00 mid-week, and I'm always treated very well by the staff. Possible reasons: (1) I'm by myself, (2) it's that "in-between" time so they're not stressed, (3) or maybe it's just because they know me now due to my frequent visits. Whatever the reason, the bar is the way to go and reservations aren't needed. As for the food, I love their pizzas but I've been on a sandwich kick lately and they make some great panini's. But I always start out with an order of the squash blossoms and the peppers stuffed with tuna. One of my favorite places to eat.

            1. re: omakase

              thanks for the tip - but i'm rarely ever able to get out of work by then. . . c'est la vie. the food is great, but the vibe is not. oh well. it's just always a choice to balance being treated like a varmint and having a tasty meal. . . sometimes i'm willing to take it, sometimes not. lately - more likely not.

            2. re: dtud

              Agree...I actually hate this place and cannot for the life of me understand how so many Angeleno's can fall for the incredible hype and mystique that surrounds both the pizzeria and the osteria. The pizzeria is much worse, but both restaurants are uncomfortable and unbearably noisy, the servers are frequently rude and spilling over with attitude, and the food although sometimes pretty good, is also often quite mediocre. I just don't get it...why anyone puts up with it?

                1. re: josephnl

                  People put up with it because (a) the food is excellent, and (b) Italian food is generally pretty lousy in LA. I'm still annoyed with Jonathan Gold for sending me to La Terza.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    L.A. is filled with rude eateries. Father's Office's workers and policies are amazingly off the wall. There's even a modest little sandwich shop in San Gabriel called the Stuffed Sandwich where the workers mock you for not knowing "how to order." These are just three places like that off the top of my head. We shouldn't spend our money at places like that. Maybe that would send a message instead of just talking about.

                2. a NY style pizza is at least twice as oily as any Mozza pizza. mozza pizzas or not more oily than any other kind of pizza.

                  I personally have never had a better pizza than the ones at Mozza. Why? Because I prefer the "bread-y" and west coast style.

                  To each their own I guess.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jlrobe

                    I thought Mozza was among the best pizzas I've ever tasted. I didn't find the pizzas overly oiled. And I thought the bready crust was the best thing on earth. Was Nancy Silverton there? Maybe it's a quality control issue.

                    I "get" NY pizza, but I think the water thing is a myth. A lot of pizzas can't even get the basics right like cheese and sauce, and bread is much harder. It's like the quality of Mexican food in NY. It has more to do with the culture of the region and people making it, than any one ingredient.

                    1. re: david t.

                      I think the water thing is a myth, too. Igrew up right outside NYC, so I'm used to thin crispy-crust pizza. I live in Maine now and when I couldn't find real New York style pizza here, I decided to make my own. It took me wading through a bunch of different dough recipes, but I finally found one (Wolfgang Puck's, go figure) that produces a crispy crackery-thin crust. It's all in the proportions of flour to water and how you stretch the dough. As far as oil, I've never heard of putting oil on a pizza after sauce and toppings are applied unless it's a margarita pie or white pie. Otherwise you spread a little around the center of the dough (not on the crust) before adding sauce.

                      1. re: SharaMcG

                        Mozza does put oil (and salt) on its crust. This is part of what makes the pizza there its own thing, unique. (And delicious.)

                  2. All Angelo a block away is a far better choice.