pizzeria mozza


fried zucchini flowers

mario batali.  I kind of struggle with him.  I don’t know what it is exactly, the crocs, the red hair, the attitude.  I feel like he really knows the food of  Italy but is a know it all at the same time.  Maybe, as in most things, it’s just me.  The undisputed fact is that he does have restaurants in LA.  So, based on glowing comments of published food writers and sorely missing decent pizza crust we made a reservation to eat at Pizzeria Mozza.  It is in Hollywood off of Melrose so added to our forays over packed highways.  We took the groom to be with us and were seated in a side room panelled with bookshelves filled with old tomes and bottles of wine-taking me into what I vaguely felt could be a old road house set someplace in a European winter.  In our run down of the menu we saw ricotta filled deep fried squash blossoms.  We have seen them all over food television and had a real desire to give them a try.  They had a mildly earthy flavor that I couldn’t place as zucchini.  It was interesting but didn’t leave me wanting them on any kind of daily basis.

A bit dark but I didn’t feel right using the flash

The pizza however -divine.  We ordered three, a funghi and fontina, a pepperoni and fresno chile and a bacon, potato and egg.  I judiciously sampled my way through all three.  The pepperoni and fresno is the kind of pizza you crave.  The dough was amazing-crusty and thin but still with a chew.  The pepperoni for flavor and mouth feel along with the heat of the chile.  I could eat it weekly so it is a good thing it is a couple thousand miles for takeout.  The funghi was loaded with several varieties of mushrooms but the Bacon, potato and egg was a glory with a raw egg just beginning to cook on top of crisped porky bacon and thinly sliced potatoes.  Amazingly oozy and satisfying in the way only an egg can be.   If this is the real food of Italy, and of Mario Batali, my respect has been gained.

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