Jun 28, 2008

Pizzeria Mozza

It’s my friend’s birthday last week,
And no doubt that she celebrated it in a very classic way,
Parties (that means clubbing) and drinks,
In a short period of time, she’s down.
End of the night.

After many years of “experiences,”
I decided to skip her birthday party,
What a nice friend eh?
Well, I still made my appearance at the birthday dinner, and immediately, I found toxic drinks on the table already,
At 5:30 in the afternoon.

In order to make up for my absence at the party,
Or should I say my “escape?”
I took her out for lunch few days ago.
At Pizzeria Mozza,
One of the recent hot spots in Los Angeles, owned by Nancy Silverton, Joseph Bastianich, and Mario Batali (and yes, Batali is the guy you see quite often on Food Network channel).

It was quite a journey dining at Pizzeria Mozza.

I made a reservation one week in advance for a party of two at 1 p.m.
The automated answering system put me on hold for 15 minutes,
“You are caller number one,”
How come I still needed to wait for 15 minutes if I were caller number one?
Finally, when a real person answered my phone,
There’re no more tables available for 1 p.m.
So I decided to go with another option - 12 noon – not bad.

One week later,
The day for our be-lated birthday celebration lunch had arrived.
I hopped in my car at 10:50 a.m.
Figured that I should leave early in case I hit the infamous traffic on 405 freeway,
*Usually it takes about 50 minutes from my place to downtown Los Angeles.
……Ergh…11:30 a.m……I’ve been stuck in the traffic for 40 minutes....
Not even half way through….
So I called my lovely birthday girl,
Asked her to give the restaurant a call and let them know that we’ll be late…
30 minutes later she called me back,
“You know what! I’ve been put on hold like forever!
I was caller number 8, then I waited and waited….
And then the lady told me that there were no more tables available until 3 p.m...but we can still do walk-ins…”
Hmm…I already spent one hour on the road….
Let’s do walk-ins, who cares if we have to wait even longer,
I want it I want it I want it!!!!
*Good thing that I was in the car, driving. Otherwise you’ll see an Asian chick shaking her hands and smashing her head against the wall like crazy, shouting “I want pizza! I want pizza!”

Arrival time: 12:40 p.m.
(Yes, I’ve been driving for almost 2 hours just for the sake of pizza.
Oh no, I should say that I’ve been driving for almost 2 hours to take my friend out for a lovely birthday lunch)
Number of people waiting in the line: around 10 (more showed up later on)
Estimated waiting period: 20 minutes for the bar (acceptable)

Time we finally got seated: 1:30 p.m.
It’s more than 20 minutes but hey, we got a table!

While waiting for the waiter,
*We already glanced through all the details on the menu during the wait.
I quickly took a picture of the restaurant,
It’s really hard to get a decent photo because..
First: I’m not that good of a photographer,
Second: people kept moving around, which made it difficult to capture a nice photo without something block in between.

You can see their wide selection of wines in the back,
Mozza also has a small room for those “special” wines on the right (blocked by the hostess).
The wood fire oven is located on the left of the picture,
Once again,
Sorry that I couldn’t captured a nice picture of their pizza making area,
Too many people there and I didn’t want to climb over them for a nice shot,
But...should I just do it anyway in the future??

I also took a picture of my paper table mat-

It’s a recipe for margherita pizza!
My friend's table mat was an old comic strip with Italian language,
And the table mat on the table next to us had some graphics showing common gestures that Italians use from time to time.
Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about?
Check this video on YouTube then you’ll understand my alien language.
*Note that unlike the R-rated video clip from YouTube,
The actual gesture graphics on the table mat were PG-13 only (something like how to express delicious food with your hands)

While we were busy taking pictures here and there,
Our waiter brought over our antipasti that drew people’s attention next to our table,
Bone marrow al forno-

The family on our right gave us this slightly disgusted look with tilted eyebrows,
The guys on our left were way cooler though,
One of them was like “What is that!? It looks pretty damn good!”

This is how I enjoy the dish,
Simply grab a roasted garlic clove, spread it on top of the bread, top it with bone marrow, and sprinkle some sea salt to boost up the flavor.

The marrow itself has a texture like jelly,
Actually it’s softer than jelly,
I have a perfect way to describe the texture but it might shun you away,
It’s like the fat that floats on top of a greasy dish in the fridge.
Despite of my scary description here, the taste itself is fantastic.
You can taste all the condensed beefy flavors in that small spoonful of bone marrow,
But do remember to finish this dish while it’s still hot,
Otherwise cold bone marrow might really turns out like frozen fat in the fridge.

