Pizza Margherita at Pizzeria Mozza OC (Brad A Johnson)
One pizza. One salad. One dessert. And an almost impossible reservation. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the pizzeria jointly owned by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton.
First, the fennel sausage pizza. It’s important to adjust your expectations about the crust. Mozza’s dough doesn’t taste like typical pizza crust. It’s not modeled after the styles of Naples or New York or Rome or even L.A. Instead, it’s got the unique snap-crackly crunch and tangy DNA of Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery sourdough. It’s extremely puffy around the edges but micro-thin in the center. And it’s excellent. Continue reading →
The hostess is leading my party through the bar toward the dining room to our table, but I get sidetracked—mesmerized—by the wood-burning grill. It’s practically a bonfire, flames raging up through the iron grates, the aroma of wood smoke already beginning to infiltrate my cotton sweater. A cook in a white jacket calmly pokes at the logs, egging the flames even higher. He repositions a half-dozen skewers so that they’re just close enough to the blaze that they get nicely charred, but not so close that they go up in smoke.
The bar quickly fills with the musky scent and occasional high-pitched sizzle of lamb fat dripping onto the coals. The cook adds something else to the grill—little packages wrapped in banana leaves, and within an instant the air is infused with the exotic, tropical scent of scorched chlorophyll. Continue reading →