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Pizzeria Mozza: as good as they say?

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synergy May 14, 2009 10:45 AM

We NY'ers will be visiting in June & have reservations at Pizzeria Mozza. Is it really as good as some of the posts I've read on CH? Keep in mind, as a NY'er, we have some pretty darn good pizza that we compare all others too...from NY style to some fantastic thin crusts. Tell me your thoughts. FYI, in the past we went to Pizza Bianco in Phoenix & while we loved the pizza, for us, it's not worth a 2 hr. wait.

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  1. Servorg RE: synergy May 14, 2009 10:56 AM

    The LA Hounds may be just a tad burned out on discussing this subject in depth...lol

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/534699

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/600504

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/344648

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg
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      Wolfgang RE: Servorg May 14, 2009 11:08 AM

      It's very good. I like Pizzeria Bianco better, but not by much.

    2. j
      josephnl RE: synergy May 14, 2009 11:17 AM

      No comparison to Pizzeria Blanco which is probably the best in the U.S. You will find very mixed opinions re Mozza. Admittedly many love it, however we went once and did not like it at all. With so many good places to eat in L.A., we would not waste a dinner at P. Mozza.

      1 Reply
      1. re: josephnl
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        Wolfgang RE: josephnl May 14, 2009 01:54 PM

        I like Mozza's fennel sausage pizza better than PB's "Wise Guy," Bianco's sausage pizza, even though PB's crust is superior. Other than that, I like all the PB pizzas better than Mozza.
        PB has a much more charming space as well.

        I'm going to PB in a week.

      2. e
        Ernie RE: synergy May 14, 2009 11:27 AM

        Its good, but massively overhyped. If you are from NYC, it is still not as good as the pizzas you can get at places like Grimaldi's. Since I have discovered the excellent pizza at Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzeria in my neighborhood, I really don't see the point of going to Pizzeria Mozza anymore

        11 Replies
        1. re: Ernie
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          josh L RE: Ernie Jun 24, 2009 06:28 PM

          Take it from a New Yorker who knows about pizza. Mozza is the real deal. I would go to Mozza in any town, including New York. I especially like the spinach pie, the burrata and squash blossoms pie and the pepperoni pie. Ernie, Grimaldi's is a overhyped joint which hasnt been good since the late nineties, when Patsy sold the place. Its a tourist trap.

          1. re: josh L
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            Ernie RE: josh L Jun 24, 2009 07:46 PM

            Thanks, but having traveled to Italy and NYC many times, good friends from Milan, etc. I am quite comfortable with my opinion on pizza. I think Mozza is a tourist trap too, but I definitely enjoyed the pizza much more at Grimaldi's. Viva la differenza

            1. re: Ernie
              katkoupai RE: Ernie Aug 14, 2009 08:05 PM

              As usual, I agree with Ernie. I went a few months ago. We waited for two hours. My friends loved it. I thought it was overpriced, overhyped, and I won't be going back. The desserts were better than the food.

              Four of us went, and I was the only one in the group that didn't like it.

              Why didn't I like it?

              Pizza is a cheap food. It should be cheap. I don't want to be fed a cracker and charged twenty bucks for it. In NY, I could get a slice and a drink for 5 bucks. Now you can say that Pizzeria Mozza is more for the dining experience, but I'd rather have my cheap slice and a drink.

              I don't remember what I paid, but it was too much. We had wine, the mozzarella appetizer, pizzas, and a few people got dessert. I reiterate, I was more impressed with the dessert than the food.

              1. re: katkoupai
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                JeetJet RE: katkoupai Aug 22, 2009 10:43 PM

                "Pizza is a cheap food. It should be cheap." So well put. The same is true about tacos. I am never impressed with anything I eat when I paid too much for it. Why should I be? Anyone can produce something that taste good for a crazy price. Only talented cooks can do it at a reasonable price. My food money is only for food and not for status points.

                1. re: JeetJet
                  ipsedixit RE: JeetJet Aug 23, 2009 01:33 AM

                  "Anyone can produce something that taste good for a crazy price."

                  __________________________________________________________

                  Not true. Mr. Chow, Crustacean, and Koi would prove the counterpoint to that statement.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
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                    JeetJet RE: ipsedixit Aug 24, 2009 03:16 PM

                    LOL! Good point. be "can", not shall, is what I said...

