I heard about Mozza Osteria from a few different places and just had to try it. I saw Nancy Silverton (the owner) at a book fair at USC and she did a little Q&A with Michael Voltaggio and of course they talked about this restaurant and its concept. Nancy wanted to create a restaurant that had the same sort of idea as sushi bar but with cheese instead. She got Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich on board and they created Osteria Mozza. A client of mine corrected my pronunciation when I mentioned it so just so you know its pronounced “Moe-za.” I was ignorantly calling it “Mah-za” this whole time. smile. This restaurant is the sort of place I could move into and eat cheese as a full time profession. A whole lot of deliciousness is going on here… When we sat down we of course looked over the menu and made a decision on a appetizer. When we tried to order the server abruptly stopped us and told us we couldn’t order yet. She had to explain everything about the entire menu first and custom design our experience. It was very sweet how into this food designing she was. 😉
We started with a fresh Buratta from the place in Italy where it was originally invented. Um…this was freaking awesome. It came on some garlic toast which was yummy but overwhelmed the cheese a bit. Truthfully, I didn’t really want to share with Michael but I did….
Then came the pasta course. Obviously the pasta is homemade here and was delectable and amazing. Most of all it was simple with a delicious red sauce and parsley. We gobbled that right up as well…
For our main course I ordered the Grilled Whole Orata (picture above) and Michael ordered the Braised Beef Short Rib (not shown. I think the short rib was down his gullet before I had a chance to snap a shot). My orata was super yummy. It was stuffed with fresh herbs and the grilled lemon really brought out the flavors of the fresh and flakey fish. Even Michael loved it and he isn’t a seafood fan. Michael’s short rib was succulent and delicious. We were both very happy and satisfied with our main course and at this point were slipping into a peaceful food coma.
Finally, I ordered the cannoli’s for dessert (it was my birthday) and they were pretty ho hum. I looked at the Mozza website before writing this post and it seems they were taken off the menu. It looks like others felt the same way as I did about this dessert. I don’t know what it is but I’m not a huge cannoli fan and am always confused when I try them. Why aren’t they better? The outside shell seems dry and not sweet enough. And the inside doesn’t hold up the how thick and crunchy the outside is. I thought that if I ordered cannoli’s at Mozza that would be the true test of whether or not I really like them since its such a great restaurant. I guess I don’t really like cannoli’s! But I don’t think it was the chef’s fault… Cannoli’s are just sort of blah in my opinion. But I doubt I’ll stop my quests to find one that I like so if you have any recommendations send them my way.
Michael and I overall had a great experience at this awesome restaurant and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back anytime. Located in West Hollywood its a bit of a jaunt for us from Santa Barbara but I’m sure it won’t stop us in the future. Thanks Nancy Silverton for creating this beautiful experience. We can tell it came from your heart. 😉