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Mozza2Go: Mangiare in Famiglia REVIEW

So. Nancy Silverton has created a new pop-up restaurant within the Mozza Grouping... it's a family style big single table dining experience in the "classroom" next to Mozza2Go. The table seats about 20.

A friend and I were there this past Friday night, along with a group celebrating a birthday and Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathan Gold and his family.

And... It was an amazing night of amazing food. I'll write about it here... Mr. Gold wrote about it here: http://www.laweekly.com/2010-06-24/ea...

The room is lovely. You sit, as I said, at a single large table with everyone who's been lucky enough to snag a reservation. The room also has a big working kitchen island/bar behind which is one of the famed Mozza pizza ovens. The smell of the wood burning and the warmth of the fire makes the room "glow" even more.

Since it's one table, it all becomes one party. Nancy and Matt Molina are there during the entire dinner. Hosting, cooking, explaining... It truly is as if you've come into her home for dinner. To the point of even keeping the same dinner plate during all the courses. All the food is served on large platters, family style.

And obviously you want to know about the food. Of course, this was our meal. Since this is a dinner party... your's may vary. Ours was Tuscan Meat night.

When we arrived a large platter of seasonal vegetables (heirloom carrots of all colors, little french radishes, sliced fennel etc) was brought to the table, along with a really wonderful garlicky/anchovy Bagna Cauda. And of course 3 loaves of Nancy's bread. We dipped. We ate. We reminded ourselves not to fill up on bread and veggies.

They then add two foccacias to the mix. One with roasted red peppers that had a very spicy kick and the other with cheese and olives. They were the right combination of crunchy crusty outside with chewy bready inside and good olive oil. I want one right now.

The next course was "Carne Cruda - carciofi e Parmigiano-Reggiano". Steak tartare on crostini with shaved parm on top. The meat was gentle and beefy and the parm added a great salty note.

I should mention that this meal is all you can eat. Though here I would label it more "all you should try to stop yourself from eating." You will want to have seconds early on. I caution you. Do not. For later in the meal, when another fabulous dish is placed in front of you, you will wish you had a little more room to spare.

Next course: Bone Marrow on buttered toast. Large perfectly roasted bones with that unctuous marrow waiting to be scooped out and placed on toast. Delicious. Rich beyond belief.

Moving on to: Breve Costoletta Alla Griglia with salsa verde. Thin sliced short ribs (sliced the Korean style) with a salsa verde. My favorite. I love short ribs this way. There was a slight sweetness to the marinade and the herby salsa verde worked just perfectly with the grilled meat.

And then: Coda Alla Vaccinara - brasati sedano. Ox tail. Big, slow roasted until meltingly perfect served over a bed of braised celery that change my mind about this usually pedestrian veg. But it was also at this course that I really needed to know the Italian word for "Uncle"... I was full. But the menu wasn't.

So out came: Bistecca Fiorentina - fagioli e swiss chard, cippolini al forno. Which I wished I could have taken home in a box to enjoy later. It was wonderful. The roasted onions were a perfect sweet counterpoint to the bitter chard and simple beans. The meat was crusty good on the outside and bloody rare on the inside... which is exactly how I like it.

And then desert. Ciliege Al Forno. Two gelatos. One mixed berry. One yogurt. Both a nice light ending to the meal. Also in attendance: Pignoli cookies and an Almond Biscotti-esque cookie.

The meal was 3 hours long and besides the great service and wonderful food it was really nice to sit and meet new people in this setting. There was always something to discuss. And we got the added surprise of sharing our meal with Jonathan Gold and family. He was generous with his conversation and food advice. What Chowhound wouldn't have picked his brain if given the chance!? His family was great too. His wife, son and daughter were great dining companions.

The dinner (sans wine) was $75. I think this is the biggest "bargain" in dining in LA right now.

Selfishly... admittedly, I didn't post this until Mr. Gold put out his review because I was hoping to keep this a secret a little longer. But I have my reservation for the end of July.

July is Pork Month.