                    1. re: JeetJet
                      katkoupai RE: JeetJet Aug 29, 2009 06:07 PM

                      Hi, Jeet. This is why I read your posts with true interest. I usually agree with you, especially re. price and quality of food. At Mozza, the price was too high for what I received, and I actually would prefer to go to Greco's in Sherman Oaks or Hollywood for a casual slice and a drink. The pizza tastes better, there is no two hour wait, the price is right, and you get to pass on the pretentious people and scenesters, too.

                      -----
                      Greco's New York Pizzeria
                      4572 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

                2. re: katkoupai
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                  aizan RE: katkoupai Jan 12, 2010 10:22 AM

                  what's the los angeles counterpart of arizmendi? they make the least expensive pizza i've found that was also really great.

              2. re: josh L
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                josephnl RE: josh L Aug 21, 2009 10:57 PM

                The real deal?? What are you talking about??? Mozza wouldn't last a week on Arthur Avenue or in Little Italy!! It would be seen for exactly what it is...a trap for people willing to pay outrageously high prices for a tourist trap California style pseudo Italian pizza!

                1. re: josephnl
                  OC Mutt RE: josephnl Aug 22, 2009 12:46 PM

                  You're so right. Stay away, PLEASE!!!

                  1. re: josephnl
                    A5 KOBE RE: josephnl Aug 23, 2009 10:08 PM

                    Batali has a place called Otto Enoteca Pizzeria in NY and Mozza is a carbon copy of that place except Mozza is far superior.

                    So I don't think it would be seen what a tourist trap as the place in NY is mostly locals and workers.

                    As far as Arthur Ave, how many places can last a week? I don't really see the point you are trying to make because not many places would last a week there.

              3. e
                ExtraCheesePlease RE: synergy May 14, 2009 11:45 AM

                I don't know why all the hate for Pizzeria Mozza. I still go once a week for either lunch or dinner and it's the best in town hands down with Vito's second. I would highly recommend it if you're near the neighbourhood.

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                  radman123 RE: synergy May 14, 2009 12:16 PM

                  Best place ever -- don't listen to others on board i think they just want to be difficult...i'm from ny and there is nothing like it. i would go.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: radman123
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                    magic man RE: radman123 May 14, 2009 12:44 PM

                    It's not as good as they say, IT'S BETTER.
                    If you haven't been there is worth going to.

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                    Redvixen RE: synergy May 14, 2009 01:19 PM

                    There are different types of pizza (NY, Chicago, etc) and each type has its own attributes. Pizzeria Mozza is like it's own genre of pizza - enjoy it for what it is, and I personally find it to be VERY enjoyable.

                    1. mrshankly RE: synergy May 14, 2009 01:30 PM

                      With all due respect, why bother with taking NY'ers to a pizza place in LA? It may well be a disappointing experience trying to compare when there is no logical comparison at this point... LA pizza is different in subtle ways than NY pizza. Give them something they can't quite get the same experience of out there like Mexican food or other restaurants in the area?

                      How about Providence, Chaya, Comme Ca, Lucques, etc, etc?

                      And as for Pizzeria Mozza... I'm a fan but I can see how people can be unimpressed with enough hype and expectation built up before visiting.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: mrshankly
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                        radman123 RE: mrshankly May 14, 2009 01:52 PM

                        Providence - eh
                        Chaya - don't know
                        Comme Ca - pretty good - thinking about taking NYkers there this weekend
                        Lucques - skip, overrated

                        regarding hype: out of 5 people who I have brought or recommended it after hyping -- 1 said overhyped, 1 thought good, 3 said lived up to hype & absoultely loved it...

                        1. re: radman123
                          Porthos RE: radman123 May 14, 2009 08:30 PM

                          Huh? You think Providence is eh and Comme Ca is pretty good? Comme Ca is a bad french bistro. Aside from the brandade, everything else I tried there was average or subpar. My duck confit was white, not brown and shamefully oversalted. Comme Ca is easliy a notch below Anisette and Church & State and definitely below Pastis and Balthazar.

                          I like Providence. It's probably more asian influenced than Le Bernardin but less refined in technique.

                          Lucques I agree is overrated and I realize we're in the minority.

                          As for the pizza Mozza, I like it a lot but prefer Lombardi's and Patsy's to it any day.

                          1. re: Porthos
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                            josh L RE: Porthos Jun 24, 2009 06:29 PM

                            Lombardi's and Patsy's are both extremely mediocore. Mozza is in another league entirely.

