Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm a sucker for the Mozza Pizza Beast

A few weeks ago, D and I got together with his sister and maniac pizza friends for a night at Mozza Pizzeria, Mario Batali's joint on Melrose and Highland, the joint that has had people buzzing since Spring.

The dynamic duo of famed Mario Batali and La Brea Bakery's Nancy Silverton has come together to rile Angelino’s for some of the finest pizza in town.

After waiting a month for our reservation to arrive, Mozza time has come. D and I were excited to eat alongside our pizza fanatic friends. When I say pizza fanatic, I’m talking about a couple who would fly to Phoenix, Arizona just for pizza at Pizzeria Bianco. When they heard that Mozza would have similar style pizza, they were excited like a chubby birthday boy going to Chuck E. Cheese's.

Prosciutto di Parma and Mozzarella $18 (middle left) - 18 bucks for this appetizer...I know. Slivers of prosciutto to start us's like Fruit Roll Ups for adults. I should of wrapped the prosciutto around my index finger. Mozza's Mozzerella was awesome. One bite had all of us in awe of it's juicy and springy texture. Oishii star of the night.

Eggplant caponata $6 (middle right) - Cool and sweet.

White anchovy, tomato, & olives $11 (top right) - Dylan's sister Wendy ordered the anchovy pizza. I think she was aroused by the description of anchovies brined in meyer lemons. Too bad her face turned sour as she took a bite into these achovy bad boys.

Genoa salami, tomato, peppers & mozzarella $12 (top middle) - Max, pizza freak #1, kept his pizza simple. Max is a smart guy. Rule #1 at Mozza, keep your pizza simple. I'll tell you why...keep reading.

Egg, guanciale, radicchio & bagna cauda $12 (top right) - Dylan and his addiction to eggs. Dylan loved his pizza. I didn't. His egg was super rich. They must of came from Kobe chickens...chicken that are fed heavy whipping cream and fois gras. jk. The guanciale, cheek bacon, was salty, but very tasty.

Lardo, rosemary & extra virgin olive oil $12 - (bottom left) One word...LARDO. I'm pretty sure this was one of the derivative "lard" words I used to use whenever my brother and I got into a name-calling spree - lardbutt, lardo, lardface, etc. Never did I think I'd be eating lardo on a pizza. Lardo, the fat directly under the skin of a pig, is cured with salt and seasoned with garlic, pepper, etc. The slivers of pig fat was tasty. Our other pizza-freak friend Elaine ordered the lardo pizza. She loved her lardo. But after a couple of bites, I was ready to die. Too much lardo. The rosemary was also very overwhelming. This is exactly why I think Max's Genoa salami pizza was a great Mozza pizza.

Carmelized garlic, goat cheese, leeks $12 - (bottom right) When I see garlic on a menu item, I become blinded by anything else that exists in this world. I love garlic like a that chubby kid who loves Chuck E Cheese. I forgot that I don't care for goat cheese on pizza. This was a love-hate pizza relationship that I had going on here. Love the garlic and leeks...hated the goat cheese.

Butterscotch Budino (bottom middle) Mozza's butterscotch pudding, topped with caramel and fleur de sel and rosemary pine nut biscuits was the perfect way to end a night of pizza gluttony. The pudding was perfect. I recommend sharing this dessert, especially after a night of lardo and sardines.

Mozza lived up to it's hype, well at least for me. My one recommendation is to stick to the simple stuff. Mozza's rustic crust is incredible and it doesn't need to be shadowed by overwhelming toppings.

We left Mozza not really wanting to go back. I think we were just stuff to the max with Mozza. But after writing this post, I am craving Mozza's mildly sweet crust. Oishii Eats just got suckered.

Mozza Pizzeria
641 Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca 90019


Guilty Varnivore said...

Yum yum yum. Up here in Portland we have a great New Haven-style pizza joint (Apizza Scholls) that has been building quite a legendary following.

This place sounds amazing...and expensive. But that's only when compared to what one considers conventional pizza. For well crafted, artisan wood fired goodness, I would actually consider this as a good value.

Jeni said...

Hey Guilty Carnivore...I love your carnitas btw. My bf (EDNBM) keeps talking about it. haha. Anyways, yea, Mozza is not a bad deal. But when you add that $18 Mozzarella plate and dessert and wine...the bill stacks up. I can use some tasty pizza crust right now. I´m getting tired of the food here in Guatemala. sigh. Thanks for reading!

2nd-favorite said...

Glad to read that you guys had the lardo. Definitely one of the highlights. we had ours as part of the afetato misti platter but will have to try it on the pizza next time. The salami was my favorite of the pizzas as well. Fun post. Making me hungry for pizza.

Jeni said...

2nd Favorite!!! D talks so much about you. haha. Yes, lardo that stuff is evil. It's good on pizza but the rosemary was just too much. I'm getting hungry for pizza too. No pizza here in Belize. :( Have a Happy New Year!

The Dabbler said...

hey guys, try the pizza with the sottocenere cheese and sage. It's amazing, but nobody seemed to be ordering it. sottocenere is a lightly truffled Italian cheese (sheep milk?).


CreditHolder said...

Thank you for the advice in the Mozza stuf, I'll keep in in mind if I happen to go there. But I wanna know if they allow you to order pizza and deliver it to your home. And do they accept credit cards..I always pa with my credit card.

Greg White said...

Their crostini with guanciale and chicken liver is incredible. And, you know, heart stopping in the not-so-good way.


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