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pizza making class at mozza = hugely disappointing

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let me start off by saying mozza has the best pizza in l.a.

i've been a fan of nancy silverton's cooking dating back to campanile. i've eaten multiple times at campanile, la brea bakery at downtown disney, mozza, the osteria, and short order.

my 14 year old son wanted to celebrate his upcoming birthday with a cooking class with a few of his friends. i googled "best cooking class" + "los angeles" and a site popped up that gave a glowing review of mozza's pizza making class, with the following descriptions: "Students got a demonstration from one of Mozza’s chefs and a hands-on lesson in kneading dough and shaping crust" and "During this class, the wine flowed freely, and there was more pizza offered than I was capable of actually sampling."

sounded good to me. and to my son and his friends. it was pricey ($150.00 per person, not including taxes or tip or beverages) but i figured mozza has the best pizza, this will be an awesome unique hands on experience. YOLO!

so we arrive at mozza this past saturday with a reservation for six: my son, three of his teenage friends, myself and my gf. as soon as we sit down i see there is no counter space for us to prepare pizza, so i ask our waiter aaron where this will take place. aaron tells me this is not a hands on cooking class, only the chef prepares the pizza. YIKES! i explained to him the four kids were expecting to get their hands dirty and dusty with flour, kneading dough and shaping crust. i asked to speak to the manager. theresa came out and explained this was a demonstration cooking class only, not hands on. i told her i never would have booked a teenage birthday party, especially at $150/person, if i had known this. theresa assured me the class was interesting and the kids would be engaged.

the class was marginally interesting to me as an adult who dabbles in the kitchen. for the kids is was pure boredom. there were 14 of us attending the class (the other 8 were older couples) and we sat for 3 hours while the pizza chef droned on about the dough, the sauce, the toppings, etc etc.

eventually 10 pizzas were made with different toppings. each pizza was cut into 14 tiny slices so we could all have a taste. so we each ate 10/14 (or approximately 2/3) of a pizza. mozza pizzas are small. this was nowhere near enough food. especially for ravenous teenagers. we all agreed the pizzas were delicious. but then again, anything will taste delicious after you have waited 3 hours. and are served a tiny sliver of a portion.

with tax and tip, for our party of six, the bill came to over $1000.00. the six of us ate a total of 4 pizzas. so i paid $250.00 per pizza.

i was so disappointed with our experience. i sent three polite respectful emails of complaint, over the span of three days, to mozza, asking to speak to a manager. i received zero reply. i even sent an email to nancy silverton (through her assistant) with zero reply.

ultimately a shame because it has really soured my opinion of mozza and their admittedly tasty pizza.

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  1. Yikes! Sorry to hear about your experience, which reads like something of a rip-off.

    I'll stick to ordering/eating their pizza, thank you very much!

    1. I've always thought that class sounded terribly overpriced. Because, unless you have that kind of oven, you can't really duplicate the pizza anyway. And now I'm really glad that I've never done it. Sorry you had the experience, though. And surprised you didn't get some sort of reply.

      1. knowing of your experience has soured me forever on the place.
        there is no excuse for them not replying to you.
        period.

        1. I specifically remember reading somewhere on their website or in one of those mailing list emails that you will not be making pizzas hands on. Which is why I never signed up.

          Looking at the current website, that is not clear at all.

          1. You should've kept googling because there were many sites that mentioned how much of a rip off the pizza making class was.

            1g for 6 people is ridiculous.

            1. They might still reply.

              1. I do note that the description of the pizza making class on their website says "Watch our Chef demonstrate the following pizzas" followed by a list of pizzas. Did you do any inquiry before hand by phone to ask any questions about the class?

                1. I have mixed feelings here. I feel bad for you that it wasn't the experience you were expecting, they absolutely should reply to your email, and like perk my gut reaction has always been that it was terribly overpriced. That said, I'm not sure what they could do after the fact to make things right. You got the impression that the class was "hands on" from a third party reviewer, not from anyone at Mozza. Just because you were disappointed doesn't give you the right to any refund or discount.

                  1. so basically you're angry because you didn't know what you were signing up for?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jasongg06

                      When you own a business and you are offering a service, it's YOUR responsibility to accurately and fairly describe the service to potential customers -- especially something like a cooking class. With the advent of the internet, this can be easily accomplished. It's not like you have to pay an employee to describe the service to each customer. For $150 per person, sampling less than one pizza is a disgrace. I don't blame the OP for being disappointed. Then, to not even respond to multiple emails is disgraceful. The customer service at this restaurant is not what it should be.

                      1. re: jgilbert1000

                        The OP came back and posted (and I'm quoting her here) the following statement about the resolution to her problem

                        _______________________________________________

                        "yesterday i spoke with alex from batali and bastianich hospitality group (www.bandbhg.com). we had a good talk. thank you alex.

                        i'm happy to report alex did rectify the situation and made things right.

                        and i still say mozza has the best pizza in l.a."

                      2. re: jasongg06

                        No she is angry because she was ripped off and then to compound matters, the restaurant didn't have the decency to respond to multiple emails. If you went to a new pizza restaurant and ordered a $18 pizza and it came out the size of a silverdollar, is it your fault because you didn't call the restaurant first and ask if the pizzas are larger than a silver dollar? In the age of the internet, a business can easily describe, fully and fairly a service...especially one that is vague like a "cooking class." For $150 per person, I would not be happy with what this family received, not would I be happy being ignored. PM better reevaluate its customer service.

                        1. re: jgilbert1000

                          This has already been resolved the OP got her money back and parized MOZZA in the process.

                          And by the way, quite being a drama queen, the pizza was not the size of a silver dollar. They were normal 13 inch individual size, you know, like they make in Italy!

                      3. Since you're on this site, I find it strange that you wouldn't just ask here before agreeing to and reserving the class for the six in your party. Or you could have called them and asked for the specifics. I've attended that class and could've explained what would happen.

                        What exactly would you want them to do? They saved those 6 seats for your group. "I'm sorry you read a random blog post from an outside source, and it led you to believe something that is different than the actual information on our site"?

                        And now that you've gone through the whole experience, it's like you ate the entire dish, and now you want it sent back or taken off the bill. I think you'd have more of a case if you just refused to attend, had them keep whatever deposit they may have required, and then maybe they would offer to return your deposit or "store credit"

                        I don't mean to sound harsh, but a quick post here or a call to Mozza would have avoided this whole situation.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: andytseng

                          hindsight is always 20/20.

                          1. re: andytseng

                            OP did not state anywhere that he expected a refund or discount. A reply back from the restaurant to his three emails would have, in the very least, been the courteous thing to do. A promise of a credit at the place for a future visit would have been pretty standard at most places. But obviously, the management could care less, and are unconcerned with any bad press resulting from this. Too bad, really.....

                          2. the website/review i read described the class as hands on. so it never crossed my mind the need to confirm this with mozza when i made the reservation.

                            and i guess my narrative doesn't convey this, but i got the sense at the time that both the waiter and the manager had received complaints similar to mine before, because neither seemed overly concerned about my complaint. in fact theresa the manager seemed annoyed that the kids thought they going to make their own pizzas, telling me at one point: "there will be no deviation from the script"

                            i'm not saying i have a right to a refund or discount. but it would be nice to receive some reply from mozza. mozza was terrifically prompt at responding to my email when i was setting up the birthday party.