                        2. re: mrshankly
                          v
                          victoriashe RE: mrshankly May 14, 2009 05:10 PM

                          Mrshankly: They're not TAKING NY'ers -- they ARE NY'ers. And they're asking about the pizza at Mozza.

                          Synergy: Friend and I shared two different white pizzas (don't remember what they were) at Mozza; they were very good, but that's just too much white pizza. The guy at the table next to me had a sausage pizza that looked and smelled incredible (probably the fennel-sausage mentioned above). I keep thinking I have to go there again and order that sausage pizza....

                          1. re: victoriashe
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                            ExtraCheesePlease RE: victoriashe May 14, 2009 08:31 PM

                            I dream of that fennel sausage pizza almost weekly. Hence the large waist. Yummmm.

                            1. re: victoriashe
                              mrshankly RE: victoriashe May 15, 2009 04:42 PM

                              Taking NY'ers or being NY'ers... same thing... my apologies for the misread. And I was talking about the pizza at Mozza, Victoria. I think we should both read the posts a little more carefully:)

                            2. re: mrshankly
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                              jlrobe RE: mrshankly May 15, 2009 05:27 PM

                              "How about Providence, Chaya, Comme Ca, Lucques, etc, etc?"

                              What?! Balthazaar > Comme Ca
                              Lucques is a dime a dozen in NYC
                              Providence is fine but super high quality seafood tasting menus are not rare in Manhattan.

                              chaya is different but kinda middle of the road. Good but not great.

                              1. re: jlrobe
                                mrshankly RE: jlrobe May 15, 2009 05:49 PM

                                Oy vey!!! People!! Pick four other restaurants to recommend! ANY 4 you like! It doesn't matter! The point is for them to experience parts of LA that they wouldn't get in NY. Move along... please:)

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                              Nicole RE: synergy May 14, 2009 04:34 PM

                              Add my vote to the "overhyped" category. It's very different from NY-style pizza, and personally I much prefer the pizza I've had in NY (native NYer). That isn't where I'd go if visiting from out of town.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Nicole
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                                Adsvino RE: Nicole May 14, 2009 05:30 PM

                                Second that. Not as good as they say (but pretty good nonetheless).

                                1. re: Adsvino
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                                  noshie RE: Adsvino May 14, 2009 08:49 PM

                                  The music there is loud and annoying and I felt rushed when I was eating there. The pizza was nice though, but I imagine you can do better in New York. You might want to spend your time eating foodstuffs that you can't get as readily on your coast, maybe try some regional Mexican food, like go to La Casita in Bell for chile en nogada or chilaquiles, or if you must have something pizza shaped how about a Clayuda at one of the many Oaxacan places out here?

                                  1. re: noshie
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                                    victoriashe RE: noshie May 15, 2009 11:43 AM

                                    Oh, yes! The music. My friend pointed out that the music was all at the same fast pace, which causes you to eat at that same pace. Being there is not terribly relaxing.

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                                bu dat RE: synergy May 14, 2009 09:00 PM

                                it's the best!

                                don't sweat the decision - just go and make your own decision. besides - you have a reservation. you're not going to wait 2 hours. so that's kind of irrelevant. and don't compare to ny - have fun trying something new.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bu dat
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                                  latindancer RE: bu dat May 14, 2009 11:13 PM

                                  Unfortunately they're notorious for losing reservations so be prepared.
                                  The pizza's good though.

                                2. s
                                  synergy RE: synergy May 15, 2009 02:02 AM

                                  Thank you all for your comments. I didn't realize there would be such an interesting debate. We will only be in LA 1 night and this place was recommended to us.

                                  The point of going for food we don't have in NY that CA has is a good one. We don't get good mexican in NY and I love mexican...so I appreciate the recommendation of a good mexican restaurant to consider too.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: synergy
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                                    noshie RE: synergy May 15, 2009 07:58 AM

                                    Mozza is a sticky topic as you can see.

                                    I love La Casita Mexicana, others really rave about Babita's. You can get a great carne asada burrito at El Parian, many varied choices on Mexican food out here, regional differences. We may have other thingsout here you can't get, I'm sure people will be happy to help on that end.

                                    1. re: synergy
                                      Servorg RE: synergy May 15, 2009 08:24 AM

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540566

                                    2. k
                                      kainzero RE: synergy May 15, 2009 10:06 AM

                                      i thought it was pretty good.

