the cat



Mozza: perhaps the most essential one of the 99.  So I had to eventually go here.  To the pizzeria, not the osteria, I’m not crazy.  Even though an osteria really should be a neighborhood place, but then I guess it depends on the neighborhood.  Speaking of, if you go to mozza expect to be very frustrated about the parking situation, even more frustrated than one would usually be in LA.  All the streets in the surrounding neighborhood are permit-only.  Whose streets?  Their streets!  I was driving around for a good 15 minutes trying to find a space while listening to a Syrian revolutionary talk about how he was on the run from the Assad regime, and all I could think of was: ‘when the revolution comes, I’m taking these fucking parking signs and shoving them down your throats.’  Is it ok to think that and then go to fancy pizza?  In any case don’t hold me to that.

The restaurant itself was much smaller than I was expecting, as if it were really meant to be a humble neighborhood place. We started with a bottle of Nero d’Avola which called itself “il moro.”  Moro refers to something which is black, like a wine or hair or a person.  Most usually a person I think.  Hmm.  Anyway I can’t really remember how it tasted.  More mellow than a lot of nero d’avola wine, but then the most intense of that wine that I had was when I was in sicily. My most intense memory is going to a cafe with two american friends and our sicilian friend, and the chef and her son (the waiter) joining us as we were eating, because there weren’t many people in the restaurant that night.  They opened bottle after bottle of nero d’avola and chain smoked and told stories in a language resembling Italian.  I tried really hard to understand what they were saying, and also to not pass out.  That was, like, the best week ever, in the history of weeks.

Anyway, we also had food.  TL and I shared the bone marrow, arancini in bolognese sauce, and a pizza with scallion, mushroom, and ‘burricotta’ cheese (burrata + ricotta).  Ok – first the arancini, which can not not be delicious, as it is deep fried risotto.  The bolognese sauce was not very meaty, oddly enough.  Also, I like deep fried balls of anything.  I’ll say that again.  In some future blog post I’m sure.  Second, the bone marrow.  I had never had bone marrow before and was aching to try, since I’ve heard so many good things.  Actually, I wanted to try this at St. Johns in London, but they didn’t have it on the menu when I went!  So I had it here.  And…surprisingly mellow in flavor.  It was more the fatty texture that was appealing.  In fact, when combined with the toasted bread and garlic and celery cress that came with the dish, the bone marrow was almost totally lost.  I ended up eating the last of it just by itself to get a better sense of what it tasted like.

Finally the pizza.  It’s different than most pizza for sure.  The center is thinner than most pizza and the crust is much thicker and puffier.  It was quite good.  I’m not sure it would hit the spot if I really just wanted a great slice of conventional pizza, but for fancy pizza it was pretty fancy and interesting.  The thing that made this particular pizza were the scallions, which tasted like endive but with an oniony bite.  Oh and then I had an espresso at the end, a good, non-pretentious espresso which is always a good way to end a meal, especially after a bunch of wine.

I feel like my evaluation of this restaurant is not done, and I must go back.  I will take the bus.

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