                            yes i'm angry. but i also feel disappointed, kinda foolish, kinda duped, definitely ignored.

                            my original post was to give others who might be thinking of taking this class a better idea of what it entails. like i said, the whole experience was a huge disappointment.

                            1. You have every right to be ticked off. My guess is that you will ultimately hear from Nancy.

                              1. I'm not sure who is at fault here. From Mozza's POV they offered a cooking class. And they delivered.

                                I can see why you might think you'd actually be cooking, but not all classes are like that. A cooking lab would suggest hands on cooking. A cooking school too.

                                I'd hate to have spent 150 bucks a head for a bunch of teenagers to listen to someone talk about making pizza when you could've done something truly fun. Sucks.

                                1. Before the internet, this would be like saying "my friend Nancy told me this was hands on, I want my money back."

                                  Other post is correct, if you really wanted to argue the point that they were not clear, you should have walked. It's like people that complaint in a restaurant about the food after they finished everything on the plate.

                                  OK I will say it since no one has the guts to. Why are you spending that much money on a teenage pizza party to begin with?

                                  Why Mozza of all places? You said yourself that it was the best in town. Why would you set up a party for kids at the best restaurant in town and expect Chuck-e-Cheese hands on entertainment.

                                  Mozza is really an upscale place for adults to get good authentic Italian pizza. Not a family restaurant for babysitting teenagers with affluent parents.

                                  Most kids don't have the patience for baking, or school for that matter. Even if your 14 year old son was a budding chef, there is no way all his friends are going to be into it.

                                  If anything, maybe just you and your son should have gone as a bonding session. Or you could have hired a local cook to come to the house and do a pizza party there with all the mess flour makes. Sound like you have a big enough kitchen.

                                  None of that is Mozza's fault. I will only agree with the part about returning you emails. A manager should at least get back to you after spending that kind of money. But I would not expect much, maybe a free dinner. Keep in mind, they had to pay a chef to entertain your kids and cook like a personal chef. They gave you what they advertised. You just read into it something else.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: kjonyou

                                    <<Most kids don't have the patients for baking, or school for that matter>>

                                    respectfully disagree with you on this, kjonyou.
                                    in my experience, most kids like all sorts on hands-on experiences: cooking, building a computer, making a science project, creating a skit, making a youtube video, etc.
                                    what they DON'T like is sitting, watching, and being talked at.

                                    for that matter, these days, why would anyone want to take an in-person class just to be talked at? that's what on-line courses are for. especially why would anyone take an expensive COOKING class like that? the whole point is to develop the "feel" for the materials and the technique that would enable you to do it yourself.
                                    i don't think it's an unreasonable assumption that a costly cooking class would have a substantial hands-on component.

                                    also, while your post is still fresh, you may want to edit it so that the word "patience" is spelled correctly.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      I dont know about this...i looked into the pizza making class a while ago and i discerned from the web site that it wasnt "hands on." not sure why anyone would spend that much money and not get some details...though id think someone wouldve answered the email, i will continue to enjoy Mozza pizzas...

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Well you have a good point, teenagers like to be engaged. But that is not the fault of the restaurant. It's not Chuck-e-Cheese.

                                        I looked into a cooking class near by me in an upscale neighborhood and basically it was the same thing. A small kitchen, someone demonstrating how to cook XYZ and then everyone gets a bite. it was expensive too. That is how it usually works I think unless you go to a culinary school.

                                        The price is irrelevant. if Julia Child was still alive, I am sure a cooking class with her would be very expensive and still not hands on like you imagine.

                                        Look at it this way, with famous place or chefs, you are paying to listen to an expert give you their best tips and secrets. With a cooking school, you are paying for hands on coaching and immersion into the process. Usually by unknown chefs.

                                        The OP wanted it both ways. She expected coaching and interactive hands on experience like you would get in a culinary school, but also wanted the prestige of the best pizza restaurant in the entire city of LA to do it for her.

                                        Well that sounds nice, but I don't think Mozza says anywhere that is what they are offering.

                                        In fact, I don't know ANY restaurant in LA who is at the top of the list that offers that kind of hands on training.

                                        You would have to have multiple cooking stations like a school. It is just not even logical to assume a restaurant would be set up like that.

                                        1. re: kjonyou

                                          Sorry, kjonyou, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

                                          I took a cooking class demonstration with Julia Child sponsored by my University, back about 20 years ago. It was not hands on, but she & a sous cooked everything, it was very informative, we ate everything made, and received a copy of her latest cookbook. We also got a meet & greet with her, I walked away with two signed cookbooks, a photo of us together and had a great experience. As I was just out of college at the time, it was affordable for me, so it was definitely not overpriced.

                                          Also, along the same period of time, I took two cooking classes at a very well known French restaurant in the city I was living in at the time (on the east coast). The restaurant was dinner only anyway, so it was not a big deal for them to give us the run of the place. We arrived early in the a.m., received chef's coats and knives, and got hands on instruction from the head chef, for over six hours. We also received a wine training course from the maitre d' so we could understand about the wines and why they were served with each course. We were also able to invite two guests each that evening, to enjoy the feast we made. One of the classes recreated "Babette's Feast", so we're not talking simple, home cooking techniques. It was by far, the best cooking class I have ever had, and I've taken many.

                                          So to make a blanket statement that unless it was a famous chef or to expect more than what the OP thought he was getting was out of line, is just false. He has every right to feel ripped off, because he was.

                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                            And 20 years ago, there was no Internet, iPhone or Personal computers in the average home. There was no Cooking Channel or Chowhound for that matter.

                                            Things change, that's not how it is anymore. Did Julia give you hand on in the kitchen with her supervision of your pizza? NO, you said it yourself.

                                            She was just cheaper because quite frankly, celebrity chefs were not as big as they are to day. You think The Barefoot Contessa, Giada De Laurentiis or Gordon Ramsay would do that?

                                            Name a famous living chef that would do that today. Even if you could find one, it would be the exception to the rule. Only the unknown ones are willing to do that.

                                            1. re: kjonyou

                                              Ummm, hate to break it to you, but Julia Child was well-known, "big," before the internet and Food TV. She was a big deal 40 years ago.

                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                Thank you, wyogal, I was just about to say the same thing. To say that Julia Child was not BIG & popular twenty years ago is just laughable on its face. Is the celebrity quotient a bit out of whack now, with the advent of Food Network, and other cable channels and outlets? Of course. Would a celebrity chef do incredibly well offering cooking classes, hands on or not? Goes without saying. Doesn't mean the OP did not get ripped off. There was no celebrity quotient present. Perhaps they misread a review instead of the actual resto's own website. Again, still doesn't prove they did not get ripped off.

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                  That is not what I meant ladies, of course she was famous, that is why I used her as an example in the first place. What I said was that it's different now. She would be a lot richer and unapproachable. Like most of the the celebrity chefs of today, you know, in this, decade.

                                                  1. re: kjonyou

                                                    Doubt it. She was who she was, to the core.
                                                    But, think what you want.

                                            2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                              VenusCafe less than a minute ago

                                              I think he was ripped off also. Not fully or well explained in order to seal the deal. This week i have done
                                              transactions with car repair, car rental and car dealers.
                                              Every transaction had an unexplained condition or cagily explained condition that bordered on deception. This is how business is now in America; any condition that might kill the deal is withheld or elided to sound different than it is.
                                              BEWARE and monitor every transaction diligently.

