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Aug 23, 2008 10:54 AM

Ortolan vs Mozza

Hi, we're trying to figure out a nice romantic restaurant to have a 1st year anniversary dinner. After searching through the boards extensively, we've narrowed it down to:

Osteria Mozza

or possibly:
Inn of the Seventh Ray
Saddlepeak Lodge

We are big foodies and have enjoyed Providence, but would like to try something new. Initially I wasn't going to consider Osteria Mozza as I haven't had good Italian food in LA yet, but keep reading rave reviews here. I love French food, but not into uber pretentiousness. I added Inn of the Seventh Ray and Saddlepeak since I hear they're romantic, but I'm not sure if the food is as good as Ortolan or Mozza.

I know it pretty much boils down to French vs Italian, but was wondering if I could get some advice. Thanks!

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  1. Although I love Mozza and think it offers wonderful food, it is not really that romantic--the noise level alone defeats the concept. Ortolan is quiet and romantic, and the food is terrific but more cutting edge (I don't find it uber pretentious--the chef's ideas actually work and are not just chemistry experiments or philosophical exercises--but it is certainly not classic French). Saddle Peak can be romantic, in a more rustic way, but I have not been there with the current chef. If the cuisine at Ortolan does not appeal to you, you might also want to look into Josie, La Cachette, Melisse and Valentino, all of which offer great food and a romantic atmosphere.

    2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    Melisse Restaurant
    1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

    La Cachette Bistro
    1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Valentino (Santa Monica)
    3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    1 Reply
    1. re: New Trial

      I will agree with New Trial here. I'd choose Valentino over Mozza for ambience ... Ortolan will surely impress your date.. Now, it's been awhile since I've been to this place, but I went to The Little Door several years ago. It was romantic at the time.. if anyone has been lately feel free to share. Might be a fun choice too.

    2. I recommend Ortolan for the occasion.

      Mozza is too casual.
      Inn of the Seventh Ray per a recent colleague; way overpriced for what you get.
      Saddlepeak Bad Service, Ortolan more creative and better food execution.

      1. As a follow up, we ended up going to Ortolan. The restaurant was gorgeous, the food was great, and the service was exceptional. Chef Eme went out of his way to greet everyone in the restaurant, including the 2 girls that looked like they stepped out of the MTV show Tila Tequila. Only in LA.

        1. There is no issue here whatsoever! IMHO Ortolan wins hands down. I refuse to go to either Mozza because in my opinion, the incredible noise level, and overall discomfort of both restaurants makes the food essentially irrelevant. Therefore, if you want a romantic atmosphere to celebrate an anniversary, Los Angeles offers so many better choices. Ortolan will definitely fill the bill!