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Lunch » Tags » Food » Reviews » Osteria Mozza » User review

Osteria Mozza

A Mario Batali restaurant in Los Angeles

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Osteria Mozza: call NOW for your reservations!

  • Dec 25, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
There's Chickenfoot, Cream, The Traveling Wilburys and Velvet Revolver. Now there's Osteria Mozza

http://www.mozza-la.com/osteria/about.cfm . This is the LA super group with Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton and Joseph Bastianich. From the day the restaurant opened at 6602 Melrose, it's been packed with both foodies and celebs alike (we saw one or two while we were there too. No, I'm not going to tell you), so I had to find out for myself.

I tried getting a reservation a few months before when we made our initial travel plans. I was told that reservations were accepted one month before the desired date. Exactly one month before the date of our reservation, I stalked the restaurant a little. T-minus 30 days before our anticipated meal and I had my phone set for noon (I'm in NY, so I had to adjust for Pacific Time) and I called for the reso. No one was there yet so I reset my alarm for one. Thankfully I was probably the first phone call the manager fielded that day.

Sitting in a relatively quite corner of southern West Hollywood, near People's Revolution (yes, the one LC, Whitney and Drunky Pratt worked at), sits a pristine little corner loaded with people waiting for either their table or their car. Good thing I made the reservation. We arrived 10 minutes early for our reservation and we were told that the table wasn't ready yet. There were some tables open, but they were 4-tops and we were a 2-top. I'm in the business, I get it. I don't like it when I'm the one waiting, but I get it, so I behave and we got to the bar.

Just to prove how incestuous the restaurant industry is, the bartender was one of two people I ran into at the restaurant who I knew. He guided us to the Bastianich (naturally) Friulano Fruili. Perfectly crisp and not too full bodied so our appetites where whetted and ready for dinner. As we're waiting in the lounge area I ran into staff member number two who I know from my previous job in LA (he's important for later on in the story). At exactly 5 minutes after eight, the hostess showed us over to our table. A two top in the middle of a row of banquette seating. Normally this is my least favorite table in any restaurant for a few reasons: one - I hate getting into the banquette side because I'm self conscious about putting my ass over someone else's table as I get in because I get nauseated when other asses go over my table, two - because of reason 1 I let my gf get in the booth (no one could object to having her ass over their table) which means that my back is usually to the action of the restaurant!! AAAAHHHH the torture of not being able to watch how different restaurants run (when my gf isn't at the table, of course). However, even here at the Osteria, even this table was comfortable, big enough that I wasn't worried that our drinks would fit on the table with our dishes and far enough away from the adjacent tables so I didn't have to chime in to their stupid annoying conversations.

The service was quick but not rushed, well groomed and well informed and, unlike 99% of the servers in LA, they paid attention to the guests at their tables instead of wondering if that guy at table 52 is so-and-so's agent or manager. For our first course we skipped right past the first half of the antipasti and went right for the Mozzarella Bar. Great choice. We ordered the burricotta with radicchio, spiced walnuts, honey and fried rosemary and the Bufala mozzarella with pesto, salsa romesco, tapenade & caperberry relish. The only detraction from the ENTIRE meal was that the radicchio wasn't easy to bite through, so after the first bite, you had controlled chaos with keeping the goods from sliding off the crostini and onto the table. The cheese was delicious, creamy and not too loose. The fried rosemary made it. The mozzarella was perfect. All of the different accompaniments added its own individual flavor to each bit.

Here's when employee number two steps in. He sent us over extra dishes he knew we'd like. First he sent over the burricotta with braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants & mint pesto. A great mix between the sweet and savory and combining the different textures. After the three cheese apps were cleared he then sent over a pasta course, which I wasn't sure what it was, but it was tagliatele with a red sauce (maybe the oxtail ragu, but my GF doesn't eat red meat (boooo) and she liked this dish). It was delicious.

For our entrees we had the Coach Farm Goat Cheese Ravioli with five lilies (we learned that onions are in the lily family, so it referred to the different onions in the dish) and the Duck al Mattone with pear mostarda & Brussels sprouts. The pasta was so fresh and delicate, the filling even more so. The 5 lilies were so perfectly integrated that you tasted their flavor, not their onion-ness. The duck was just slightly overcooked, but it definitely didn't stop me from devouring it. The pear mostarda was like a pear flavored mustard gelatin. Kind of like the equivalent of mint jelly with lamb chops. The Brussels sprouts were amazing and would make any veggie-hating kid polish them off. Even though we polished off everything on our plates, we still had to go for at least one dessert.

Booombolini away! Bombolini were the fanciest cross between beignets and zeppole, and they came with a perfect sugar coating and a huckleberry compote with a delicate vanilla gelato. We polished them off so fast even the waiter was surprised!

Two and a half hours later, and two and a half hundred dollars later, we were ready to be rolled out of there. At 1030 at night, we were now among the crowds STILL standing outside, except this time; it was us who were waiting for the car, while one of the couples was called inside, probably to take our seats. The magic created by the Batali, Bastianich and Silverton was gracefully transmitted to the more-than-capable hands of Campanile alum Matt Molina, who executes this menu flawlessly. If you know a month in advance that you will have an evening free in LA, get on that phone and make your reservation.
 

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December 28, 2010
YUM! This place sounds delicious thanks to your well-written review :) Bombolini sounds SO good and I'd devour it in two seconds too, if I were there! Also, I didn't know that onions were part of the lily family, that's incredibly interesting. Thanks for sharing.
 
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More Osteria Mozza reviews
review by . December 29, 2008
Osteria Mozza
I'm a huge Mario Batali fan.  If you don't know who he is, he's one of the iron chefs on the Food Network show Iron Chef.  When I was dating my wife while she lived in New York, I would fly out there every few months and we'd eat like crazy.  While out there I had the opportunity to try two of his restaurants in New York, Lupa and BoBo.  Both of those restaurants are amazing.  The food at Lupa is very similar to the food at Osteria Mozza.  The food is a hearty italian …
review by . February 20, 2009
Amazing food, especially if you love assorted pork and cheese products. Service is somewhat terrible though. Definitely would go again.  
About the reviewer

Ranked #605
Member Since: Dec 25, 2010
Last Login: Jan 19, 2011 10:36 PM UTC
About this restaurant

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Osteria Mozza
641 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101
www.mozza-la.com
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