                                      2. i asked to speak to the manager. theresa came out and explained this was a demonstration cooking class only, not hands on. i told her i never would have booked a teenage birthday party, especially at $150/person, if i had known this. theresa assured me the class was interesting and the kids would be engaged.

                                        I'm sure Theresa knew the kids were not going to be engaged but she told him so to keep the booking (1000.00).

                                        1. that is a spectacular ripoff. i wouldn't have paid more than $50 for that.

                                          1. Do you remember, was this what you read?

                                            From a Jan 2011 review on the CBS affiliate titled "Top Cooking Classes of Los Angeles" (!?)

                                            http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/top-li...

                                            "Mozza, run by culinary greats Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich, offers the Rolls Royce of cooking classes. A special wood-paneled private kitchen and dining room nestled between the Osteria and the Mozza2Go is the setting for this culinary expedition. For our pizza class, students got a demonstration from one of Mozza’s chefs and a hands-on lesson in kneading dough and shaping crust. Students sat lined along the far side of a marble counter so they all had a view of the teacher and some counter space to work their dough. In addition to the food the instructor prepares, Mozza lays out antipasti for students so you won’t be starving during the demonstration. During this class, the wine flowed freely, and there was more pizza offered than I was capable of actually sampling. This is a lovely class that’s perfect for first-timers or serious foodies who want to know how they make that fabulous pizza. More demonstration than actual cooking, this class was culinary entertainment. Enjoy this intimate class with a friend or your spouse."

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: souvenir

                                              That's the review in question - if you scroll down you'll see OP posted there, as well.

                                              Whoever wrote this round-up benefitted from free media events, and the Mozza review is the most obvious of the bunch. (To me, but then I'm a food writer.) Reads just like a press release.

                                              I think when you're shelling out that kind of money, it's important to process all the information you're given. The line "During this class, the wine flowed freely," says to me that it's not kid-friendly AND of-age attendees probably come away with merlot-colored memories.

                                              As soon as you voiced your concern to the manager, she should've fired up some pastas, given the kids hunks of dough to follow along with, SOMETHING. But it's also important, as a consumer, to do your due diligence ahead of time!

                                              1. re: souvenir

                                                Wow, that does sound like a completely different type of class. I was assuming that the OP had read a badly worded and misleading review. But that review is pretty detailed and clearly describes a different type of class.

                                                I probably still would have asked more questions before committing to spend $1000 but I can understand better how the OP had different expectations. Mozza didn't create those expectations but if they changed the format of the class in the last year or so, you would think that they would be more prepared for people coming with different expectations and either try to make sure that people knew the format going in or be more accomodating/understanding when someone had complaints.

                                                1. re: bg90027

                                                  Yes, but again, that's not Mozza's ad. That is some strangers review. How can you control that. Should the iPhone be free because someone wrote a misleading review that they were free? By that logic, its Apples fault.

                                                  Really the OP is just PO'd that she didn't check things out and miss planned an event based entirely on someone anonymous review. Now she wants the restaurant to pay for her mistake to save face.

                                                  1. re: bg90027

                                                    also, to me the write-up sounded like the kind of publicity that the RESTAURANT takes a part in generating.
                                                    not one word of criticism.
                                                    something about such gushing/glowing that suggests to me that it was really written/created by the restaurant's publicist.

                                                    this kind of "review" is business as usual and is normal output for most publicity firms.
                                                    the (soft)news organization just tweeks it a little and runs it with no real checking.

                                                    it is beyond belief that the restaurant played no part in that review.

                                                  2. re: souvenir

                                                    I could not agree more,Westsidegal.
                                                    Seems to me that the Batali/Bastianich partners need an ethics workshop.

                                                  3. I took my husband to the pizza making class as a 42nd birthday gift last year. I agree that it is over-priced for what it is and we were still hungry when we left (I think it's hard to feel satisfied after waiting a couple of hours to get a few small (but tasty!) pieces of pizza). And I wouldn't describe the wine as "free-flowing". As I recall, we each got a glass of prosecco as we walked in and one quartino (choice of white or red) as part of the class fee; additional quartinos were available for purchase. We ended up buying an additional quartino for each of us because we weren't able to nurse our included quartinos through the 3 hour class. All that said, we enjoyed the evening but we left the class feeling like it wasn't quite what we thought it would be (and we went in knowing it was not a hands-on class).

                                                    All this may be moot, as they are reported to be revamping the pizza school location: http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/01/...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: MorePeas

                                                      I just wanted to comment that my class experience was pretty much the same. I'm assuming Morepeas also got the free little snacks but just didn't mention them. There was plenty of pizza for my date and I, and we couldn't finish what they gave us. Just hoping to shed some more light for people who will hopefully have the foresight to check here before attending.

                                                    2. Sorry about your experience. Class...demonstration... it's just not clear. I think Mozza has an obligation to make it clear. For my money I would not have been willing to pay $150.00 for a class unless it was offered by my favorite chef, even then I'd want a hands on class, not a demonstration. Heck - the Food Network has 24/7 free cooking 'demonstrations' - why pay $150.00 for one.

                                                      For what it's worth I really like the hands-on classes at The New School of Cooking in Culver City.

                                                      1. One last comment about The New School of Cooking in Culver City. It's been a while, but as I recall, after the students cooked all of the food, a long table was set, the school brought out bread, beverages, wine, and salad. We all sat down at the table and feasted on the meal we'd made. It was delicious, and way more food then we could consume. The only slight slight slight disappointment - I expected a critique of the food we'd made, (just some constructive criticism where appropriate) but when I broached the subject, the instructor looked at me as if to say 'what are you stupid, I'm not even thinking about critiquing paying customers?'

                                                        1. Just as an aside....another "hands on "class that's great fun is the mozarella class at Andrew's Cheese Shop in Santa Monica.
                                                          It is hands on. You make and bring home your own "braid" of fresh mozarella. You're munching on pizza and bruschetta and sipping prosecco the entire time. I don't remember the cost, but it's a lot less than Mozza. I really enjoyed it.

                                                          1. I have sympathy for the OP.
                                                            The OP (rightly or wrongly) had an impression about a cooking class and how it worked and booked an expensive event with certain expectations. Upon arrival, the OP voiced concerns but was reassured by Mozza. What's the OP to do? Most of us would carry on and hope for the best rather than potentially create a scene, offend the host, demand a refund, etc. And, what was the OP going to do with the kids if the class didn't work out?

                                                            I probably would have done the same.

                                                            The experience wasn't what the OP expected (rightly or wrongly) so they voiced their opinion to management who never replied. I believe the OP has a right to go from disappointment to anger at this point.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: cls

                                                              agree with you cls. while the OP should have done his homework by calling and inquiring before dropping some bills, sounds like Mozza equally made a mistake by assuring him that the kids would be entertained. i think even i would have a difficult time sitting thru a demo for that long and have some chef yammer on about sauce, cheese and dough and i'm in my 40's! sounds like Mozza didn't want to lose the money or have a scene. and what was the OP to do? they were there already and they assured him that the teens would enjoy it. in hindsight or from the outside looking in, it's easy to say "i would have stormed outta there!" but once put in that situation, reality may be a bit different.

                                                              they should at least email back and just say sorry. it's no shirt off their back and maybe keep a customer.

                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                Exactly. Well put.

