I know it's a tired subject, but having just visited this much talked about spot on Friday, I felt the need to clarify a few things....
Let me start by saying it was one of the most enjoyable culinary expericnes I've had in a while. Some friends grabbed a couple seats at the bar and called me to say there was an extra if I could get down in a few minutes. I flew down there in record time eager to uncover what all the hype/disappointment was really all about.
First of all, the service was impeccable. And by this I mean not only was everyone friendly, efficient and non obtrusive, but also went above and beyond to ensure I had the best possible experience. The bartender was a gem and allowed me to try a few different wines before I selected the right one. I liked the second selection and told him, but he said, "No, I want you to love it."
The decor was simple but classy and the room definitely has a nice energy. I loved watching the chefs busily putting dishes together behind the bar. Everyone in the place seemed to be having a grand old time. All ages and all types of Angelenos in attendance.
On to the food....we started with the Winter Caprese. Tomatoes roasted, and STILL ON THE VINE!! Nice touch and devastatingly mouth watering. The cheese was the best, most moist and delicious I've had in the states. We had the olives with the oil and cayanne peppers which were great and a welcome addition to every other dish, as we dipped almost everything in the rich, spicy juices!
The prosciutto place was divine. Sliced paper thin and perfect fat to meat ratio. We devoured that and wrapped a few slices around the bread sticks at the suggestion of our waiter. Manifique!! Then we dived into the pizzas.....
Burrata cheese with bacon, fennel sausage and the fungi. We got all three, happy to take some home for Saturday...All three were FANTASTIC. Ingredients fresh and composed perfectly. I kept trying to rememeber what the gripes were that people posted and one that stands out is that it was not authentic pizza. I suppose if someone really wanted 'pizza,' as most New Yorkers have the market cornered, they would head on down to the hole in the wall joint somewhere in the East village. I agree, I've had no finer example of traditional pizza. The pizza at Mozza is definitely a variation on that. Not necessarily the red sauce you'd come to expect, possibly a different choice of cheeses and definitely a new spin on toppings. But let me say, that each of these little pies was a little work of art. Everyone sitting around us was moaning in delight and each pie had it's own unique charactersitics and wonderfully blended flavors.
We went with the Butterscotch Budino for dessert which was beyond creamy and delicious. Really spectacular. A couple espressos and we were finished. We dawdled a while and never did I feel rushed or hurried to make room for the mounting line outside. The bartender even went as far as to say....take your time, have fun! Those people can wait!
All in all, a perfectly lovely evening in every way. The food was phenomenal, the atmosphere warm and inviting and the service was the best I've had in quite a while. Being as crowded and popular as it is, Mozza makes you feel like one of the family. I never felt the air of pretention that one might expect from a place that is booked weeks in advance. What a welcome addition to Los Angeles dining. I can't wait for the opening of the Osteria next door to see what new and exciting treats the Mozza folks have in store! Disregard all they hype, negative and positive, and head down to this superb Italian eatery and allow them to take care of you! I don't think you'll regret it!