Pizzeria Mozza in LA

This past Thanksgiving weekend Lorenzo and I completed another dining extravaganza off my Foodie Fun bucket list. We dined at Mario Batali’s restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza. ::squeal!!!:: We had finished decorating the outside of our house with our Christmas LED lights and and quickly got ready for a night out. It was almost like a date night, but totally casual. I even put on my little black dress and Lorenzo told me to not dress up because it was cold. (It’s finally dropped in the 50s or so late at night!) I agreed, and went for my favorite sweater and jeans and glammed it up with my new flats.

After 1 hour or so of driving from the OC to Santa Monica because we made a slight detour for a quick shopping trip to Penzeys Spices (I picked up some much needed spices and herbs) and we quickly drove through Beverly Hills and onto our destination in LA, almost west Hollywood. My heart almost pitter-pattered since we were 10 minutes late from our early 5pm dinner reservation. Holy smokes batman the place was completely packed, and thankfully they still held our table. We were quickly sat in a prime kitchen spot nearby the kitchen where I got to watch the sous chef plate all the dishes. I wanted the pizza oven that was cooking all of the pizzas for the night. Everything on the menu sounded fantastic, but we ordered an appetizer (Fried Squash Blossoms with Ricotta) and wine to start the meal off right.

The luscious and super wonderful wine that we drank…Cruvin “Punta Arena.” I was happily buzzed by the time we had our main courses. It’s a wonderful wine made from 100% Crovino grapes. I loved the beautiful and vivid ruby red and the flavors of robust berry and spice instantly hit my palate. It had a nice soft, clean and long finish.

Ahhhh, the hubby and I. Don’t we look cute? We don’t take enough pictures together because I’m too busy taking food pictures. Sorry Lorenzo, but I love you and you look handsome in your sweater combo. Thankfully he shaved a bit of his facial hair, no shave movemeber is sorta unbearable at times.

This was our favorite pizza of the night: Bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage. Light, airy and not too cheesy. I loved the crispy sage on top because it practically melted in your mouth. How ingenious and so Iron Chef of you Mario. LOVE IT. I will have to fry all my herbs up now. ::droo:l:  We also ordered the Fennel Sausage, panna, red onion & scallions pizza. My picture of it came out too blurry, but trust me it was utterly delicious. Housemade fennel sausage was definitely a treat. Something about these tasty pizzas had reminded us for our need to eat more pizzas during our upcoming trip to Italy. We will be traveling in summer 2011, and I can’t wait to enjoy more scrumptious pizzas like this. Or just come back and dine here again. And again.

The best way to end your meal…GELATO! Lorenzo swore up and down that he did not have any room nor did I but I wanted something sweet to end the meal. I had to try the gelato to fully complete our Italian meal. I got three mixed scoops: pistachio, Gianduia (chocolate-hazelnut) and vanilla. It reminded me of the flavors of spumoni but oh so creamy and rich like velvet. I love you gelato, you’re awesome. It also had a giant pizzette sitting on top of my gelato – the thinnest and crispiest Italian cookie ever. It practically melted in your mouth and went perfectly with the gelato, too. I even loved the type of spoon because it was something about the curves on it that made the gelato taste perfectly in my mouth.

Two hours later our meal finally came to a close and the food coma had hit us. We took a brisk walk on the streets of Melrose and we saw the other fancier Mario Batali restaurant, Osteria Mozza. It looked swanky and the menu selections were all things we have never eaten but everything sounded delicious. Plus, adding to the Mario Batali corner on Melrose was Mozza 2 Go – same pizzas from Pizzeria Mozza but you can order them to go! Another cool thing we saw was a private dining area called Scuola di Pizza in one of the fanciest and most gourmet kitchens that I have seen since the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. I was drooling at the sight of the kitchen and dining area. We continued to walk around some more and then bam, a couple of wet drops hit our foreheads. We quickly walked back to our valet service and decided to call it a night before the rain started to ruin our lovely date night. Our valet was nice enough to take a picture of us, too. What a great night at Pizzeria Mozza, and I wished Mario Batali was here but this was good enough for this Italian lover of food. (Check out my cute flats, fancy huh?)

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