                                                            2. It is not unreasonable for someone paying $150 to expect that a cooking class, nowadays, is "hands on" and special. If one simply wants a "demonstration", they can turn on any one of 20 television channels or find 10,000 videos on youtube. The OPs assumption was quite valid and the review from a respectable source confirmed what the OP suspected about a $150 pizza class. While the OP may just have to chalk it up as a lesson learned, the OP has every right to vent, and I'd like to thank the OP for this information about the class.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: jackattack

                                                                I'm with you. We discuss what we individually feel is important and hope to glean or pass along information along the way. In my opinion, OP is justified to do just that.

                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                  +1

                                                              2. My girlfriend and I almost signed up for this class as well with the same expectations as the OP. Actually we did sign up, pay the the fee, but I did call ahead to find out more details about the ingredients as she has certain food allergies to shellfish. Luckily it came out by the person I talked to that we wouldn't be touching the food. I was confused and inquired if we would wear gloves or something. The person clarified that it was just a demonstration and not hands on. I then requested and received a refund.

                                                                Unfortunately, it was an expensive lesson for the OP to inquire on their own. I understand that we have certain expectations that we wouldn't think was something else.

                                                                1. I was curious enough to look this class up after reading this thread. The Mozza website specifically says its a demonstration, and "watch our chef demonstrate the following pizzas". It doesn't say anywhere that it's a hands-on class, or that students will be making their own pizzas.

                                                                  I don't understand how one would book a class based on the description on a third party website, instead of based on the description on the restaurant's website. The Mozza website is pretty clear that the chef is making the pizzas ("up close and personal demonstration", "watch our chef..."). I don't understand why the OP didnt read the description on the Mozza site instead of trusting a review from 2011 that was probably for a different class format than they have now.

                                                                  26 Replies
                                                                  1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                    Because people trust journalists. The poster googled best cooking class los angeles and saw that article, which lists the Mozza experience at the vert top of the article, It gave the phone number they needed to book it and all the information the poster thought he/she needed to know about the class. The poster called the number and booked the class purely based on that article, and it surprises me how many people think that's crazy. Travel and food writers review places all the time, people read their reviews and book the experience based on the article. Yes, savvy consumers put in the extra mile and look for more reviews and/or read the restaurant's website but this poster isn't the first or last person to ever decide to go somewhere based on an article.

                                                                    Mozza did offer this experience to the journalist but it was either a dog and pony show for the press, or they changed the format of the class after the article was published 2 years ago. A lot of things change in 2 years, so I don't hold it against Mozza for the change, but Mozza has good PR people, I am sure, and surely knows this misleading article is the number one result for "best cooking class los angeles" and is generating business for them. The reporter's name and email address is at the end of the article, and it's easy enough for Mozza to contact the reporter and request a re-review. At the very least they could leave a comment on the article to point out that the experience described doesn't accurately reflect the experience currently being offered. That would show a good faith effort to correct this misperception, but they haven't done that either. And yes, as someone with a background in PR, I do think it's the restaurant's responsibility to monitor and correct this sort of thing. You have to ask yourself why they haven't done either of these things, but I'd guess having the top result on a Google search speaks to that.

                                                                    Mozza does bear some blame here, and at the very least I'd hope they wold respond with a "We're so sorry this misleading information is out there, and we're taking steps to get it corrected." which doesn't help this poster but shows they are committed to ensuring it doesn't happen again.

                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                      Well said.

                                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                                        +1

                                                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                                                          Thank you for stating the obvious. Mozza does bear some responsibility for the OP's poor experience.

                                                                          1. re: Chris VR

                                                                            You speak as if Mozza is some huge corporation with a marketing department, its not. It's one restaurant. Most restaurants don't have anyone full or part time doing marking once they get started. Usually its on an as needed basis.

                                                                            It's not their responsibility to respond to articles several years old. They did not publish it. Maybe if complaints had come in right after the article about how is was misleading, then maybe. But literally no one commented on that article until the OP just now.

                                                                            1. re: kjonyou

                                                                              You don't have to be a big corporation to care about how your business is perceived, and to do what you can to present the most positive perception of your business and your offerings.

                                                                              It's your opinion that it's not a restaurant's responsibility to attempt to keep their Google results up to date and reflecting their current business; it's my opinion that it is. The internet makes it incredibly easy to get the word out on your business, and it also makes it incredibly easy for you to monitor your publicity and do what you can to correct bad information. A good business owner will make a good faith effort to do what they can to keep information on their business up to date.

                                                                              And again, it would have cost the owner no effort to say "We're so sorry this misleading information is out there, and we're taking steps to get it corrected." and drop an email to the author of that article, or leave a comment.

                                                                              1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                ...and how do you know they didn't?

                                                                                bloggers/newspapers are most certainly not obligated to update their articles/reviews.

                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                  How do I know they didn't what?

                                                                                  Based on what we've heard from the OP, they didn't say "We're so sorry this misleading information is out there, and we're taking steps to get it corrected."

                                                                                  There's no comment on that article, so they didn't do that either.

                                                                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                    Wait a minute, Chris VR, based on that logic, then an out-of-date Chowhound post needs to be "updated" by a restaurant.

                                                                                    But, wait a minute, a restaurant cannot post on Chowhound per the Chow policy.

                                                                                    So what's a place like Mozza to do, if (lets use this example) the OP's post stays up and 2 years down the road, Mozza changes its price and makes the class 2 hours instead of 3.

                                                                                    I Google the Mozza class and come across the OP and plop my money down, only to be told by Mozza that now the class is X+1 dollars and it's only 2 hours long.

                                                                                    Is it now Mozza's fault that the OP is out-dated and Mozza never (and could not) as you put it "update" it?

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      If there is a "factual" error in a post then a restaurant can post the correct information on CH without fear of being moderated. At least that has always been the past policy from everything I have read here over the years. They just can't use the issue to start promoting themselves by talking about how great their new menu is and telling hounds to basically "Come on down!!" That won't last. But a correction of fact will be okay.

                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                        Yes, but in that example, it's not a correction of "fact" because when the OP posted his message (circa 2 years ago) it was factually correct, even though it is not anymore (now).

                                                                                        Updating a thread would, I think, constitute "promoting themselves" as you put it esp. if it's something new like an addition or change in menu or course.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          I feel strongly that a correction of that policy would be allowed, even 2 years later if it was done in a strictly "non" promotional manner. If I see a restaurant posting I almost always report it anyway and let the P's - t - Be figure out what the right thing to do is...

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            I doubt it.

                                                                                            They might let a poster do it, but not the restaurant.

                                                                                            Heck, the mods would barely let westsidegal note the changes to Maricos Chente aka Coni'Seafood.

                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                              I think the rare correction is allowed. If a restaurant combs through the board and starts correcting a bunch of posts on different threads that will undoubtedly fall into the "promotional" category and get redacted. Just don't go to the well too often is the rule here.

                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                I've had a restaurant respond to my posts before and they were not deleted.

                                                                                    2. re: Chris VR

                                                                                      There's no proof that Mozza did not email the publisher of the article, since publishers are under no obligation to update articles.

                                                                                      You can't even say that Mozza didn't comment on the article, since comments are deleted from sites so very often (cough)

                                                                                      (playing devils advocate here)

                                                                                  2. re: Chris VR

                                                                                    Lets say I read a news paper from 2 years ago and the super market has a fixed price on a filet Mignon. Now since it was not on sale, then it should be the same price just because it was in print?

