We had reservations and were seated right away, pretty good for a weekend, right?? I will say, I did have high expectations, maybe due to all the love it gets on Chowhound and amongst my own family members...
The place was busting at the seams with people, but service was attentive and rather efficient.
Nice starter with the bread stick, although pretty dry mouth feel since they do not bring you any accompaniment.
I had asked a very trusted source about Mozza (the Pizzeria) and recommended dishes, which in turn they answered ..."everything is so good, there's usually nothing left on the plate, and if there was... I would rub it all over!" LOL
Sadly, I did not feel like rubbing it all over :) ok, maybe the meatballs! but that would be gross! LOL
We started with the meatballs which turned out to be amazingly tasty,very tender, with great seasoning paired nicely with the must have traditional red Italian sauce, which by the way, I loved that it was not sweet!( I hate when that happens)... this one had a very nice acidity to it... but not over the top and really well balanced in flavor, really tasted like it cooked all day. Great Start!
|Meatballs al forno|
Another hit dish! The octopus was extremely tender (and we all know how easy it is to get over-cooked rubbery calamari) and well seasoned, beautifully balanced with the fragrant olive oil,acidity from the red wine vinegar, creamy white fagioli beans, a touch of herbaceousness from the oregano with a light sweetness and freshness added by the tomatoes.
|Calamari al forno with fagioli, tomatoes & oregano|
Ok, here things start to go down hill... I hate to say this, because I'm sure I'm the only one in the world that thinks the following dishes are really not much to talk about and I may just be thrown out of Chowhoud and every foodie worthy .com place for the following comments LOL!
The bread with olive oil: Ok, I know that is what we ordered, and you really cannot tell from the picture, but trust me that this was drowning in Oil! waaaayyy too much oil... Sadly that really ruined the experience of this otherwise amazing bread.
|Pane bianco with olio nuovo|
Let's start with the crust: They bring you a butter knife to cut your pizza... Butter Knife?? really? Yes, really! LOL (I could have asked for a steak knife, but couldn't really find our waitress and I made due, but they should know that their pizza's cannot really be cut with butter knifes)
I had this notion that the I would take my first bite and this extreme crunch sensation would begin to fill all my senses. instead, it was sort of average...well cooked, not burned per se, but missing that extra umph! However the nice puffy edges were crunchy and very good.
This really could have benefited from a bit less cheese (although my cheese loving fanatic mom would argue against this) and a little bit of bechamel so its not all bread & cheese... A creamy element would have really saved this.
|Bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage|
Our second and last pizza made our mouth water... until it came to the table. Sad, I know, but true.
The Prosciutto was cold and placed onto the pizza after it was baked & cut, thus warming portions of it by the heat of the pizza while other portions of the prosciutto were still cold. This temperature unevenness and the fact that the rucola was not even dressed with a little olive oil, lemon or vinegar..nothing! made it almost inedible.
However, once home, we placed it in the oven, let the Prosciutto get nice and warm and a bit crispy (the prosciutto crispy) but also the pizza... oh man! waaayyy better! IMHO, that's how they should serve it... Please Mozza...??
Overall above average experience (barely), but I really would not do the drive all the way to L.A. just to go to Mozza, if I'm in the area, I might give it another try.
|Prosciutto di Parma, rucola, tomato & mozzarella|