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Pizzeria Mozza,
Los Angeles California


Pizzeria Mozza was dimly lit, the music was loud, it cost ten bucks for valet parking, and we had to make reservations. Nightclub or pizzeria?

Both Chris Bianco and Peter Reinhart had told us that chef Nancy Silverton was doing wonderful things with pizza at Pizzeria Mozza, so we really had to visit while in Los Angeles.  And just about everything about our visit was surprising.

outside Mozza


The Pizzeria Mozza website made it easy to make reservations, so we found an available time-slot and booked it. Thanks to the trusty GPS, Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza (the full-service restaurant next door) were easy to find. The parking valet was friendly, and the idea of valet parking for a pizzeria was mildly amusing.

But when we walked in, the dimness, the thumping house music and the general trendyness of the place began to annoy.  As we waited for a table amid the crowd, Cary thought -they'd better have some kick-butt pizza.



We were seated pretty quickly. Lillian liked the color scheme of the place. Cary is a sucker for paper menus. We could almost hear each other above the din.  Using a combination of vocal projection, gestures toward the menu, and the telepathy that comes with 29 years of marriage, we were able to decide on three pizzas:

pizza with burrata & squash blossomsOne made with squash blossoms - a favorite vegetable of ours which we'd never had on a pizza, tomato and burrata (fresh mozzarella with heavy cream inside).

This pizza was deliciously balanced - although the crust was delicious it didn't overwhelm the delicate taste of the squash blossoms or the burrata, which Lillian didn't like quite as much as Cary did.  The creaminess of it is almost decadent.


pizza with rapini and cherry tomatoesPizza with rapini (known in the East as broccoli rabe), cherry tomatoes, olives and chiles - this pizza is usually made with anchovies, but the staff was very nice about leaving them off.
This pie had a flavor so intense, we can't imagine what anchovies would have done! We think there might have been garlic salt involved...

the margherita pizza
And of course, we had the classic Margherita: fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and basil.

The flavor of the crust here was almost overwhelming. A Pizza Margherita tends to be subtle, but in Mozza's version, the bread is the star.


All three pizzas were built on astoundingly delicious crust.  Silverton is a bread baker by training and trade, and it shows in what she's been able to do with pizza.  Puffy, light corniciones, crisp bottoms, and the flavor of the dough comes through without taking away from anything else (except perhaps in the Margherita).

We loved the pizza. Lillian liked the color scheme, and we both loved the look of the oven. Unfortunately, as Cary lifted his camera, a very dapper looking young man (the maitre d'?) told Cary that he wasn't allowed to take pictures in the restaurant. Cary did not mention having taken the pictures above.

You'll have to go to Pizzeria Mozza to see their oven.  And while you're there, try the pizza - it really kicks butt.

Pizzeria Mozza - 641 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 323.297.0101




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