641 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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    1. re: Porthos

      wait, didn't post his review?

      i thought he posted a review of it about three years ago or so.

      and where you eating at Mozza 2 Go, the takeout shoppe? that doesn't make sense.

      maybe i read this incorrectl;y.

    2. sorry my bad, missed out on the first sentence, ok, my apologies. so it's a different menu, than both Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza??? thanks.

      Pizzeria Mozza
      641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      Osteria Mozza
      6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      1 Reply
      1. re: kevin

        It's not really Mozza2Go.

        It uses the space next to Mozza2Go. If you read both Jonathan Gold's post and mine you'll get the idea.

      2. Oh, man! Great review, I want to go now!

        1 Reply
        1. re: flowerofhighrank

          I've been dreaming of the bone marrow ever since last Friday. But it's also taken me that long to get hungry again ; )

          1. What was the cost? Was it with wine? Thanks

            1 Reply
            1. re: miwine

              According to the OP, "The dinner (sans wine) was $75."

            2. Making reservations are a bit tough. The staff is not aware of the events and you have to book directly with one of the managers. After playing 3 rounds of phone tag, I finally scored myself a reservation on July 23rd for the whole roasted berkshire pork event.

              Thanks again, Jennalynn.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Porthos

                Odd... I had no trouble at all. Just said I wanted to reserve for the Friday Family Dinner.

                And... will be there on the 23rd as well... so we will meet!

              2. After reading this review, I made reservations (super easy) and went last night. While the above review and previous meals at Mozza set our expectations very high, we were still amazed. Food, service, friendly setting in the kitchen, all was fantastic. I know I can't compete with the above high quality review, but I can tell you to go if you have the chance. I don't know what was the best item for me -- the antipasto, the 10 or 12 hour roasted pork, or the pig shaped biscotti and gelato that I ate even though I though it wouldn't be physically possible --- all I can say is that the dinner ranks high in our to best meals ever list. Thanks again for the review.

                10 Replies
                1. re: Heidi


                  I'm so glad you went and weren't disappointed! I'm headed for pork night on the 23rd... Can't wait!

                  Rumor is Chicken for August.

                  1. re: Jennalynn

                    They told us that they were thinking of fish or shellfish, but weren't sure yet. Have fun on the 23rd! We swore we had pork hangovers on Saturday (more/richer food than we usually eat...)

                    1. re: Heidi

                      Rumor confirmed. Poultry for August.

                      Also looking forward to pork night on the 23rd.

                  2. re: Heidi

                    I went to the pig-a-thon with two of my friends last Friday night and the food was superb and I would gladly go again. There were two issues that I need to raise. First, the wine "glasses" are simple tumblers. We had brought several very expensive bottles of syrah to the dinner, gladly paying the $20/bottle corkage, and when we asked for legitimate wine glasses, the response was a curt "No, all you get are these glasses [the tumblers]--it's family style." Well, to me it is not family style when you are paying $20 per bottle in corkage and we had to beg one of the buses to get decent glasses. The other point is the use of one plate. After the pork ragu souffle, which was delicious but particularly messy, the woman next to me asked for a new plate; the response was once again, "No, you keep your plate--it's family style" to which she responded "In my family, we get clean plates." And having all the left over junk on a plate, even if it doesn't diminish the taste of the food (it certainly didn't improve the taste), it certainly affects the presentation. Several months ago, I was at Solociccia, Dario Cecchini's family style meat place in Panzano (and I feel confident that Mozza's operation is modeled on this as the prior month's meat menu was almost identical to Solociccia) and not only did you get free wine, free BYOB and nice wine glasses, but you also got clean plates after each course.

                    I know that this sounded like a huge bitch session, but I really loved the Mozza dinner and with these tweaks it would have been perfect. Next time, I bring my own wine glasses though.

                    1. re: wpage

                      Anyone hear what the September menu will be????

                        1. re: Jennalynn

                          Actually, Fridays are poultry, Saturdays are pork, and Sunday lunches are beef in the style of Tuscany.

                          Loved the pork dinner. Going next Sunday for the Tuscan beef.