                                                                                    Even more ridiculous, according to your logic, they are at fault for not writing a letter to the editor letting everyone know they raised their prices. That is your argument.

                                                                                    Well sorry, but old news is old news. That includes advertising and marketing. And again, that's assuming they did something wrong which it dose not look like they did.

                                                                                    Digital or print, the same rules apply.

                                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                      It would cost The Food Network almost nothing to fix their recipes that differ from what was broadcast on TV, but they don't do that either. That is just how the world works.

                                                                                      Its even a bigger stretch to expect a restaurant to correct some article from years ago.

                                                                                      For the record, once something is on Google, it's almost imposable to correct. Articles get copied and linked to and shared, and copied and copied and copied. Then archived. No one has control over that once something is published.

                                                                                      1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                        <For the record, once something is on Google, its almost impossible to correct>

                                                                                        All the more reason, before the OP plunked down a grand, for her/him to call Mozza....
                                                                                        To clarify what they'd read.

                                                                                    2. re: kjonyou

                                                                                      "You speak as if Mozza is some huge corporation with a marketing department, its not. It's one restaurant."

                                                                                      Well ... that's not really true!

                                                                                      http://www.pizzeriamozza.com/la/our_r...

                                                                                      1. re: Papuli

                                                                                        Do you know what a BIG corporation looks like? Google, IBM, Microsoft are big corporation with tens of thousands of employees. Apple's advertizing budge alone is $100 - million dollars. God knows what McDonald's is.

                                                                                        You are comparing that to a few restaurants that are all one of a kind?

                                                                                        1. re: Papuli

                                                                                          Exactly! To think that there are not huge P.R. machines behind these restaurants and the chefs who are always in the news is the height of naiveté.

                                                                                          1. re: maudies5

                                                                                            You didn't comprehend the message. I was being sarcastic about the comparison of a few restaurants to huge companies that really do have marketing departments.

                                                                                            1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                              Get a grip, she wasn't even responding to your post.....

                                                                                              And if you sincerely think that Batali, Bastianich, & Silverton don't have a dedicated person or persons for marketing their brand, let me sell you some property in the Everglades..... That's like thinking Batali is still behind the stoves & Silverton's there at six a.m. everyday making sure the dough has risen.

                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                Agreed!
                                                                                                http://bandbhg.com/our_restaurants.cfm
                                                                                                Sounds like the situation was resolved to the the satisfaction of the OP but, to not go to the source to verify in the first place, especially in this age of the information highway...caveat emptor.
                                                                                                Personally, hands on or not, I could not see shelling out $150/person...unless it was Julia Child:)

                                                                                    3. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                      And i don't understand why, at that price point, they weren't FED better.

                                                                                    4. a couple points of clarification and follow up:

                                                                                      1. i began researching the idea for a cooking birthday party for my son the week before christmas. there were no january dates listed on the mozza2go calendar at that time. i called mozza approximately 5 times over the next week asking if any classes were going to be offered in january. no one knew because of the uncertainty of the holidays. i left my contact info with mozza. then on 12/27 i received this email from mozza:

                                                                                      "New January Class Schedule at Mozza Scuola

                                                                                      Inbox

                                                                                      reservations@mozza2go.com
                                                                                      12/27/12

                                                                                      to undisclosed recipients

                                                                                      Hello,
                                                                                       
                                                                                      Thank you for your interest in Mozza Scuola. The following dates for Pizza Making Classes have just been added to our January Events Schedule:
                                                                                       
                                                                                      Friday January 4
                                                                                      Saturday January 5
                                                                                      Thursday January 10
                                                                                      Thursday January 17
                                                                                      Thursday January 24
                                                                                       
                                                                                      There's also one Mozza Cookbook Class taking place Wednesday Janaury 16. All classes include a Prosecco Reception starting at 6:30pm with class beginning at 7:00pm.
                                                                                       
                                                                                      Please feel free to view our events calendar at http://mozza2go.com/calendar.cfm from there you can make a reservation by selecting the date you wish to attend via OpenTable. You can also make a reservation through our Reservations line at (323) 297-1133.
                                                                                       
                                                                                      Mozza2Go Reservations"

                                                                                      so i called the reservation line that day and booked a party for 5 (myself a 4 teenagers). i received this confirmation email:

                                                                                      "Your Mozza Scuola di Pizza Reservation Confirmation

                                                                                      Inbox

                                                                                      Mozza to Go <info@mozza-la.com>
                                                                                      12/27/12

                                                                                      to me

                                                                                      Dear xxxxxxxx,

                                                                                      Thank you for making your reservation at Mozza Scuola di Pizza.

                                                                                      Your reservation is confirmed.

                                                                                      Saturday, January 5, 2013
                                                                                      7:00 PM
                                                                                      Party of 5

                                                                                      Hello,

                                                                                      Thank you for booking an event in the Mozza Scuola.

                                                                                      Please note that if you booked for an event on a Tuesday or Wednesday this is for one of the following classes:

                                                                                      Mozza Cookbook Class
                                                                                      Pizza Making Class
                                                                                      Pasta Making Class
                                                                                      Whole Hog Butchery Demonstration

                                                                                      All classes take place at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30pm for a Prosecco reception, excluding the Whole Hog Butchery Demonstration. All classes include a full lesson/demonstration from our chef and full dinner. It does not include beverages, tax or gratuity.

                                                                                      If you have made this reservation on a Friday or Saturday this is for our Seasonal or Whole Hog Family-Style Dinner. All family-style dinners take place at 7:30pm with doors opening at 7:00pm for a Prosecco reception. We feature one menu, one table and family-style service. Please be sure to let us know about any food allergies upon booking your reservation.

                                                                                      All reservations will be confirmed 5 days prior to ensure y our attendance. All reservations cancelled after that are subject to a 50% charge.

                                                                                      Looking forward to seeing you soon.

                                                                                      For additional questions please email: reservations@mozza2go.com or call323.297.1133

                                                                                      Many Thanks,

                                                                                      Mozza Scuola di Pizza"

                                                                                      i made my reservation thru the phone, not thru the mozza2go website. so at the time i never read the class description on the mozza2go site because there were no classes listed, hence no description available to be read.

                                                                                      2. i received a phone call from mozza2go manager theresa this past friday. theresa is the same manager who was present at the pizza making class. theresa told me mozza policy is to make sure participants are informed in advance the class is demonstration only, not hands on. i told theresa this was never conveyed to me. her response: "i guess in your case, it must've slipped thru the cracksl". okay, human error occurs. especially during the hectic nature of the holiday season. but please understand why i had the expectations of a hands on class.

                                                                                      3. theresa also said she would have been able to rectify things at the time if i had complained at the time of the class. but now it was too late for her to do anything. i did complain at the time. as soon as i walked in, i complained to aaron the waiter that i was expecting the class to be hands on. and asked to speak to the manager. then during the class i pulled the manager aside and asked if it was possible to make additional pepperoni and sausage pizzas for the kids. her reply: "there will be no deviation from the script". which came across to me as a reprimand, so i got the vibe the manager wasn't sympathetic and just wanted me to shut up. theresa did explain on the phone friday that if the chef had made additional pizzas for the kids, the 8 other participants might've expected to receive extra pizza. okay, understandable.