                                      definitely get the marrow al forno, it was the first time i tried it and it was so unctuous and great.

                                      the pizza is california style, cpk is a good comparison, so just imagine that but a lot better. but if you don't like cpk style, then yeah, you won't like mozza.

                                      1. junglekitte RE: synergy May 15, 2009 11:37 AM

                                        I agree with the posters who said you should skip eating pizza in LA all together. I've lived in NYC and I think there are better foods to be had while on holiday in the LA area (like Mexican or Vietnamese) But if you must have pizza I believe this is a good place to go.
                                        I have to say I did enjoy Pizzaria Mozza (went last week). The goat cheese and lentil appetizer was tasty and tiny! And the pizza with burrata, peppers, olives, and oregano was excellent. The service was extremely slow though... we waited for our food for an enourmous amount of time. At one point I felt like leaving but I had been wanting to try this place so we waited. Have fun!

                                        1. j
                                          jlrobe RE: synergy May 15, 2009 05:20 PM

                                          synergy.

                                          Mozza and NY pizza is like comparing apples to oranges. They don't compare. Many NYers are used to NY pizza and don't like it. Some of them get it and love it. Some Mozza pizzas have tomato sauce, cheese, and great toppings, other pizzas have no sauce, or "base" cheese. For instance, one pizze has bread, ingredients on top, and burrata balls on it vs a layer of melted mozzarella.

                                          I love mozza because I get it, but i have friends that don't get it. Its all about expectations, preferences, etc. To be honest I have never eaten a pizza in NYC that I really loved, so my opinion is probably crap.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jlrobe
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                                            josephnl RE: jlrobe Dec 23, 2009 07:15 PM

                                            What is there to get?? With the incredible noise, ridiculously close tables, and ambivalent service, they could be serving the ultimate pizza (which they are certainly not), and it would be impossible to have an enjoyable meal.

                                          2. rednyellow RE: synergy May 15, 2009 07:59 PM

                                            I don't care for the pizza or the wine service.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: rednyellow
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                                              josephnl RE: rednyellow May 15, 2009 10:24 PM

                                              Probably the most L.A. restaurant would be Spago. Although it's not the most fantastic restaurant in the world, it is L.A....and their tasting menu is really pretty wonderful.

                                            2. s
                                              synergy RE: synergy May 16, 2009 09:07 AM

                                              Great replys everyone - THANKS! I will tell you that NY'ers will debate very seriously, "Who has the best pizza in NYC too", with everyone strongly defending their opionins. I love it as I love pizza. Loved it in Italy more than in - NYC. But, NYC is my 'comparision" point. I've had pizza in other states, such as CO, that I'd rather pass on, as it just doesn't cut it for me.

                                              1. s
                                                synergy RE: synergy Jun 24, 2009 04:38 AM

                                                HI Everyone...just wanted to report back. We went to Pizzeria Mozza last Sat. night. As you can imagine, the place was packed. We had a 7:30pm reservation, got there about 15 minutes early, and the hostess said they were on track with seating. We went next door to the Osteria for a drink at the bar to wait. Loved the Osteria, and considered eating there instead, but didn't. Went back to the pizzeria 20 minutes later and waited for at least 30 more minutes for a table. With the long wait, we were saying to each other that we should have just eaten at the bar at the Osteria. But, we were finally seated and starving. Ordered the mussels appetizer, salad, I had the mushroom pizza & my husband had one with all meats. Right before they brought the mussel appetizer they dimmed the lights in the place so much I couldn't see what I was eating. Why do restaurants do that???? I hate it. The mussels were 'interesting' and because I couldn't see them, I couldn't quite figure out what they did differently to them. Loved the pizza! To me, it was very much on par with Pizza Bianco. Would I go back? Yes! I'd also go to the Osteria next door. Thanks again to everyone for feedback.

                                                1. OC Mutt RE: synergy Jun 24, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                  It's awful. Oh, and please spread the word! That way us folks with horrible taste can finally get decent reservations and eat our bad pizza in peace.

                                                  1. Senzinina RE: synergy Aug 23, 2009 05:31 PM

                                                    I thought so! I ate two things there I would have NEVER chosen in a restaurant (as the person I was meeting with was a pretty famous foodie and I couldn't argue). Clam Pizza and Brussels Sprouts. INCREDIBLE, drooling for more. Just don't like how loud it is. I really hate Bsprouts, but these were cut in half and grilled with balsamic vinegar and bread crumbs, herbs.....just amazing. And the clam pizza was darned near NY perfection. Gorgeous crust.... loved every moment. I went for lunch so there wasn't a wait.

