Pizzeria Mozza is one of those places you go to because you've heard that it's the hottest ticket in town (at least that's what Zagat says). It's in Hollywood so you expect a little attitude, especially for a place where if you call in the morning, you won't be able to get a reservation till the late afternoon. You say screw that, "I'm going to chance it and sit at the bar if necessary," because you have to try this pizza that's the talk of the town.
So "hype" builds....and....you are sorely disappointed.
Not at the food because the fennel sausage pizza with red onions and scallions ($15) doesn't disappoint. In fact, besides the very burnt crust that could not have been done on purpose (i.e. inedible), the pizza is delicious. The Mozza house made fennel sausage is cut into large sizes that are delicious on this perfectly balanced pizza. The meatballs al forno are some of the best I have ever had, the appetizer only comes with two balls so we split it amongst the four of us, and with each of our bites, we talk about how perfectly seasoned they are, practically bursting with flavor.
Though my initial gut reaction was to try something "outside my comfort zone" like the pizzas with Italian named toppings that are suppose to confuse the shit out of you (funghi misti (mushroom something), bianca with fontina (wtf?), guanciale (guacamole? jk), I opted for the bacon, salami, fennel sausage, ganciale, tomato & mozzarella pizza because it had the word bacon in it. No joke.
The pizza came out with burnt crust but the sauce on the pizza was robust and delicious. As predicted, the salami bacon combo made the pizza a little too salty but the tomato sauce balanced it out with its tartness.
Vic had the daily special, lamb stracotta for $24. I got a chance to taste it and though I'm not a big lamb eater, I must say it was exquisite. Vic said he'd had better lamb but that the tomato based sauce made up for it.
So why the hell, Alice, were you disappointed? Because just as expected for a hip Hollywood joint, the hostess was rude and the service was non-existent. I get that you're the shit in town but do you really have to make us feel like we're lucky to have scored a table instead of a bar seat? Did I get the feeling that I'm a guest in your Italian home? No. Do I expect good service if we end up paying $30 each for lunch? Heck yeah.
You're not allowed to take pictures inside but as a super sneaky sleuth with a nondescript but crappy resolution iPhone, I was able to take these shots.
Salami, bacon pizza
Fennel sausage pizza
And though I couldn't get pictures of the inside, just imagine a Tuscan style house with walls painted in shades of orange, nothing shocking.
Though the pizza and meatballs were delicious, I will not be back. Good food is easy to find but a good experience is what I want. If I'm going to have to wait 40 minutes for a bar seat, don't just make me a fancy California Pizza Kitchen pizza with burnt crust, whisk me away for a moment that day. 3 out of 5 stars.
Who Should Go?:
Hardcore pizza lovers who know who executive chef Matt Molina and Chef de Cuisine Joe Marcos are. Hardcore foodies who love pizza and who are willing to put up with crappy service.
Valet is crazy expensive at $8.50 but you can easily park across the street at metered spots for a few quarters.
Call and make reservations WAY ahead of time (i.e. at least a few days).
Finally, a picture of good friends and talented DJs, Vic and Sonny, with my husband Sam waiting outside Pizzeria Mozza.
641 North Highland
Los Angeles, CA