Mozza: Redux - What to orda
This is a follow up to a thread I posted prior to my second visit to Pizzeria Mozza (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627288),
OK hounds, here is my report from Mozza. I went with two dinner companions. For appetizers we ordered the squash blossoms, the eggplant caponata, the caprese salad and the bread. Everything was exquisite. The squash blossoms were perfectly fried, crispy and golden, and the dollop of salty ricotta cheese inside was a blast of flavor – I also really appreciated the salt on the outside of the fry. The caponata had an amazing depth of flavor with sweet balsamic and earthy eggplant – which was perfectly counterbalanced by the world class garlic bread (panne bianco) – a perfect suggestion from our server and of course recommended by the Chowhounds as well, so we are glad we ordered it. The caprese was sublime. I make it myself all the time, so I couldn’t imagine how they could improve upon such a simple concept but thanks to the chowhounds, I took a leap of faith and am thankful I did. The oven dried or roasted (whatever you want to call them, they’re far from “dry”) tomatoes on the vine combined with the creamy luxurious burratta cheese and basil oil to make a transcendent caprese. I even scooped up some of this caprese with hunks of the garlic bread as well, adding another dimension.
For Pizzas, we ordered the Funghi pizza and the Guanciale with asparagus (they didn’t have the escarole and radicchio). The funghi, I had had on my previous visit and it was just as I remembered it – perfumed with strong luxurious earthy mushrooms and salty delicious cheese on the world’s perfect crust. The guanciale pizza was an entirely new experience. I took the hound’s advice and ordered it with two eggs instead of the one, which was a coup (no chicken coup pun intended). The salty guanciale played well with the onion and the asparagus, and the experience was akin to having very sophisticated bacon and eggs. My one critique is that the asparagus was in long spear form and though it was perfectly cooked, it was still asparagus and therefore fibrous and not easy to cut with a knife. When I tried to eat a slice by hand, it was impossible to cut through the spears with my teeth and I ended up pulling all of the toppings off with one bite – a pizza “disaster” akin to dropping one’s ice cream onto the ground as it fell off of the cone after one lick, except as a grown up I’m not allowed to cry to try and get another one. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t order it again, simply because I am blown away by the funghi and the peperonata and burricota pizza and would still like to try the fennel sausage pizza and Bianca pizza.
For desserts, we ordered the Butterscotch Budino and the Olive Oil ice cream. The ice cream was interesting and smooth as silk. It was delicious, but I expected (and hoped for) more boldness in the flavor – which was more understated, like a very sophisticated take on vanilla. Not a strong olive taste, but not a bold flavor either. It was definitely an interesting experience. The Budino was spectacular. I know some hounds suggested it was grainy but I didn’t get that at all. I loved this dessert and would bath in it if I could. The salt and the sweet and the creamy all melded into a confluence of pleasure on the palate. - perfect ending to a wonderful evening. Needless to say, I’m going back again soon, though next up is Osteria Mozza , I want to try it out ASAP. Thanks to all of the Chowhounds for their input!
Thanks for the review. As an FYI, there was an interview from the Las Vegas Sun on Eater LA last week with Joe Bastianich and he said that they are opening a Mozza in Corona Del Mar. I can't wait-no more hour+ drive for my Mozza fix!
Agreed, that eggplant caponata is very good! Too bad I didn't get the bread, I thought how good can garlic rubbed bread be, since I make it at home. Geez, those hunks of bread at other's people's tables looked good........