Pizza alla benno: speck, pineapple, jalapeno, mozzarella & tomato-

I was expecting cubes of pineapples on the pizza,
I guess I was brain-washed by America pizza chain stores’ Hawaiian pizza for quite a long time.
Mozza actually used sliced pineapples for this pizza,
And it was amazing,
The pizza was full of flavors and yet each element didn’t over-power one another,
It was spicy too!

That jalapeno definitely gave this pizza a STRONG kick. Good for me! I love spicy food!
I don’t know who started putting pineapples on pizza,
But that person must be a genius,
What a perfect sweet ingredient for a savory dish.

Our second pizza, can’t remember the exact name but some of the ingredients are:
Bacon, fennel sausage, mozzarella & tomato-

Apparently our waiter has a special preference for this pizza,
It contains a lot of meat, I mean a LOT.
But my favorite ingredients here is still the bacon,
It was baked in to perfection,
Crunchy on all sides,
And its smoky flavor combined with the aroma from fennel can almost turn a vegetarian into a meat lover.

Seems like a lot of food for two girls?
Let’s bring on the dessert menu please!-

And we listened to our waiter’s recommendation once again since he did a pretty good job suggesting that meaty pizza,
Strawberry gelato pie with spiced almonds & saba-

I did ask our waiter about saba because I know nothing about it,
The only image that came into my mind when I saw “saba” on the menu was…
Japanese mackerel, yes, you can find “saba” on the menu in a sushi bar..
But of course it turned out to be a totally different thing,
Saba (Italian) is some kind of syrup/essence/condiment made with grapes,
And apparently it’s good with our strawberry gelato pie!

This pie is good for a greedy person like me,
I wanted to order a pie or a cake, but I also craved for something cold like gelato or sorbetto,
Nothing beats strawberry gelato pie at the moment,
I got both goodies in one plate,
Molto buono!

While us two girls were having fun eating, chatting, and taking pictures,
The guys on our left kept trying to squeeze in a few words once a while,
“Want me to take a picture for you?”
“Hey that looks good!”
“Haha it’s Hollywood!” (Me: What??)
*I was too focusing on the food part that I couldn’t understand what they’re taking about anymore.
And what a coincidence,
Both of our tables happened to finish the food and waited for our cars outside at the same time…
One guy shook my hand and hoped that their loud conversation didn’t disturb my lunch time,
Guess what!?
He asked for my number, and he called later that day,
“I should take you out for a drink sometime.”
Hey…..isn’t avoiding alcohol my first intention to dine at Pizzeria Mozza??

End Note:
I didn’t pick up his phone calls after that day.

Overall Rating: 7

Pizzeria Mozza (Lunch and Dinner)
641 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101

Osteria Mozza (Dinner only)
6602 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 297-0100

*These two locations are actually right next to each other.



  1. That strawberry ice cream pie looks too good! I also love pineapple on my pizza.

  2. To Eileen~
    Yeah without pineapple on my pizza, I can probably eat 3 slices. But hey, with pineapple, I might be able to finish the whole thing!

  3. Bone marrow is supposed to be very nutritious :)

  4. To Tigerfish~
    Haha I felt my skin is shinny and smooth now!

  5. Bone marrow and crusty bread - to die for. Only a few things can make me say that cliche without making my skin crawl.

  6. To Jude~
    Hahah you just made me laugh (and note that I haven't laughed the whole day here).

  7. whoa...i gotta get myself some of those bone marrow thingies as well..yummmm...in indonesia, that'd be "gulai sumsum"

  8. To Mochachocolata Rita~
    Gulai sumsum!?
    The name sounds so cute!
    What kinda of dish is it? soup? stewed? baked? or?

  9. I am sooo jealous! I have been wanting to eat there ever since they opened up! After seeing the photos I HAVE TO GO!

  10. To My Sweet & Saucy~
    Definitely go give it a try,
    Especially their Pizza alla Benno~
    It's unique and tasty!

  11. you are killing me with those photos!!! delicious!!! I'm sorry the hjourney there was a bit of an odissey but so worth it right???

  12. To Aran~
    Yeah it's definitely worth it!
    I'll keep trying other pizza joints around Los Angeles in the search of my favorite pizzeria!

  13. All the pics are crazy good! I love your writing style! So glad I found you!

  14. To Tartelette~
    Really? You seriously do like my writing style?
    Haha I was joke around with my friends that my blog is written with broken Engrish!
    But I'm so glad to hear you said that!
    I'll try my best to keep my blog nice and neat!