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Apr 13, 2011 10:01 AM

Review of Mother Dough

Got a chance to check out Mother Dough in Los Feliz, the new neopolitan style pizzeria. They use true 00 flour and has all their cheeses shipped over from Italy. And of course, the wood burning pizza oven that bakes the pies in 60 to 90 seconds at 850 degrees.

Started off with some salads and charcuterie

Mixed green salad. Not sure why we ordered this. We could have done without it for sure. Was nothing special other than all the greens were really fresh.

The burrata salad was one of the highlights of the night. I asked the waiter (not knowing that they get all their cheeses shipped in from Italy) where they get their burrata from, since it seems like all the restaurants in LA that serve good burrata get it from the same 3 places locally (including Mozza). When he told me it was from italy, I was very excited to try it. It was the creamiest burrata I've ever had. The mozzarella layer was so creamy, that it was hard to distinguish it from the ricotta. simply awesome.

Also ordered the charcuterie. Dont' remember all the cuts of meat, but had your usual fare of prosciutto, salami, something similar to a spanish chorizo, etc. Was good to nibble on with some wine.

Now on to the pizzas. The margherita, which uses fresh buffalo mozzarella, was amazing. The crust was one of the best I've had, just the right about of crunch and chewiness with some char around the edges. The middle of the pie wasn't as soggy as you often find in neopolitan pizzas, which I liked. The pies also don't come pre cut into slices, much like Italy.

The 2nd pie was the prosciutto and arugula. This seems to be a popular combo, as many artisan pizza places seem to have it on their menu. While is was good, it wasn't as good as the more simple margherita. The prosciutto and arugula pie at Mozza still stands as king in this department.

With 2 bottles of Malbec, the bill came out to $119 before tip. Very happy to have this place in my hood and hope the word gets out about them so that they continue to do well. Will definitely be going back.

Mother Dough Pizza
4648 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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  1. Definitely going to be one of my local faves as well. Even though I made the mistake of going late and hungry, where typically I'm more interested in filling my stomach than enjoying the meal.

    About a twenty-minute wait for the pizzas when they're busy, as the waitress explained the oven can only handle two pies at a time. They only have five pies on the menu -- no pepperoni -- so if you're the type who wants a lot of ingredients this is not the place for you. And note they're not open for lunch or on Mondays.

    Per your recommendation I will definitely be trying the burrata next visit, and giving myself time to savor the experience. This could easily make my top-ten L.A. pizza list.

    Mother Dough Pizza
    4648 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    1 Reply
    1. re: maxzook

      Definitely try it and let me know what you think.

    2. Wow. This place has THE most amazing dough I've ever had. I mean, this is the shit.

      Many years ago, on my first trip to Italy, I had an amazing heart-shaped pizza made by a lovestruck boy name Gennaro at a pizza shop called Pizza Re. (and no, this sweet gesture was not meant for me but for the friend I was with, but I got the heart-shaped pizza too so I wouldn't feel left out) Until now, in my mind, this was the pizza to beat. Mother Dough pretty much got there with the toppings & overall taste, but absolutely OBLITERATED it in the dough department.

      Mother Dough is a truly remarkable dough - the chew, the spring, the stretch, the subtle crunch, the gorgeous blistering that occurs in the 850 degree oven... it is an artistic expression, and a delicious one at that.

      Mario & Nancy, step aside and bow down to The Mother.

      Poor Gennaro. Despite his valiant efforts, he didn't get the girl.

      1. We went tonight. I thought it was Ok, especially since the place just opened, but still could use some work. If they're going to charge these prices and focus on a limited menu with perfect execution, they will need to step up their game a little. I don't know if it's that they serve the pizza on ceramic plates (vs. metal or wood trays), but the bottom had no crunch at all. The thickness and chewy part of the crust were about right, if a bit uneven (doughy in spots, possibly a little too thin in others), but no crispy bottom, despite the abundant char. The char patterns seemed a little off -- patchy rather than spotty, and with a bit more bitter-burned taste than I'd like, as if there was a bit too much flour on the bottom of the dough or something, or as if the burned spots steamed against the plate. The sauce was pretty good - tangy enough, not too sweet or flat... maybe just a touch salty in a couple spots.

        I'm happy to see new places doing this style of pizza in Los Angeles, but given the smug and patronizing text on their placemats, I hope they continue to make improvements.

        Tried the raw marcona almonds with lemon and salt, and a dish of marinated olives as appetizers - I give them credit for not doing things the same as everywhere else (the olives were room temperature rather than warmed in the oven, the almonds didn't taste like your usual roasted ones with olive oil), but Mother's versions didn't really blow me away.

