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pizzafreak | Nov 15, 200609:39 PM     1

Just came back from lunch at Mozza. No res. Got there early - abt 11:45 and parked on the street 100 feet from the restaurant. There were some 20 people waiting when the doors opened promptly at noon, and when it was my turn at the hostess station I said I didn't have a res, could I sit at the pizza bar, the answer was yes and in I went. Mozza was a lot less frenetic today than my last visit when I was part of a preview but the energy level was very high. I didn't see any glum looking people in the place. The pizza bar is a great place to be if you are alone or a party of 2, because this area generates good camaraderie amongst the other bar people. Nancy herself was the pizziaola, finishing off every pie. When my Margherita was ready, she started to clip away one of the huge blackened blisters in spite of my protests, and told me that too many would detract from the pie, and you know, she was right. The bottom had slight black charring, the white buffalo mozza melded well with the sauce, and Nancy clipped fresh basil from a bunch near at hand. I was there alone today, because my buddy canceled at the last second, so I couldn't sample another pie, but I did have the Chicken liver and pancetta bruschetta, 3 pieces to an order, which I enjoyed cholesterol be damned, a small carafe of white wine, fig crostada for dessert, and a cup of coffee. As I remarked to Nancy, this was the most expensive pizza I have ever had - $48 including tax and tip. Technically speaking, the assembly line process seems to be the m o, with one person shaping and stretching the dough, another person first brushing the dough with evoo, then putting on the toppings and putting the pie into the oven, and a third tending the heating pies. I was told the oven deck is kept at 700 degrees, and one of the assemblers gave me a laser gun which I aimed at the oven. The readout was 950 degrees. So what's the verdict? I'll be there once a week, usually at lunchtime, hanging out at the pizzabar with all the other pizza foodies, having a good time. You all can keep your other great LA pizza places, I've found mine.

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