                          1. re: Jennalynn

                            They are also offering a "Family Style Lunch" on Sunday, Aug. 29 featuring Tuscany style beef for $75 pp (plus tax and tip).

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Information from their website calendar:

                              Italian Sunday Lunch

                              Join the chefs of Mozza for Italian Sunday lunch. We will offer a multi-course menu featuring Beef in the Style of Tuscany. A selection of Bastianich family wines will be available for purchase with lunch.

                              Date: 08/29/2010

                              Italian Sunday Lunch

                              Location: Scuola di Pizza

                              Registration: Please call the Mozza2Go Event Line at 323.297.1133 to make your reservation.

                              Price: $75.00

                              Time: 12:30pm

                              Chefs: Chefs of Mozza

                              Restrictions: Wine, gratuity, and sales tax not included. A selection of Bastianich family wines will be available for purchase with lunch. Our corkage fee is $20 per bottle and we have a 2 bottle maximum per party.

                              Please call the Mozza2Go Event Line at 323.297.1133 to make your reservation.

                              Seating is limited to 22 people to allow for an intimate family-style dining affair. Please note this is a family lunch and, as with all family lunches, there are no substitutions.

                              A Credit Card will be required to hold your reservation. Cancellation is required 48 hours prior to class, any cancellation after that time will be subject to a charge of 50% the cost of class.

                              Join the chefs of Mozza for Italian Sunday lunch. We will offer a multi-course menu featuring Beef in the Style of Tuscany. A selection of Bastianich family wines will be available for purchase with lunch.

                        2. re: wpage

                          I enjoyed a good laugh... WITH you of course ...

                          There's a certain 'tude that Mozza carries, but all in all, I find that staff and management are looking to provide you with the best experience possible.

                          Sounds like an awesome experience and thanks for the post.

                      1. You lucky hound! (And wonderful review, Jennalynn.)

                        It sounds like a great opportunity to get 20 hounds together sometime -- any thoughts on whether they'd give the table to a worthy group?

                        1. Blackboard Eats has a 30% Mozza2Go

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sparkareno

                            Quote from the offer:

                            "*available during lunch or dinner; max order: $100; valid for takeout only; valid for phone orders only; not valid with any events or classes; not valid for private events; discount not valid on retail items"

                          2. Has anyone been for poultry yet? I'd be grateful for a quick review as I have plans to go later this month...

                            Thanks in advance!

                            1. Had Sunday lunch at Mozza2go for the tuscan beef event. Nancy Silverton was there with her family celebrating her father's birthday. Hey. Good enough for Silverton. Good enough of me.

                              The meal was spectacular. The bagna cauda was simply amazing, I had to really hold myself back from eating too much but it was the most ethereal bagna cauda I've had. Rich, tasty, and briny. Perfect with the amazing vegetables. I set aside some baby sweet peppers and fennel to cut through the richness that I knew was going to unleashed. The eye opening dish of the night was the ox tail. Each portion consisted of 3 links/sections of oxtail. Braising it connected resulted in the most tender and succulent oxtail that I've ever had. Better than any version I've had in 3 decades of oxtail eating. Magnificent. Btw, those peppers and fennel that I set aside earlier made it easy to finish a second helping of words-cannot-describe-how-good-this-is oxtail. My least favorite dish was probably the korean style short ribs. They were good but I've had better in K-town.

                              I actually ran into the same couple I sat next to at the pig dinners. We discussed that if we had to choose, we might give a slight edge to the pig dinners just for the fact that the first course of various salumis, sausages, potted pig, etc. was so good at highlighting different aspects and tastes of the pig. The highlight of the pork meal for me though was the genius Parmigiano-Reggiano souffle and pork bolognese.

                              IMO these two dinners knocked it out of the park. The souffle and the oxtail easily rank as some of the most memorable dishes I've ever had. I'd take either of these two dishes again over French Laundry anyday.

                              Next month Nancy said was tomato. I just confirmed on the website. I requested shellfish for the following month. Let's see if that happens.

