Pizzeria Mozza Review... Good Appetizers, Pizza just ok...
I've heard so much about this place and the amazing pizzas, I was so excited to finally make it out to their L.A. location with my mom and my son... (the best, pickiest critics ever!)
We had reservations and were seated right away, pretty good for a weekend, right?? I will say, I did have high expectations, maybe due to all the love it gets on Chowhound and amongst my own family members...
The place was busting at the seams with people, but service was attentive and rather efficient.
Nice starter with the bread stick, although pretty dry mouth feel since they do not bring you any accompaniment.
I had asked a very trusted source about Mozza (the Pizzeria) and recommended dishes, which in turn they answered ..."everything is so good, there's usually nothing left on the plate, and if there was... I would rub it all over!" LOL
Sadly, I did not feel like rubbing it all over :) ok, maybe the meatballs! but that would be gross! LOL
We started with the meatballs which turned out to be amazingly tasty,very tender, with great seasoning paired nicely with the must have traditional red Italian sauce, which by the way, I loved that it was not sweet!( I hate when that happens)... this one had a very nice acidity to it... but not over the top and really well balanced in flavor, really tasted like it cooked all day. Great Start!
Another hit dish! The octopus was extremely tender (and we all know how easy it is to get over-cooked rubbery calamari) and well seasoned, beautifully balanced with the fragrant olive oil,acidity from the red wine vinegar, creamy white fagioli beans, a touch of herbaceousness from the oregano with a light sweetness and freshness added by the tomatoes.
Ok, here things start to go down hill... I hate to say this, because I'm sure I'm the only one in the world that thinks the following dishes are really not much to talk about and I may just be thrown out of Chowhoud and every foodie worthy .com place for the following comments LOL!
The bread with olive oil: Ok, I know that is what we ordered, and you really cannot tell from the picture, but trust me that this was drowning in Oil! waaaayyy too much oil... Sadly that really ruined the experience of this otherwise amazing bread.
Let's start with the crust: They bring you a butter knife to cut your pizza... Butter Knife?? really? Yes, really! LOL (I could have asked for a steak knife, but couldn't really find our waitress and I made due, but they should know that their pizza's cannot really be cut with butter knifes)
I had this notion that the I would take my first bite and this extreme crunch sensation would begin to fill all my senses. instead, it was sort of average...well cooked, not burned per se, but missing that extra umph! However the nice puffy edges were crunchy and very good.
This really could have benefited from a bit less cheese (although my cheese loving fanatic mom would argue against this) and a little bit of bechamel so its not all bread & cheese... A creamy element would have really saved this.
Our second and last pizza made our mouth water... until it came to the table. Sad, I know, but true.
The Prosciutto was cold and placed onto the pizza after it was baked & cut, thus warming portions of it by the heat of the pizza while other portions of the prosciutto were still cold. This temperature unevenness and the fact that the rucola was not even dressed with a little olive oil, lemon or vinegar..nothing! made it almost inedible.
However, once home, we placed it in the oven, let the Prosciutto get nice and warm and a bit crispy (the prosciutto crispy) but also the pizza... oh man! waaayyy better! IMHO, that's how they should serve it... Please Mozza...??
Overall above average experience (barely), but I really would not do the drive all the way to L.A. just to go to Mozza, if I'm in the area, I might give it another try.
I welcome all your comments... is there any other pizza I should have tried instead?
Here are the pictures:
Sorry for you average experience. The first thing that really turns me off is how snooty the servers are, like you are doing them a favor by eating their. But I have never had bad food there. The pizza with yukon gold potatoes, egg, and bacon is a winner as is the lasagna special.
We went last month and had a great time. Service wasn't snooty at all...in fact, they were quite helpful. We shared the calamari and the bone marrow as starters. Both were stellar. We shared the margerhita, the potato/egg/bacon, and "meat lover's" pizzas. Each pizza seemed better and better. I was particularly impressed by the crust...just the right amount of crisp and chew. Our pizzas were pre-sliced, so there was no need for us to have knives. We got three different desserts, but the clear winner was the butterscotch budino.
Nice review. I do like Pizzeria Mozza, but I'm not crazy about the pizzas either. The edges are too puffy. I like a nice thin pizza all the way through from beginning to end. Love the appetizers such as the Affetati Misti, the Fried Squash Blossoms, the Baby Peppers With Tuna, and the Meatballs. I also love the Chicken Liver Bruchette and any of the Panini's. But as for the pizzas - no thanks.
Servorg, I have to hand it to you. You caught me flip-floppin'. It's true, I wrote on here (July 2, 2008) that I loved the pizzas at Pizzeria Mozza. Recently, however, I have grown a dislike for "puffy edge" pizzas - too much dough. Now, I prefer a thin crisp edge. I still love Pizzeria Mozza, though. Nice job Servorg.
Well... am I glad to see im not the only one who feels this way! LOL
It's not in my report... but I did have a little incident that really was so out of line... that we didn't order dessert and instead, ask for my check and left... this is what happened:
All was going ok as far as service, our waitress was actually really nice... (keep in mind the place was so loud & noisy and full of people)
the manager (or asst. manager) comes to me and says in a non-appologetic and pretty pretentious manner: "we like to keep the pictures to a minimum as to not bother our other guests" ...
I thought, come on!, your a pizza place, ok, high end and all, but really?... who was noticing and bothered if it was so loud and chaotic in there anyways!... ugh! that upset me, because, really, they are not a michelin restaurant (which btw, ive never ever had problems at any high end restaurant taking pictures)
Just thought that was a little pretentious... and I just wanted to leave! she sort of embarressed me... when i told our waitress, she was really encouraging me to leave a comment for the other manager and she also did mentioned that she was kinda of b**** (her words, I swear!)
I'd be interested to try their satellite location in the OC... ??
Just a heads-up that we've removed a bunch of posts from this thread that were focused on how fair or unfair it was of the restaurant to address the OP's photo taking. Manners and etiquette are generally off topic for Chowhound's regional boards, although it's ok if you'd like to start a discussion on the Not About Food board.
Been to P.Mozza Hollywood around 30-40x and P.Mozza Newport about 5-6x now. P.Mozza Hollywood is just slightly better. Some items are identical. I prefer the crust at the Hollywood branch. Service has always been excellent, no attitude from anyone, the music is fine, the only thing I can fault them for is the pacing. Obviously I am a fan.
Ciao, that's exactly was the bottom crust felt like, kind of cardboardy... It's obviously better than your run of the mill pizza hut which is gross :)
but driving from Downey although not too far, traffic is a you know what...
Not worth the drive for me, I guess if I'm visiting my sister in Newport we could try the OC location although as porthos said, it's not as good as the Hollywood one.
Still I'm glad I tried it.
Any other pizza places worth a try??
Thanks everyone for your responses!
Happy almost Friday! Yey!!
re: Ciao Bob
Thanks Cio Bob!
I will research Stella Rosa (although further, if better maybe I can make a day of it with the family)
I love love Chicago style pizza... !!
I have to check out Zelo... Have you tried P.H.A.T. Pizza in Yorba Linda... the thin crust albeit, not traditional Chicago... is nice & crispy with lots of butterly flakyness... like a cross between pizza dough & short-dough! mmmmm...
The Deep Dish is also good, but the thin crust has more of that crunch! ... Its a Hole in the Wall place... probably more a "to-go" pizza joint.
Thanks for the rec.!