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Osteria Mozza

We drive by Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza on our Hollywood tours…we tell their story…we know the names Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali…we know they have one Michelin star…we also know it’s a month-long wait to get a reservation. So we came up with the idea to treat ourselves to dinner for our January birthdays (a day apart) and this way the month would go by very quickly, as every December does. The reservations were made for January 5, Matt’s actual birthday, and we then set about reading some Yelp reviews to help us navigate the meal. We still needed help from our server to answer some questions. And we immediately realized it might have been more fun for a first visit to sit at the mozzarella bar and watch all the action. We were placed at a lovely private table, but totally tucked away from all the action.

We started with the mozzarella tasting, which offered 3 different flavors to spread on a beautifully olive-oiled piece of La Brea bread. I absolutely loved one of the three, which was the fior di latte, a beautifully smooth, creamy bit of heaven!! We both enjoyed primi (pasta) and secondi (entrees, mine pork loin and Matt’s a fish). The side of polenta was among the best I’ve ever had. It had a sticky consistency to it, which gave me bigger portions than I wanted due to the thick polenta sticking to the spoon, but who am I kidding? I ended up eating almost the entire bowl myself.

By now our glasses of house prosecco were done, I was feeling really full and happy, but it was our birthday celebration AND dessert is practically my favorite food, so how could we pass up the dolci? I opted for the most unique item on the menu, which for once had no chocolate anywhere in it. Since Matt didn’t care for it, I had the entire luscious creation to myself…it was a plate of moist little rosemary olive oil cakes with olive oil gelato and a bit of rosemary brittle for garnish. Let me just say this tasted so much better than it sounds, and I believe I have a new favorite gelato flavor!!

We both agreed it was a delicious, special-occasion meal but we honestly felt that guilty for spending that much money at one sitting. In retrospect, I see that for a mere $35 there is a special 3-course menu at the Amaro mozzarella bar, where seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. That is a steal!! Also if you are into family style dinners, they offer “Mangiare in Famiglia” dinners (for an intimate group of no more than 22) focusing on a specific ingredient throughout all the courses. It’s $75 per person in the Scuola di Pizza, which is the test kitchen adjacent to the Mozza2Go counter. Price exclusive of wine, tax and gratuity, but an interesting concept nonetheless.