        Based on tonight's visit alone, I feel that I would rank even somewhere like Olio a bit higher. And, while they're not really trying to make this style of pizza, since Sonia went there, I don't think it's quite time for Mozza to relinquish its crown.

        8 Replies
        1. re: will47

          Mozza has its merits but my comment was only with repect to the dough. True, the 2 doughs are not in the same camp, but I say absolutely that Mother Dough is superior. Wonder Bread is a different style of bread than a fine baguette, but I would say absolutely that the baguette is superior to Wonder Bread. I can't imagine a single instance where I would prefer to eat Wonder Bread to baguette (well, maybe if I needed some soft breadcrumbs to go into meatloaf).

          1. re: soniabegonia

            Definitely subjective, and I don't doubt that Mother Dough's crust is superior in your opinion, but I don't think "fine baguette" to "Wonder Bread" is even remotely a valid comparison here. They are slightly different styles, but not as drastically different as you are saying (personally, I give Mozza's crust the upper hand so far. Even if you completely hated Mozza's crust, it would be a huge insult to compare it to "Wonder Bread".

            As far as I know, both are fairly wet, naturally leavened (i.e., sourdough), pizza doughs, though Mozza is not trying to be Neapolitan style exactly.

            1. re: will47

              Hm. I can see how you thought I was comparing Mozza to Wonder Bread that was merely to illustrate how you can compare 2 completely styles of dough and pick a winner. I don't hate Mozza; in fact I quite like it. I just think Mother Dough is vastly superior. I completely acknowledge that it's not a fair comparison. But when it comes to food, I can and do compare apples & oranges. (Incidentally, I prefer oranges to apples! Hehe :P)

              1. re: soniabegonia

                good grief - major ADD. you get the idea.

          2. re: will47

            Count me in as another annoyed by the placemats. Not a big fan of the pizza either. Just came back from trying Sotto's neapolitan margherita and it was vastly more satisfying. More uniformly browned bottom and crust and it doesn't fall apart in the middle. Less acidic tomato sauce. Sotto's tomato sauce sings whereas Mother Dough's plays second fiddle to their wonderful mozzarella, the only aspect of the pizza I find better than Sotto. In this area, I'm going to stick with Garage since it's the same price, bigger, and much tastier in my opion.

            1. re: will47

              Forgot to add link to Sotto. Also, is anyone else annoyed by the fact that they don't cut the pizza into 4 slices here? It would be fine if their crust wasn't so soggy in the middle that cutting the pizza with a butter knife is extremely awkward and inefficient. We told this to the waitress and she said they're just trying to stick with tradition. I'm all for tradition but not to a fault. +1 to Sotto for cutting the pizza.

              9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

              1. re: maiweezy

                I'm totally with you on being annoyed by places that don't cut their pizza into slices (looking at you, Terroni). It's not like the pizza doesn't eventually need to be cut. It just means you have do it at your table with cutlery that's usually inadequate for the job, leaving ragged edges and a mess of toppings.

                I also dislike the placemats. In general, I find it annoying when restaurants tell me how I am supposed to enjoy my food (unless it's something completely wacky and weird that needs explanation). If the food is good, it will speak for itself.

                7605 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                1. re: maiweezy

                  Went to Sotto recently and found the quality of their pizza toppings to be exceptional. The crust however, was bland, lacking in tartness or flavor. The pizzas were a little too doughy in some places and a bit soggy in the center, but not nearly as soggy as the pies at Mother Dough. (Maybe that's a feature/problem with the Stefano Ferrara ovens?) All in all, I have problems, but totally different ones, with the pizzas at both of these places. I still prefer Bollini's to both of them.

              2. Wow, I'm going to have to disagree with most of the people on the board who love this place. Quite honestly the worst "Neapolitan" pizza I've had in a long time -- mainly because of the crust. The quality of the ingredients was very high. The ambiance was nice. The service was good. The wait wasn't long. Unfortunately, the crust was awful.

                We ordered two pies, the sausage pizza and the one made with buffalo mozarella and oven-roasted tomatoes. The tomato pizza arrived at our table with the cheese swimming in puddles of olive oil. The sausage pizza was also dressed with unnecessary olive oil. In both cases, when we cut into the pizza and picked up slices, they were so greasy, most of the toppings slid off. The edges of the crust were nicely blistered, but it was wet and soggy in the middle. Ick. Over the next few days, we ate at other pizza places around town to remind ourselves that Neapolitan pizza is NOT supposed to taste like that.

                I want to give Mother Dough another chance, especially since most other people seem like they've had good experiences. (My friend's boss has already been there 3 times and loves the place.) But it was so bad, I am dreading it.

