Who watches Chef’s Table? It’s the documentary series taking over Netflix by storm with its stunning visuals and in-depth stories about the newest and most celebrated chefs around the world. We love Chef’s Table. It gives us insight into the lives of our most favorite chefs, in addition to giving us a hint of our next food journey. One of the talented chefs featured included Nancy Silverton, of Osteria Mozza fame. Our medical school budgets couldn’t afford Osteria’s prices, so we sat down at its lesser-known, cheaper establishment Pizzeria Mozza, also created by Nancy Silverman and located right around the corner from Osteria Mozza.
It was lunch time and we were surprised to see that the restaurant was seemingly vacant for a chef as celebrated as Nancy Silverton. The interior was semi-casual and looked like your every-day Italian restaurant . There’s no doubt that Silverton wanted to make a stark contrast with not only the prices of the dishes between Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, but also the interior design. Nonetheless, the menu is extensive with many different appetizers and pizza dishes that it took some time to peruse through the menu.
Our first dish that we ordered was the special of the day – a baked potato stuffed with fried calamari and baked eggs. We dared to be adventurous since neither one of us have ever paired calamari with these flavors. It paid off. This was one of the best appetizers that we’ve ever had. The textures of the soft baked potato and the crispy fried calamari just melt in your mouth to create an explosion of flavors that we’ve never experienced before.
We finished the entire thing. And we were full right after that.
Fortunately, it took the waiters about 20 minutes to serve us our pizza dish, the Funghi Misti, Fontina, Taleggio & Thyme, which ultimately translates to mushroom pizza. We were so full due to the richness of the appetizer that it was difficult to assess our feelings towards the pizza. Don’t get us wrong, the pizza was delicious. It was thoroughly cooked and the crust was perfectly aerated so that each bite had some crispiness to it. However, since we were both incredibly full, it was hard stuffing in a large order of bread, cheese, and thick slabs of salted mushrooms into our already inflated stomachs. So we decided to take the remainder home, and, unfortunately, the funghi couldn’t survive the California heat.
We still ordered dessert. We don’t know why we thought this would be a good idea, but it was.
Maybe the saying is true, humans do have two stomachs – one for the main dish and one for dessert. We ordered the butterscotch budino, a luxurious cross between a thick pudding and custard (in the most simplistic terms), and served with rosemary cookies. We licked the bowl clean. It was delicious and certainly a treat. It was probably one of the less sweeter dishes that Pizzeria Mozza offers for dessert. If it were any sweeter we doubt that we’d be able to finish it. All of the flavors were highlighted so well and the butterscotch with salted caramel tasted like an upscale salted caramel pudding.
We will definitely be back to go try the other pizzas at Pizzeria Mozza, and perhaps skip the appetizer this time so we can enjoy the pizza. However, I suggest for first-timers if the fried calamari in a baked potato special is still there definitely try it – it is a one-of-a-kind combination of flavors that we believe Italian restaurants often lack. With such a positive experience at Pizzeria Mozza, we do hope that one day our wallets would allow us to try Osteria Mozza.
Overall Rating: 14.5/15
641 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036