April 2, 2009 3

Osteria Mozza (Highland)

By in 07: Mid-Wilshire

The much coveted Osteria Mozza (right next to Pizzeria Mozza) have opened for a long time, but we avoided it because of stories about the horrible waiting time, bad attitude and so so food. Has things died down a little bit? Recession?

Nope. Even with reservation, we waited for almost an hour for our table. The bar (= waiting area) was full of tension. Everyone was on tip toe and hawked at any “are they paying bills?” table wishing would be theirs.


A free appetizer to compensate our wait time: a very tasty Buratta cheese with Leeks that kept us happy.


Crispy Pigs Trotter with cicoria & mustard $12. The finely chopped pigs trotter taste like a light gelatin, but that delicate texture got overpowered by the trashy tasting fried surface. Were they afraid some people might get squick by it hence trying to cover it up as much as possible? Pity. However the mustard sauce is very yummy. I heard that pig trotter is supposedly the “it” food of LA right now, even though it’s a pretty common item in other cultures.


Grilled Octopus with potatoes, celery & lemon $18. Incredibly soft and tender, very good! Though it didn’t blow me away as I often had equally good grilled octopus at Japanese restaurants before. The pairing with celery and light lemony seasoning is wonderful.

The item I wanted most “Ricotta Ravioli with Raw Egg and Brown Sugar” was sold out by the time we sat down. So we got the following instead:

Calamarata with Guanciale, Tomato & Spicy Pickled Peppers $18. Calamarata is like spaghetti except it’s hallow inside (tube like), so the texture is more bouncy and better in sauce-holding. The Gauanciale (Italian unsmoked bacon) is tender and very tasty. But the sauce was too strong and salty, they’re building every bite toward an overkill. I emptied my glass of wine right here.


Guinea Fowl Crostone with liver pancetta sauce $26. The Guinea Fowl was cooked very moist, tender with a tiny hint of pleasant gamey flavor, very good! The liver sauce was heavy and strong but enjoyable, thanks to the balance from the sautee vegetables. The whole dish goes very well together, especially with the butter toast. Have to say this is the only dish that I thought was exceptional.


The dessert menu didn’t interested us, so we asked for a cup of Olive Oil Gelato that Mario Batali made famous from his NYC restaurant. I would’ve been impressed if I didn’t found this recipe and made it myself months ago.

Other than the Guinea Fowl and grilled octopus, the dishes are generally too strong tasting and lack of layers for my preference. Perhaps I expected it to be like Mario Batali’s Lupa Osteria at NYC (rustic, unpretentious and more about the food) that I loved, I was let down by Mozza. The LA ‘scene’ vibe is what turn me off most, as if offset how an Osteria would be. The waiting time wasn’t worth for the overall experience in my opinion. And the ridiculous 1 hour delay makes you wonder if they bumped us down for some walk-in celebrities/bigger fishes.

Osteria Mozza (323) 297-0100
6602 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038

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3 Responses to “Osteria Mozza (Highland)”

  1. Marie says:

    Geez, sorry to hear about the disappointing meal you had! I’ve only been to the Pizzeria (which was great), but had been holding off on the Osteria because of its prices. Hmm, not very encouraged to make a visit, I have to say, especially since higher-end meals are infrequent for me!

  2. Oh right! You gals are back from recession hell. I thought there would be no more eating out and I’m glad you guys decided to splurge on this place. I had put in on my radar, but we shall see if I can make a trip to here one of these days!

  3. Thanks for posting an honest review. Doesn’t seem worth the wait but I will try that Olive Oil Gelato recipe