Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mozza Trifecta

The Mozza dynasty arrived to Los Angeles about 3 years ago, and it is quite the feat that you still need to call weeks in advance to get weekend reservations. In case you have been living outside the United States for the past 3 years, here is a quick rundown of the Mozzas.

The amazingly talented Italian chef -- Mario Batali -- and the famed L.A. restaurateur -- Nancy Silverton -- decided to mix up the Italian scene by offering two different restaurants, a Pizzeria and an Osteria, side by side. The Pizzeria is more casual, less expensive, and always packed. The meal is designed to be shared family style. The menu is priced perfectly for a date or a dinner out with a group of friends, with antipasti ranging from $8-$12, pizza from $10-$22, and an extremely affordable wine by the glass, carafe, and bottle list. The Osteria is what we like to call a "special occasion" restaurant with a more traditional restaurant menu with Antipasti ($10-$18), Primi (pasta ranging from $18-$19) and Secondi (entree plates ranging from $27-$58). The Osteria is also built around its mozzarella bar, where Nancy Silverton crafts her own cheese! We're dying to go over there simply to try some burrata with bacon, marinated escarole, and caramelized shallots OR burricotti with braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants, and mint pesto. But last Saturday we didn't have the time for a lengthy meal, but we were craving quality. So here's where it gets good...

Drum roll please. The THIRD addition to the Mozza family has arrived (well, a few months ago), and that is what we were so excited to try on Saturday night. Mozza 2 Go. Basically, a little shop connected to the same Mozza kitchen will prepare pizza, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. 2 Go. No reservations. No setting a calendar reminder to call exactly 1 month in advance to get a reservation (yes, we did that). No waiting to hear what caller number you are just to get a reservation. You can even order online and they deliver! Now Mozza can be yours faster than ever before.

Here's the rundown: We ordered two items from the specials of the day: Burrata pizza with roasted tomatoes and Sicilian oregano and the Heirloom tomato and avocado panino. After paying for the bill ($28, which is a great deal considering the quality of food you're getting). We only made it a few feet out the door before we agreed to sit at an adjacent bench and dig in. Hey, we were hungry and it smelled great.

Burrata Pizza

Diving in to the pizza while it was hot, we were immediately delighted at our decision. We both agreed that we've never been a fan of hot burrata until now. In our experience, burrata has been best cold either in salads or even served cold over hot pasta. This pizza changed our mind. It was so simple. The dough was rolled out in just the right way to get that thin crust with slight bubbles. With a light tomato sauce and then some roasted tomatoes -- we suspect they roasted the tomatoes slightly before even adding them on the pizza. And then, oh and then, a beautiful ring of burrata resting as a white crown amongst the red creation. Finishing it off with an aromatic dose of Sicilian oregano, the work of art was complete.

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Panino

When we moved on to the heirloom tomato panino. The sandwich so good that we sat in silence eating, only pausing to look at each other and simply nod. There was a layer of thick slices of Paradise Island heirloom tomatoes, which had been salted and were sweet and juicy, topped by thin slices of the creamiest avocado, surrounded by fresh greens and then drizzled in a salty, light aioli that spoke of herbs (we tasted chervil and French parsley). All of this wrapped in some fresh and chewy ciabatta bread. It was the perfect meal on the go before we headed up to the Hollywood Bowl for a concert under the stars.

Head on over to Mozza 2 Go, as soon as you can. If you're impatient like us, simply buy your food and eat it outside on the bench. Or, if you want to be all practical and rational about it (sheesh) bring it back home or take it for picnic.

6610 Melrose
Los Angeles 90038
Su-Sa 12pm - 10am

Happy Dining!
Bourbon and Bleu

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