                              Bravo to Silverton and crew.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Porthos

                                I went to the pork dinner two saturdays ago and it was absolutely ridiculous. I had not fully prepared my date because part way through the salumi sausage course, he turned to me and said, this meal has been amazing. He had no idea that was only the first course. The amount of food that came out was simply jaw dropping, with the high points being the pig liver pate, which may have the honor of my favorite pate I've ever eaten, and the carnitas. These dinner would be such a fun and fantastic way to celebrate a special occasion. I definitely want to go to one of the tomato dinners and I would absolutely go back for a shellfish dinner.

                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                  I'm headed to Poultry tomorrow night. Will report back.

                                  1. re: Jennalynn

                                    Can't wait to hear how it was! Thanks for posting the initial review; this wouldn't have been on my radar otherwise.

                                    1. re: Jennalynn

                                      I was there on Friday too -- I think it was just a party of 6 (us), a party of 4 and a party of 12.

                                      I more consistently liked/loved the food at pork night, but it was still great - absolutely fun night, great food - and will go again for sure.

                                      1. re: Heidi

                                        I was with the party of 12. If I had to rank them... and it would be splitting hairs... I'd go: Beef, Poultry, Pork. I loved Pork, but it really was tooooo much. I couldn't enjoy the end I was so full.

                                    2. re: mollyomormon

                                      Hi mollyomormon, Porthos,

                                      :Drool: :) These dinners sound amazing. I'm going to have to try their Pork or Beef Night soon. Thanks for the great reviews. :)

                                      1. re: exilekiss

                                        E-kiss. You have a typo. That's Pork AND Beef Night soon...

                                        These two dinners really are some of the best eats in LA right now. I dread the day when reservations become impossible and prices double a la Ludo...

                                  2. Awesome write-up! I thought I couldn't handle another meal like this for a while and now I am craving the BEEF!

                                    Also super interested in a seafood/fish experience!

                                    Here's my pork write up:

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jacqueline f

                                      When's the beef dinner? I don't eat pork so .... Also will it bevoffeted for lunch to? And is it only limited to like 25 guests? And how much?

                                      Thanks all

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        The schedule for September is Tomatoes on Friday nights, Pork on Saturday nights and Beef for Sunday Lunch. The cost is $75 per person food only. Wine is at an extra cost.

                                    2. Just for completeness sake...

                                      I went to the Veneto dinner last Friday. It was mostly hits with a couple of misses. Definitely not as knockout good as the beef and pork dinners but worth trying.

                                      Turnout was less than the other dinners which meant more food for me...

                                      We had:

                                      - Fritti Misti. Fried seafood which included large santa barbara prawns, calamari, mullet, sardines, and sayori. This dish was stellar. The prawns were amazingly delicious, the mullet was excellet, the sayori was a wonderful surprise and treat. It's one of my favorite sushi items, I should have known it tasted so good fried. The meat was tender and more delicate than the mullet (which I also enjoyed very much). It would have been a perfect dish except for the calamari where the breading was a bit thick and tough. Otherwise, my favorite dish of the night.

                                      -Risotti. 3 types of risotto. Porcini, clams, and uni. Yes, the uni was the best but each of the 3 had a distinct flavor profile and was the essence of the ingredient advertised so overall this was also highly successful. My only complaint is that they were a touch light on the portions so a few people didn't get appropriate servings of the uni risotto.

                                      -Polenta with duck ragu and chanterelle mushrooms. Another awesome dish. The polenta was very comforting, the duck ragu was rich, the chanterelles perfectly cooked and delicious.

                                      -Calves liver with blasamic. Decent liver dish but not really standout

                                      -Bolliti misti. Bollito consisting of tongue, chicken, pork belly, and cotechinio. This dish had so much promise but was so over salted that it was impossible to eat without the accompanying mashed potatoes. Sad really. I think the problem was the pork belly and/or tongue which was brined like corned beef and even pink like such. Since everything was cooked together, it was very over salted and pretty much ruined everything. I wish they would revisit this dish and rework it since it has so much promise.

                                      The wine selection was better for this one. No more shameless Bastianich self promotion of wines and they actually had a good selection of wines from the Veneto.

