Jewish Journal

Mozza makes Melrose

by Danielle Berrin

July 24, 2007 | 2:19 pm

Every Jew loves a good Italian restaurant. How lucky for Los Angeles then, that a true taste of Puglia has planted itself on the corner of Melrose and Highland—in not one incarnation, but two: a pipin’ pizzeria and an opulent osteria. A collaboration between chef Mario Batali, his longtime business partner and wine producer, Joe Bastianich along with Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery, Mozza has quickly become the hottest ticket in town.

With reservations booked a month out, I figured my sister and I could try our luck at the “pizza bar” where we could ogle the funghi misti with fontina, taleggio & thyme during its exodus from the oven.  But a chance encounter with Mr. Bastianich landed us a table for two at the recently opened Osteria, where we dined on buricotta over sweet toast, layered with grilled artichokes and sprinkled with currants, followed by linguine tossed in olive oil with a cracked black pepper bite.

Three desserts later, we were introduced to general manager David Rosoff, an endearing 40-year-old gentleman with many mouths to feed. Intrigued by the Jew entrusted with pleasing the Hollywood palate, I asked David to garnish this entry with some personal tidbits:

I grew up: in the San Fernando Valley but fled to the city at a young age
At my Bar Mitzvah: I played drums publicly for the first time
The best thing about L.A. is: The multi-cultural cuisine
On Sunday morning: I read the paper, teach European football (soccer), then have tacos and beer at the Farmers Market (“Loteria”) followed by film at the Laemmle or Arclight
Best item on the Mozza menu is: Clam Pizza (Pizzeria) / Octopus (Osteria)
Future plans: Turn the city on to Amaro (the regional liquor/herb based beverages made throughout Italy)

Alright ladies, so he’s not kosher; still, I’m sure Mama’s proud of her multi-talented, Mozza-managing member of the tribe.

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Written by Danielle Berrin and Dikla Kadosh

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