Mario has built an empire and can do everything – cooking exceptional Italian cuisine, operating several restaurants, developing cookbooks, and even TV shows on cable.
While we were in Los Angeles, we were talking about celebrity owned restaurants. Pizzeria Mozza, Mario Batali’s restaurant, came up during the conversation. We did try his pizza during a rushed trip some time ago where we ordered our pizza to go. This time we had more time and booked a table at Pizzeria Mozza through OpenTable.com.
Mario Batali and his partner, Nancy Silverton opened Osteria Mozza, their first restaurant on the west coast, followed by Pizzeria Mozza. Both restaurants are located on the corner of Highland and Melrose Avenues in the Hollywood Media District. Many celebrities are known to dine at these restaurants.
We arrived half-hour before Pizzeria Mozza opened at noon. As we get closer to High Noon, others showed up and waited patiently in a line. Luckily for us, we were the first ones in the line and had made the reservation ahead of time. When the doors opened, people excitedly grabbed seats and started ordering immediately! We were seated down by a hostess. I went to FourSquare, an app on my iPhone and checked in Pizzeria Mozza. Guess what? I was able to unlock the specials and get a free glass of Prosecco wine! Sweet!
For starters, we ordered chicken livers, capers, and parsley & guanciale bruschetta. My husband and kids ordered Pizza Margherita. As I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, I decided to go with Egg, Bacon, Yukon gold potato & Bermuda onions pizza.
While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we took in the atmosphere. The restaurant has a casual, neighborhood feel with a diverse group of diners ranging from the stroller set to industry veterans gawking and having their power lunches. The space is small with about twenty tables and stools along the bar, and an open kitchen. There were two wood burning ovens, one in the open kitchen and another one in back kitchen. When the pizzas arrived, we noticed the crust had a different texture. We asked the server about it and was told that it was made with both pastry and semolina flour. I dug up a little more on Pizzeria Mozza’s dough on the internet and discovered that Nancy Silverton wasn’t going for Napoletana pizza and wanted to bake it longer in the oven to give the crust somewhat crispy texture.
Now I understand why the locals raved about these pizzas, and I appreciated the chance to try a different pizza style. I was so glad we stopped by Pizzeria Mozza for a fulfilling meal before returning to San Francisco.
641 N Highland Avenue