                                                                                      but then theresa said i should've let her know at the end of the class the kids were still hungry. that she could've made additional pizzas then. this timing may make sense to a general manager, but as a customer/parent, i felt i had already made a request for extra pizza and been rebuffed. i'm not going to ask again. at the end of the class, when it became apparent no more food was being served to the class, i just wanted to get outta there, feed the teens, and try and salvage the night.

                                                                                      also i'm not going to go to battle with the manager at 10pm on a saturday night, at my son's birthday party, in front of him and his friends, and make a big stink.

                                                                                      i did promptly send an email of complaint on sunday, the day after the class. and followed up with an additional email on monday and tuesday. as well as an email to nancy's assistant on wednesday. theresa explained it took her until friday to respond because those emails got directed to other managers and did not readh her until friday.

                                                                                      4. when i asked theresa how she would have rectified things saturday night, her reply was "i cannot tell you at this time".

                                                                                      this is such a puzzling response

                                                                                      49 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rogmah

                                                                                        I'd be upset, too. Sounds like Theresa is a puppet, being told to give lip service to "I'm sorry," but to limit it to that.
                                                                                        Yep, I think you are justified in your feelings about the situation.

                                                                                        1. re: rogmah

                                                                                          The response (or lack of) from them was severely lacking.

                                                                                          1. re: rogmah

                                                                                            "All classes include a full lesson/demonstration..." from this i would be led to believe there would be some kind of lesson and no just a demonstration. it doesn't say "hands-on" but it certainly doesn't say "demonstration only".

                                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                                              The word lesson to me makes me immediately think of a "classroom lesson" and that means watching and listening to a teacher. So I would be more likely to find that not being a hands on situation.

                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                well, i would too but it's full lesson/demonstration as if it's in two parts. the language is not clear. if they wanted to clearly convey demonstration only they should simply state "demonstation only".

                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                  Ummm, have you been in a classroom lately? We don't really do much of that anymore, classroom learning is hands-on learning.

                                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                    Haven't been in one for more years than I care to count. But I can tell you one thing I absolutely would not do. I wouldn't have committed the sort of money being spent for this "class" without calling them and asking a lot of very specific questions about the class. Would you go in for close to $1000 without doing that? It begs belief that the OP did that.

                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                      Some people have the means and choose to do so, and I don't begrudge them for that.
                                                                                                      I wouldn't, personally, because quite frankly, I could have taught the class better, I believe. ha! I make great pizza (so everyone who has ever eaten can attest to), and I've worked with kids in classrooms for many years. I currently work with kids in classrooms providing enrichment while their teachers are in meetings or testing (individual students), and have the knack of keeping kids engaged.

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        <Would you go in for close to $1000 without doing that?>

                                                                                                        I don't care how much money someone has to blow on a class like this...
                                                                                                        If the OP, or anyone else looking for a birthday gift for a teenager, doesn't do their homework they're setting them all up for disappointment or boredom.
                                                                                                        A group of bored 14 year olds isn't my idea of a good time.

                                                                                                      2. re: wyogal

                                                                                                        Yes I have, because I teach, there is a difference between a lesson, demonstration and class participation.

                                                                                                        It's very clear:
                                                                                                        lesson = a period of instruction
                                                                                                        Demonstration = process of showing proof or evidence
                                                                                                        Participation = engagement in the activity

                                                                                                    2. re: trolley

                                                                                                      To me, a demonstration is a lesson. And, i believe their website states it is a demonstration, not hands on.

                                                                                                      Early on up thread, I demurred as I am strongly against "hands on " classes as they are not conducive to learning. I want to WATCH an expert the first time around to learn a technique, not be destracted by the antics of multiple people trying out.

                                                                                                      From many years of taking cooking classes I can state that I LEARN from demonstration classes, but "hands on" classes are entertainment plain and simple.

                                                                                                      Are you there to learn or be entertained? There is a difference. And I applaud Sculola de pizza for teaching.

                                                                                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                        so far looks like 3 (me, Violatp, wyogal) for hands on or something more than a demonstration and you and servorg for demo only. yup, sounds like ambiguous wording to me. if you go to Sur La Table under classes they are very specific whether it's hands on or not. They'll literally say this is "hands on" or not.

                                                                                                        i took a 3 month baking class and we explored everything from cookies, sauces, cakes to puff pastry. had it not been hands on, i don't think i would understand how to fold puff pastry with the butter or caramel so it doesn't crystallize. not all people can learn from pure demonstration.

                                                                                                        1. re: trolley

                                                                                                          The point, throughout this entire thread, is that if a parent of a child is going to be spending money (and alot of money in this case) there should be a call to the establishment and questions asked, with concrete answers given. Hands on/demonstraton are obviously vague terms and some confirmation one way or another, by phone, would have been the wise route to take. Mozza, in my opinion, did nothing wrong.

                                                                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                            true and I agree that the OP should have called and done his homework so the rest of it should technically be a moot point. but i do agree that there is some ambiguity in their email and can see where one can be misled. sounds like an expensive lesson for the OP.

                                                                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                                                                              I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how someone can feel mislead from the minute they walk through the door, feel resentment during the 'demonstration' because they weren't feeling like they were being heard by the management and then come on a thread and post their dissatisfaction with something that should have been clarified in person or over the phone.
                                                                                                              I almost feel like calling Mozza and talking about this because I love the place, go there very often, and I hate to see them talked about & would like an explanation.

                                                                                                          2. re: trolley

                                                                                                            Ambiguous? Look at the site! It says "demonstration".

                                                                                                            http://www.mozza2go.com/event.cfm?id=879

                                                                                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                              The OP didn't look at the website. S/he went by the email correspondence and that's what I was referencing.

                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                Yes, that is the crux of the problem.

                                                                                                            2. re: trolley

                                                                                                              <i took a 3 month baking class and we explored everything from cookies, sauces, cakes to puff pastry>

                                                                                                              3 months. Yes, you have had time in 3 months to listen to the INSTRUCTION.

                                                                                                              But a class of a few hours is quite different.

                                                                                                              I want to learn by hearing what the experts say, then putting it in action. Not possible in 2 hours.

                                                                                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                well, the class went like this. one day it was cakes so the teacher would do a demo in the first half of the class. then the students would pair up with a partner and make 2 cakes in the given time. the next class was puff pastry and so on. we never took 2 days to cover a topic. so it was a class of few hrs in a way.

                                                                                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                                                                                  I went to professional culinary school and everyday there was a demonstration followed by hands-on cooking. NEVER instruction only.

                                                                                                                  I have also personally taught 2-3 hour classes to a small group of people at home and ALWAYS have them do hands-on work. I would never go to a class or teach one where it was demonstration only........I just don't see the point.

                                                                                                                  I feel sorry the OP made an error of not checking.
                                                                                                                  I feel even more sorry Mozza offers demonstration only when most people would probably prefer to also cook.
                                                                                                                  I feel even more sorry for the OP that the manager refused to respond to them in a timely manner. That is not good management, but I am not surprised. I signed up for a fabulous sounding event at Mozza Scuola (not a class, but a meet and greet with a famous chef where he would cook dinner and we eat it) I was SO excited to go for over a month, but got terribly sick right before the event. I couldn't taste or smell anything and was coughing up a storm. I called Mozza to ask if I could get a refund for our reservations because I didn't want to get the group of people sick from all of my constant coughing. The manager/reservationist was SO RUDE and after a long argument she said she would, huffed, and slammed the phone down. It left a terrible taste in my mouth and I loved the food at Mozza as well. :/ I just can't deal with snooty behavior for no reason. That is not what brings customers back to your establishment.
                                                                                                                  The OP may have made a mistake in not crossing her t's and dotting her I's, but the management should have been kind and gracious during the event to accommodate her as best as they could AND should have responded afterward in a timely manner. That is where the problem lies. Customer service is really lacking here.

