Over the weekend I took a quick trip to the Orange County/LA area. It was too hot and humid to do too much eating but I did manage to make a stop at one of Mario Batali’s new LA places, Pizzeria Mozza. (His other place, Osteria Mozza is right next door.)
I arrived early – my plan was to get in before the crowds and then get done early and get back to the ocean for sunset photos. I was only partially successful with either of those ideas….
When I arrived there was a little line outside but I was able to snag a seat at the bar overlooking the pizzamakers and the wood-burning oven. The interior of the place is warm and welcoming, there is a constant din from the diners but yet it’s not so loud that you couldn’t carry on a conversation. In the pizza area the workers are busy running a smooth, organized assembly line and actually do more than just pizza as many of the dishes on the menu use the wood oven in some way.
Once seated I was presented with a folded paper containing crispy breadsticks. A nice little crunchy munch while looking at the menu. I wish I had been traveling with someone as there were so many things I wanted to try but one person can only eat so much! (I was envious of the couple sitting next to me. Throughout their meal they would each order something, eat 1/2 of it, then swap plates!)
I was craving something green so started with their Insalata Mista. It arrived looking like a giant haystack! It was a big salad and could easily have been split – even between three people. All of the greens were the fashionable micro-greens, tender and cute. There was a nice mix of lettuces including a hint of bitter greens. And it was perfectly dressed with a lemony vinaigrette. I ate part of it and put it aside in case I wanted more after my pizza.
I’d ordered the Coach farm goat cheese, leeks, scallions & bacon pizza and it arrived looking just beautiful. I liked the combination of leeks and scallions. That added a sort of two dimensional yet mild onion taste to the dish. I’m assuming that Coach Farm is a local cheesemaker and that’s why it was called out, but I can’t say for sure.
I ate about 1/2 my pizza but wanted to save room for a little dessert. I ordered a glass of Moscato, assorted Biscotti and tea. I was amazed at all the cookies on the biscotti plate (even if most of them were technically unscotti not biscotti… but who am I to split hairs?). There were eleven little delicious bites, ranging from actual biscotti to a roasted hazelnut and slivered almond cookie that was held together with honey – almost a candy, really. Yum!
I took my leftover pizza and cookies with me when I left. The pizza provided a snack at the airport later that night and the cookies became "breakfast" at home the next morning!
There are a few more photos here.
641 N. Highland Avenue