Osteria Mozza

Behold! One of the BEST restaurants in LA! My first trip to Osteria Mozza was a mindblowing experience, but my camera and my inexperienced skills resulted in some pretty mediocre pictures.  This time around, I came prepared with the H.o.P. and an SLR camera in tow, courtesy of Running Man, of course.

Osteria Mozza is known for its handmade fresh pastas and mozarella bar.   The main entrees are good, but certainly less impressive than the aforementioned foods.  Even if you don’t like cheese, you should try items from the mozarella bar.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Now dining here twice, I would say to avoid dining here in a large group. By large I mean more than 6. There’s only about 4? tables that accomodate groups that large. Both times we waited close to 1 hour past our reservations because some squatters were endlessly shooting the shit at our reserved tables.  You could imagine how disgruntled a bunch of hungry foodies could get in this situation.   My sister and I were throwing angry stares like poisoned-tipped daggers at the people still squatting at our table.  We would casually walk by, make eye contact, and proceed to give the dirtiest of all dirty looks.  I blame the hunger for my rudeness!  After being seated, we were handsomely rewarded for our long wait with some free food.

Mozarella with Four Sauces salsa verde, romesco, olive tapenade, caperberry relish

I probably would not order this if I had to pay for it, but since it was free, it was delicious.   It was pretty simple, just a blob of smooth creamy mozarella and different accoutrements on crispy grilled bread.  I think my favorite was the romesco or the salsa verde.

Burrata with Bacon marinated escarole, caramelized shallots

Since Smooth Obturator and myself have been here before, we suggested the best way to order: 1 mozarella and 1 pasta dish per person.  We pretty much all had to order this particular dish.  It is a mini bite of heaven.  The bacon provides a smoky saltiness, the caramelized shallots brings a rich sweetness, the escarole brings texture and slight bitterness, and the burrata is unparalleled in rich creaminess.  It is probably the most satisfying thing off the mozarella bar menu.

Burrata with Grilled Asparagus brown butter, guanciale, almonds

I didn’t get a taste of this, but I didn’t hear any complaints.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit, Avocado, Watercress noci

Ugh, I don’t know why we ordered such a boring salad.  Seriously, stay away from this one.  You could probably throw something like this together at home.  Zzzzz….

Steamed Mussels with passato di pomodoro, chilies, herbs

So unless your an old Asian female like my mom, then please order from the mozarella bar.  She preferred to start off with this delicious bowl of steamed mussels.  It was an interesting take on steamed mussels since its flavored with a tomato based liquid.  It had just a little kick to it from the chilies, and the broth was rich in flavor of course.  Solid, but not WOW.

Burricotta with Radicchio spiced walnuts, honey, fried rosemary

This is the other HIGHLY RECOMMENDED mozarella dish.  The rosemary elevated the flavor profile, while the walnuts and honey added wonderful sweetness and crunch.  I suppose my complaint with these mozarella dishes is that they can be hard to eat.  Its all stacked pretty high and falls apart and gets messy with each bite.  But whatever, its just so darn delicious I’m willing to get my dainty hands a bit dirty.

Grilled Octopus potatoes, celery, lemon

Running Man and Triple F opted for grilled tender pieces of octopus, placed on a bed soft potatoes, crunchy celery, tangy lemon and definitely a healthy helping of olive oil that brought it all together.  The octopus was probably a bit too tender for my liking since I prefer something a little more toothsome, but it was still delicious.

Ricotta & Egg Raviolo with browned butter

Running Man didn’t seem to like his ravioli, but I can’t really tell you why.

Squid Ink Chitarra Freddi dungeness crab, sea urchin, jalapeno

I tried as hard as I could to stay away from anything “ragu” or “bolognese.”  I remember Yelpers liking this dish, but I forgot that the dish was cold which was a little off putting initially.  The pasta was perfectly al dente and the uni was so sweet and just lightly briney.  I think I’m beginning to like uni.  

Linguine with Clams pancetta, spicy fresno chiles

My mom found this a bit too salty, but it was rather standard with plenty of clams.

Gnocchi with duck ragu

Ok, so I couldn’t stay away from the ragu.  The ragu was meaty, tomatoe-y, and rich in flavor.  The gnocchi was good, but I’ve had better.

Orecchiette with sausage, swiss chard

Triple T really enjoyed the orechiette, which I ordered on my previous visit.  It is mouthwatering.  The shape of the pasta is perfect for picking up little bits of sausage which is spicy and salty.

Garganelli with ragú bolognese

Another solid dish!  I love the texture of garganelli.

Pan Roasted Halibut con pepe verde

Pretty solid, but not spectacular.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes with olive oil gelato, rosemary brittle

These olive oil cakes are to die for!  So moist and rich.  You wouldn’t think olive oil would taste good in sweet form but it really shines as a cake and ice cream flavor.  It’s so unique.  The rosemary brittle is a sweety herby subtle touch.

Bombolini with huckleberry marmellata, vanilla gelato

Another spectacular dessert, but probably not as unique as the olive oil cakes.  They’re like warm cakey donut holes served with a tart fruity jam and ice cream.  You really cannot go wrong.

Osteria Mozza remains one of my FAVORITE restaurants in LA. The mozarella bar is outstanding with its creative approach to serving up cheese even to those who do not like cheese.  Mozarella just takes on a whole new meaning now.  The pastas are all solid with obviously some bigger winners over others.  All the dishes are pretty simple, but somehow everything comes together with such sophistication and perfect execution.  The result is delicious Italian fare.  The 2 desserts are also a must and will not fail to impress.  Be prepared to spend a pretty penny here too!

Osteria Mozza

6602 Melrose Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90038

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