                                                                                                          3. re: rogmah

                                                                                                            Considering that, in your email, they make a point to call one thing a demonstration (the hog butchering) and the others *classes*, I absolutely would have thought, especially at that price, that there would be more to it than a demonstration!!

                                                                                                            1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                              I agree with you here. To me, the term class is not specific enough to mean demonstration only.

                                                                                                            2. re: rogmah

                                                                                                              I agree that her response is lacking, as was the manager's during the class itself. You informed the manager of the issue (the hungry teens), you offered a solution (prepare some extra pizzas, nothing fancy), and they declined to provide that solution. Script, schmript. Even if they had to make additional pizzas for the other attendees, that seems like a small price to pay, given your substantial outlay.

                                                                                                              In almost any other service-related situation where a group of patrons plopped down a thousand bucks for three hours of entertainment, I would imagine the establishment would go out of their way to accommodate. It buys them good will, and costs relatively little.

                                                                                                              Poor form on their part.

                                                                                                              1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                Exactly. Poor business practice all around. Seems to me the entire team there is content to rest on their big names, even though the food speaks for itself. They don't need to foster any good will with the customers.

                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                  this seems pretty hyperbolic to me. id be willing to bet cash dollars the vast majority of customers feel treated with good will.

                                                                                                                  people who feel mistreated often tend to shout a bit louder about their treatment than those who are satisfied.

                                                                                                                  id also bet the number of reasonable complaints is dwarfed by the batshit crazy. perhaps the restaurant feels theres no percentage in entering arguments you can't possibly win with people you cant possibly satisfy.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                                    <people you can't possibly satisfy>

                                                                                                                    Amen to that :). There're always going to be an automatic dissatisfied (before they even walk through the door) few who the owners would have to bend over backwards just to get a 'the food's just okay' out of them.
                                                                                                                    I would say the owners are doing just fine without 'em.

                                                                                                              2. re: rogmah

                                                                                                                I'm also struck by this line from their description:

                                                                                                                "All classes include a full lesson/demonstration from our chef and full dinner."

                                                                                                                If I'm understanding correctly, your group was served only about the equivalent of a few "normal" size slices of pizza (10 mini-slices per person). No soup, salad, apps, dessert? If that is correct, it doesn't sound like a "full dinner" to me. Not at $150/pp.

                                                                                                                Sorry you had this disappointing experience.

                                                                                                                (On the upside, lucky you to have such a chowish son!)

                                                                                                                1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                  Normal size pizza is individual, that is how it is made in Italy. There is no small, medium, large or extra large. That is an American bastardization of Italian food.

                                                                                                                  So trying to say that Mozza is serving a pizza that is not a normal size shows the lack of respect and knowledge the OP has for Italian food among other things.

                                                                                                                  Mozza pizza size is correct and normal if you want to be authentic about it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                    The issue is whether the OP was provided a "full dinner," per the Mozza description. I would argue they did not receive a full dinner, whether by "authentic" Italian standards, or by local ones.

                                                                                                                    1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                      I don't think Domino's Pizza Hut or Papa John's serve more then pizza and maybe cheesy bread sticks. THAT is a full dinner when it comes to pizza. Salads or deserts are extras whether you want to personally define it differently or not.

                                                                                                                      1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                        I'm unclear on what chain pizza places' menus have to do with the OP's situation. We are discussing what "full dinner" means in the context of Mozza.

                                                                                                                        1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                          The OP clearly stated each ate approximately 2/3 of a Mozza pizza, and they all left hungry. Clearly, that is not a full dinner, because it is less than what the restaurant itself serves its guests as an entrée. Whether or not one believes sides/antipasti should have been included, the restaurant should have provided extra pizzas to make the equivalent of a whole pizza for each attendee, or kept the class to no more than 10 people.

                                                                                                                          I also agree with those who feel that the email should not have said lesson when it is merely a demonstration AND something else in the email was specified a demonstration. Whether or not one believes a demonstration or lecture constitutes a lesson is irrelevant, because calling it a lesson when something else is called a demonstration implies it is something more/different.

                                                                                                                          The OP may be to blame for not doing due diligence, but the restaurant is not entirely without fault either.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mrhooks

                                                                                                                            A lesson is not interchangeable or confusing if you look up the definition. A lesson in what is going to happen, a demonstration is how the lesson is going to be taught.

                                                                                                                            So there is nothing wrong with using both terms. In fact it the proper way to describe what they were offering.

                                                                                                                            " I have to go to traffic school, the LESSON involves safety, the instructor will be doing a DEMONSTRATION on what to do."

                                                                                                                            Pretty clear, I would not assume that I would be driving a car based on that.

                                                                                                                            "the lesson is on making pizza, the instructor will be doing a demonstration." Clear as a bell.

                                                                                                                            1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                              Counter-example:

                                                                                                                              Driving lessons = the student is hands-on, behind the wheel.

                                                                                                                              Ditto with singing lessons, riding lessons, and so on.

                                                                                                                              Certain subjects imply active participation on the part of the student, and I would suggest that cooking is one of those subjects.

                                                                                                                              You are adamant that your interpretation of "lesson" is clearly the correct one; I would suggest that it's a less-clear distinction than you are positing.

                                                                                                                              1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                True. And that is why, when looking at a word like "lesson" on a web page, it is a good one (lesson) to call the place conducting said "lesson" and inquire as to what exactly is meant by the use of the word in their particular example.

                                                                                                                                If one fails to conduct due diligence then it is likely one will end up paying tuition. Which is an excellent lesson, in and of itself.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                  Yep, I agree that a little extra due-diligence would've saved the OP disappointment. I disagree with other posters who are taking a finger-waggling tone with the OP for not doing so.

                                                                                                                                  (My previous post was directed toward kjonyou, in case it wasn't clear.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                    If you come on to a public forum to grouse you have to expect that not everyone is going to either agree with you, or disagree in a way you like.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                      Sure. And those who are disagreeable in tone should expect to have some push-back from those who prefer a friendlier tone to the discussion, and to be corrected when they falsely submit personal opinion, coated in snark, as objective fact.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                        Objectively then, where do you see the greater responsibility falling for what happened? Do you see the OP as being mostly responsible or do you see Mozza as being the party who mostly caused the problem?

                                                                                                                                        I know that I no longer trust information I read on the net for anything. Hours, days, menu, or even location. If I'm going somewhere off of a web find I check it out by calling. I've been sorely disappointed several times in the past, so now I don't trust and I verify. But I've never blamed the restaurant for my failure to get the objective facts before going. That was all on me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                          I think the OP deserves blame for not knowing what she got herself into

                                                                                                                                          That said, I would still feel ripped off (especially at 1g) and I believe the OP has every right to complain (especially at 1g)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                            This echoes my feelings as well. Should have called to clarify - especially when contemplating spending a grand on a birthday party - but also has the right to feel: 1) ripped off and 2)ignored for not having their concerns at least addressed.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            <Objectively then, where do you see the greater responsibility falling for what happened?>

                                                                                                                                            The key word here is 'objectively".