                                      The fritti misti and the uni risotto were standouts. If I had known, I would not have paced myself and probably could have downed half the plate of the polenta with duck ragu and chanterelles and been perfectly happy with the first 3 dishes. My consumption of the entire fried sayori made it worthwhile for me personally.

                                      I'd call this event a successful one and worth going to if you keep an open mind. It could be another home run if they reworked the bollito misto and made it more like Nerbone's version in Mercato Centrale in Florence.

                                      1. Has anyone been to a December Friday dinner yet? The theme is "Best of 2010". I'm going next week and would love to know what's on the menu so I can strategize...

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: daveena

                                          Called M2G and here is the lineup:

                                          Burrata Caprese from Tomato Dinners
                                          Mushroom Risotto from the Veneto Dinners
                                          Pork Bolognese with Parmigiano cheese souffle from the Pork Dinners
                                          Guinea Hen from the Poultry Dinners
                                          Bistecca from the Beef Dinners

                                          I did not go to the Tomato or Poultry dinners so I can't speak for those dishes.

                                          The portion size on the mushroom risotto during the Veneto dinners were a bit small so that doesn't even count. The bolognese with souffle is my favorite dish of the lineup but there wasn't an excess of it at the pork dinner and you were only given a medium sized serving. I don't know how the guinea hen was prepared so I don't know if you need to pace for that. The bistecca was good but I thought the oxtail was a far better dish from the beef dinners. Basically, I'm saying it doesn't seem like you need to pace seeing as how the first 3 courses are a bit "lighter". Save room for yogurt gelato if there is any.


                                          1. re: Porthos

                                            Thanks for checking! Too bad neither the bagna cauda nor the oxtails are on the menu - I was really hoping they'd both be included based on your descriptions - but at least I don't have to worry about pacing now.

                                            1. re: Porthos

                                              In addition to the lineup above that Porthos posted, on Dec. 10th there were bread sticks and prosciutto to start. I wish I had loaded up on some extra prosciutto to accompany the caprese course.

                                              There was PLENTY of each dish to go around with the exception of the souffle which was served individually in a bowl. In fact there was so much extra of some of the dishes that I wouldn't be surprised if they scale back a bit for the upcoming dinners.

                                              Dessert was an excellent pine nut gelato.

                                          2. Reporting back on the Citrus Dinners in January.

                                            1st course: trio of yellowtail crudo in chile lime vinaigrette, shaved fennel salad with orange and red onions, mixed citrus salad of various oranges topped with black pepper and oilve oil. A nice way to start the meal

                                            2nd course: Blood orange braised calamari pasta. Excellent pasta, al dente, different. A perfectly cooked pasta dish.

                                            3rd course: duo of roasted peking duck breast served with orange marmalade and a bacon cippolini dressing and peking duck confit served with candied mandarin-quats and kumquats. The confit was excellent, tender, and crisp. The duck breast was superlative. Cooked medium rare and so tender it was almost silken. This prep bested some of the duck breasts served at many high end dining establishments.

                                            4th course: grilled lamb chops and saddle and brasied lamb leg, ribs, and brisket. I had a suspicion this was going to be a stellar course so I was pacing myself the entire evening. My suspicions were correct. The grilled lamb chops were superb and the braised lamb parts were so good I didn't feel bad nearly finishing an entire plate myself

                                            5th course: dessert of crepes stuffed with ricotta cheese and a side of blood orange and oro blanco sorbet. The oro blanco was a touch bitter but otherwise a very good dessert.

                                            I would put this tied or just slightly below the veneto dinner. The top two are still easily the pork and beef dinners.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Porthos

                                              It all sounds wonderful. When you say "Peking" duck are you talking about some type of classic Chinese preparation or did you mean "Pekin" duck (a type of duck breed)?

                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                I wish I hadn't missed the citrus dinner! I'm trying beef in a couple weeks. So cannot wait. Thanks for the report!

                                              2. Reporting back on the Feast of 5 Feathers dinner.

                                                I don't know if the novelty is wearing off or if the subsequent dinners just aren't as good as the beef and pork dinners but this one was good but I wouldn't be dying to go back if this was my first experience. I feel like food is getting less too. Maybe I've just learned to pace myself and not overdo it early on.