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                                                      Eater0329 RE: synergy Aug 24, 2009 12:11 AM

                                                      Over a year ago my friend and I went to Pizzeria Mozza and it was one of the worst restuarants I had ever eaten at. Its just a trendy place to be seen at. I have had Amys forzen pizzas that tasted better than the pizzas at mozza.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Eater0329
                                                        ipsedixit RE: Eater0329 Aug 24, 2009 09:13 AM

                                                        Interesting. While I'm not the biggest fan of PM, I do like certain of its pizzas.

                                                        Curious as to which pies you tried at PM and which of Amy's frozen pies you prefer to those at PM?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
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                                                          josh L RE: ipsedixit Dec 1, 2009 10:45 AM

                                                          anyone who thinks mozza pizza tastes like frozen pizza has no palate, where do you go for pizza in los angeles?

                                                          1. re: josh L
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                                                            josephnl RE: josh L Dec 1, 2009 07:20 PM

                                                            Not quite as bad as frozen pizza, but I'll take a frozen pizza and a good glass of wine in the quiet of my home over the noise and variable service at Mozza any night of the week!

                                                            1. re: josephnl
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                                                              josh L RE: josephnl Jan 12, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                              You obviously do not care much about pizza then.

                                                              1. re: josh L
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                                                                josephnl RE: josh L Jan 12, 2010 01:29 PM

                                                                I adore great pizza. Unfortunately I do not think that Mozza's pizza fits in that category, and because of the overall discomfort of the restaurant, I don't think going there is worth the trouble. I do realize that many disagree with me...but some agree as well.

                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                  honkman RE: josephnl Jan 12, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                                  Which places do you recommend for the best pizza in LA ?

                                                                  1. re: honkman
                                                                    j
                                                                    josephnl RE: honkman Jan 12, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                    Sadly, I do not know of any great pizza places in L.A., but honestly I haven't sought them out. I live in OC where there are not very many great restaurants, but indeed excellent pizza is available in Rancho Santa Margarita at Pizza e Vino (see: http://www.pizzaevino.net/index.html).

                                                                    Outside of New York City, the best pizza I have found is in Phoenix, AZ at Pizzeria Bianco and in Portland, OR at Apizza Scholls.

                                                      2. orythedog RE: synergy Dec 1, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                        Pizza is good but the antipasto is the star. I like the chicken liver crostini and the eggplant thingy. Don't forget the butterscotch budino.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: orythedog
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                                                          krick RE: orythedog Dec 1, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                          I crave that chicken liver bruschetta.

                                                          Just read this thread for the firs time, and I'm baffled by many of the negative comments. I don't get why people think it's overpriced except that people seem to want to compare it to a NY pizza joint, which I don't get either. Comparing their pizzas to traditional NY pizzas and comparing the prices to a NY pizza joint's prices is comparing apples to oranges. Having grown up around NYC, I love and know NY pizzas about as much and as well as anyone, and I can't think of a single one of the famed NY pizza places that has pizzas topped with guanciale, sottocenere, chanterelles, lardo, burricotta, white anchovies, etc., much less one that also serves bone marrow al forno, mussels, salumi, chicken liver bruschetta, etc. On top of that, the pizzas are only about $15 and the small plates about $8 - where else in LA, or anywhere for that matter, can you get this type and this quality of Italian food for as cheap?

                                                          1. re: krick
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                                                            manku RE: krick Dec 24, 2009 06:47 AM

                                                            I love the food...but it's hardly inexpensive...taking my wife and daughter we racked up a $150 tab at lunch...we had a couple "quartinos" of their least expensive wine...i sat at the bar once with my daughter before a show at pantages...it was $80. A full meal...app, pizza,desert, a drink or two...will run $50 pp. I think it's worth it, but it isn't a $2.50 slice from Joes!

                                                            1. re: manku
                                                              Porthos RE: manku Dec 24, 2009 08:25 AM

                                                              But if you got an appetizer, a few glasses of wine, and dessert at Joe's, it wouldn't be $2.50 either.

                                                              People end up spending a lot at Mozza not because of the $16-18 pizzas but because everything else is so good they can't resist ordering appetizers, dessert, and wine.

                                                              That says it all.

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