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                              I would say the OP is responsible for assuming too much (that the class would be hands-on) based on too little evidence (the online review s/he read). Buyer beware!

                                                                                                                                              I would also say Mozza is responsible for choosing to not remedy the situation at the event itself, and for the choice to be a bit less-than-conciliatory in their response to the OP after the event, and for the resulting publicity here in this thread (and elsewhere through word-of-mouth by the OP). Any negative impact that has on their business is their result to own.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                      Driving lessons can be in a class room or behind the wheel. Again, a lesson is a period of time or instruction on a subject, not the definition for hands on because you want it that way.

                                                                                                                                      You can project whatever you want to believe, but I didn't write the dictionary definition.

                                                                                                                                      Lesson: " The act or an instance of instructing; teaching."

                                                                                                                                      Maybe in your wold its something different, but for the rest of us the meaning is clearly defined. Facts don't lie.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                                        Are you a teacher?
                                                                                                                                        I taught 3 violin lessons yesterday. Oh yeah, they all had their hands on a violin.
                                                                                                                                        Teaching in classrooms these days involve "hands-on" experiences.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                                          "not the definition for hands on because you want it that way."

                                                                                                                                          Nor is it unequivocally the definition for hands-off, as you would like it to be. The dictionary definition you cite doesn't specify any such thing, so your argument falls short.

                                                                                                                                          You are also conveniently ignoring the not-insignificant number of responses in this thread disagreeing with your assertion; there is no unified "the rest of us" of which you speak.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                                                                            No one advertises or describes a class as hands-off because that is about as ridiculous as trying to prove a negative.

                                                                                                                                            Usually people add "hands - on" as a extra perk. It's there to say we do more then just a lecture. The restaurant in question never said that.

                                                                                                                                            My the statement "rest of us" was in reference to the rest of society that has an understanding of the English language. Like the people who write dictionaries and definitions. Not the number of responses to this post.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kjonyou

                                                                                                                                              You cited the dictionary to claim that "lesson" = hands off. The dictionary says nothing of the sort. You are reading into that something that is simply not there.

                                                                                                                                              The beauty of the English language is that it is both precise and nuanced. Your understanding of it is neither.

                                                                                                                        2. I recently warned my SIL about this scenario, because someone I know takes classes with a chef at the local libraries. I say "libraries" because she follows him like a groupie. One time she mentioned that there were almost 100 people in attendance, and when I asked how that was possible, turns out he stands on stage with a TV monitor, makes something and then everyone gets to eat it afterwards. She does seem to get inspiration from it, and lives alone so it works for her.A meal with company!

                                                                                                                          My SIL last month tried to talk me into coming to a class at some gourmet shop an hour away, where they would learn to make macarons. Since I make already macaroons just fine, and am not obsessed with these particular cookies as she is, as a matter of fact not at all, I turned it down. Then I asked if she was going to do hands on or just watch, and she said, well it costs $75 so it has to be hands on. I told her to check, because apparently this is a new fad, just watching someone cook. Buyer beware!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                            Right?? I mean, it costs less to see a Broadway show, and there's a hell of a lot more work going into that than a cooking demonstration!

                                                                                                                          2. mozza = hugely disappointing, for both Osteria and Pizzeria, so it's really not a big surprise. OK, in fairness, it's "mostly" disappointing with a good dish peppered in here or there.

                                                                                                                            While their pricing far outpaces their product, the price for this class takes it to a new level.

                                                                                                                            1. Don't be surprised by the lack of feedback from Mozza...I had a really poor experience there, fired off an email and then a letter, and never heard back.

                                                                                                                              1. Took the class about 2 years ago. We had a prosecco reception including quite a few antipasti to start. We each were given a round of dough to kneed, stretch and shape on the counter (though we never used these to make pizzas). I'm not sure how many were in the class, but I remember feeling satiated, not stuffed by any means. I still thought the price was high but overall worth it given that I actually make the pies at home. I was more dissapointed that they didn't show us the actual recipe for the dough they use at the restaurant which requires a longer rise.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: peppermonkey

                                                                                                                                  clearly the class format has changed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: peppermonkey

                                                                                                                                    I guess it changed soon after. My experience that did not include making our own dough took place on May 3, 2011. Also forgot to mention, we also got a little pamphlet that included the at-home recipe they recommend.

                                                                                                                                  2. Sounds to me like the people who wrote the reviews you read left out some important details or had somewhat of a different experience with how much pizza/wine was offered. That's unfortunate. I hope you get a response. A cooking class that is not hands on is pretty weird.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: virtualguthrie

                                                                                                                                      Not weird at all. It's not 1950 anymore. Most so called "cooking classes" are basically people sitting around watching a chef prepare one meal as he talks about technique. Then you get to sample his work as a group, its not dinner.

                                                                                                                                      I am talking about the one off type of classes, like a kitchen store or restaurant might do.

                                                                                                                                      Hands on is usually done at real schools like a city college or culinary school, not restaurants, duh. You don't have to go for a degree, some let you take just one or two courses. There are plenty of those schools in LA.

                                                                                                                                    2. yesterday i spoke with alex from batali and bastianich hospitality group (www.bandbhg.com). we had a good talk. thank you alex.

                                                                                                                                      i'm happy to report alex did rectify the situation and made things right.

                                                                                                                                      and i still say mozza has the best pizza in l.a.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rogmah

                                                                                                                                        Good!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rogmah

                                                                                                                                          Great news, and good for you! Maybe that will finally put some of the know it alls to rest!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                            So 5 days after this becomes one of the foremost threads on Chowhound and they then call to apologize.? As if they would have, had this not been posted......

                                                                                                                                          2. re: rogmah

                                                                                                                                            Great to hear they set things right. All the "poke you in the eye" finger-wagging semantic fanatics won't have sh!+ to do now.

                                                                                                                                            If they state "lesson" as a descriptor r.e. one course, and "demonstration" as a descriptor r.eanother course, basic logic that the former is not a demo while the latter is prevails.

                                                                                                                                            The vague "lesson" descriptor leaves a big question mark as to how one should interpret this. But that is the problem to which Mozza's website has to take responsibility for. If they word it as such to leave things unclear, inaccurate or expired, they and possibly their reputation will most likely suffer. I only hope they set things right because they felt you deserved it - not because they wanted this thread to linger away.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rogmah

                                                                                                                                              Well done! Glad you saw it through to a happy conclusion.

                                                                                                                                            2. AAARRRGGG! I followed this issue in full since the beginning. And as luck would have it, the post where you share the response from Mozza is screwed up on my end. I can't read it. All I can see/read is the beginning where you say 'yester I spoke with alex from batali and bastianich hospitality group' and that's it, it's cut off after that. Can you or someone please tell me what they said - or somehow repost that post?

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: engie

                                                                                                                                                The sum total of that post is as follows:
                                                                                                                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                rogmah 2 days ago

                                                                                                                                                yesterday i spoke with alex from batali and bastianich hospitality group (www.bandbhg.com). we had a good talk. thank you alex.

                                                                                                                                                i'm happy to report alex did rectify the situation and made things right.

                                                                                                                                                and i still say mozza has the best pizza in l.a.

                                                                                                                                              2. Um, I don't think this was a cooking class for kids. It's more about the bread and crust than the actual pizza