                                                We had:

                                                Guinea hen pate wrapped in bacon. My second favorite dish of the night. Excellently made pate. Rich, with nice pieces of meat. Delicious

                                                Roasted quail. My favorite dish of the night. Very flavorful and tender quail. I made sure I grabbed a second before it was all gone.

                                                Turkey pot pie. Beautiful presentation and excellent pastry crust. Pot pie filling was good but pretty standard.

                                                Fried chicken with slaw and biscuits. I was so looking forward to this. Chicken was good, tender, but tasted primarily of corriander.

                                                Dessert was frozen meringue with citrus gelato.

                                                Decent dinner but not as good as the pork and beef dinners

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                  Proving that you can't fowl all of the people all of the time.

                                                2. Any reports from the crab dinners in July? If not, I'll post in 2 weeks.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Porthos

                                                    Very good but not as compelling as the pork dinner (on par with the beef). The usual half glass of prosecco and two types of passed focaccia prior to the dinner proper. First course was an excellent beer battered soft shell crab topped with a beer battered onion ring on a bed of fennel, apple & celery salad (the salad could have used more bite to contrast the fried crab). Next came a spicy king crab leg "gratinate" (cream rather than cheese), which was good but disappointing in that it just consisted of one segement per person--a double portion would have made most of us happier. The third course was a big serving of declicious dungeness crab and sweet corn ravioli with chive blossoms (which added a bite to each bite)--tied for best dish of the night. The last savory course was a blue crab "Louie" roll served with sides of crispy potato quarters and little gem lettuce; somewhat like a New England style lobster roll but with crab instead. Everyone loved this, and the potatoes. Dessert was a very tasty Greek Yogurt Gelato Pie. Definitely worth it but, if I could choose only one Famiglia dinner to go back to, the pig would win in a landslide.

                                                    1. re: New Trial

                                                      Excellent report.

                                                      Sounds like you loved every single dish except for the portion size on the king crab leg. Understandable when something like that costs $40-50 per pound and you're paying $75 for 5 courses of a high priced ingredient.

                                                      The pig dinner was excellent but the coda alla vaccinara was probably the single best braised ox tail dish I have ever had. I managed to pace myself correctly and put down 2.5 portions worth. I loved that the oxtail wasn't the usually segmented oxtail but the entire tail. It's what dreams are made of.

                                                      That Greek yogurt gelato is one of my favorite flavors there and perfect after a heavy meal. Looking forward to my turn at the crab dinners in 2 weeks. Thanks for the wonderful report.

                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                        My observation was not intended as a slam on the dinner or how filling it all was but rather a reflection of just how enjoyable the crab leg was--if you will, "pigginess" on the part of me and my fellow diners. Before the dish was presented, the Chef advised us that it was small but packed a lot of flavor. He was, as always, spot on.

                                                        1. re: New Trial

                                                          Guilty of said pigginess. I probably would have had and will have the same reaction.

                                                      2. re: New Trial

                                                        That sounds so good! I'd have picked a crab dinner given the choice, but couldn't risk it in case my flight gets in late at LAX.

                                                        Will have to settle for hog:) Hope Greek yogurt gelato is offered too.

                                                        Has anyone been to the tomato dinners yet, or are they new for summer?

                                                        1. re: Windy

                                                          I am not sure how long you will be staying in LA but I believe that they will be repeating the crab dinners as a Thursday dinner in August, when tomato takes over the Friday rotation. They did do a tomato dinner last year but will not necessarily be repeating the menu from then--when I asked, they were still considering what the menu would encompass. The pig dinner offers a different dessert, assorted gelati with pig shaped biscotti.

                                                          1. re: New Trial

                                                            Thanks, New Trial. This trip is just a long weekend. I originally booked Friday night before they announced what was on the menu. But taking my mom---who hates tomatoes. So we'll be pigs.

                                                            Always happy to have an excuse to return. I loved the butterscotch budino at the pizzeria last time I was in town.