                1. Well word is definitely out. There was a line on a Saturday waiting for it to open, and within 15 minutes, the waiting list was already being used. From that point on, there were at least 10 people waiting outside, rotating as some were seated and others arrived. And surprisingly, there were a LOT of kids. About a quarter of the tables had kids. This contributed to the high noise level. It's not shouting loud, but there is NO sound insulation.

                  Burrata salad was delicious as previously mentioned. The cheese had a certain graininess that screamed freshness. And it melted on the tongue. But this salad was unexpectedly spicy. With red pepper flakes throughout. A little too spicy imho.

                  Then we waited. And waited. A full hour and 5 minutes from the time we ordered until the pizzas came out. I'm guessing it was an anomoly, but nonetheless, it happened. So beware if you plan to eat here before a show at the Pantages, Palladium or Greek Theater.

                  Also as previously posted, the margharita pizza was delicious. The creamy buffalo mozzarella was a real treat. And the flavorful basil gave it the needed pop.

                  The sausage pizza was less impressive, with sparse sausage and much less mozzarella. It was improved by a sprinkling of red pepper from the jar provided by the waiter. I did, though, like very much the fennel flavor in the sausage itself.

                  One thing about this crust, it's awesome for the first few slices, but you really need to eat this pizza quick. The longer you wait, the chewier it gets. So by the end, the last slice is quite chewy.

                  Overall a nice meal, very filling with one salad and two pizzas for two people. But in my mind not worth the wait for a table. If I go back, it will be early during the week when there's less of a wait.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: lil mikey

                    I'm sorry to say the wait for pizzas is not an anomaly. The waitress pointed out what was clearly visible: there was only one pizza maker (the owner) working with a small oven.

                    1. re: maxzook

                      I really really really liked the margherita pizza here, pefrect bufala mozzarella, crushed san marzano tomatoes, and beautiful sourdough crust with pockets that are burnt from the char from the oven. i'm not one of the naysayers on this one, it's better than all the neapolitan style pizza makers in LA, i think (although Madeo on Beverly may take the prize). and i've never tried the pies at angelini osteria, at least not yet.

                      Madeo Restaurant
                      8897 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                      1. re: kevin

                        It really is fantastic. I'm glad you liked it Kevin.

                        Are you planning on doing a full review of the place?

                        1. re: TailbackU

                          I will report back on a full review. and of course how could i leave out the chocolate mousse?

                    2. re: lil mikey

                      On a really busy night, I'm afraid the hour or so wait for the pies is going to be a common occurrence. The oven only allows two pies to be baked at one time and with only one person making all the pizzas, it's to be expected. People wait 3-5 hours to eat at Bianco's in Phoenix (and well worth it, well maybe not 5...), I don't think an hour is all that bad if you go in with proper expectations. Besides, that's what appetizers are for right?

                      1. re: TailbackU

                        There is no way I would wait 5 hours for a pizza pie or anything else. I might wait 2 hours for the French Laundry if I was guaranteed a seat. I would not wait for an hour for Mother Dough, though I love it, because I know if I time it right, I can get in & out in 30 minutes, like the first time I tried it. The second time, not exactly. The pizza was still damn good, though.

                        1. re: soniabegonia

                          I slipped in at 10:30 on Thursday after a long day at work. Only 1 other table occupied... I ordered the margherita even before I sat down. Got water delivered in 1 minute, pizza in another 4 minutes, inhaled it embarrassingly fast, put a 20 on the table and was walking out the door at 10:45. That has to be a record. Excellent pizza. I'm appreciating the sauce more & more each time. The dough... yeah...the dough is what really gets me excited, but the sauce has the perfect balance of tangy & sweet & not overly fussed with, and the pizza is always perfectly seasoned. Since I refuse to wait an hour+ for pizza anywhere, I'll just enjoy my pizza at vampirish hours...

                          Edit: I just realized that the sauce kind of reminds me of Marcella Hazan's tomato/butter sauce, which is the epitome of pure tomato essence.

                          1. re: soniabegonia

                            I think i went there at like 8pm or so, or maybe 730, and it wasn't terribly busy. got the pizza in like 5 to 8 minutes, and then inhaled it pretty quickly and finished off with the triple chocolate mousee with lavender sea salt caramel, and it's great to know they are open late, but are they open past 11pm on weeknights???

                            it can get a little pricey though but it's worth it based on the ingredients and the artisanal care put into the pizzas. 15 bucks for the basis, personally sized pie, and then 8 or 9 bucks for the chocolate mousse.