21 August, 2018

Chasing Nancy Silverton - Review of Osteria Mozza

Neftlix Season 3 Episode 3
 Over the summer, BrixChick_Nesta and I sat down to watch the Netflix series "Chef's Table" which introduces you to a cinematographic story of a famous Chef.

Basically, it's food porn, but it's classy.

Season Three/Episode Three introduced us to Nancy Silverton and the story of the perfect bread.  Being generally enamored of all carbs, this episode left us drooling.  We were hooked.

Summer Squash Salad at Mozza Popup
As luck would have it, Nancy was coming to San Francisco for a pop up at Cotogna --- one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants.  We fangirled Nancy when we met her and were introduced to the wonderful palette of flavors she paints with.  Her salads possess an alchemical quality with light, laughter and seasons pouring over you in unexpected but delightful ways.

Honey, fresh oregano, chili flakes, and tender squashes served raw combined to make  a shockingly flavorful and tasty dish.

We were hooked even more.
LA for lunch? #worthit @brixchico_Vince&@brixchick_nesta

Levelling up, when Southwest had those crazy sales, we collected our Jetset Lunch pals and hit LA to try Pizzeria Mozza for lunch.

 We were dazzled by amazing pizza, more amazing salads and one of the most supple and toothsome preparations of grilled octopus ever.

Grilled Octopus at Pizzeria Mozza


 My stalking of Nancy's food even included an adjacency of a La Brea Bakery pop up at the wonderful Petit Marlowe in SF.  No better foil for perfectly seasoned foie gras than luscious bread, fresh and doughy, in the best way.  La Brea Bakery being the company who bought out Nancy when the bakery became too big to wrangle.
Foie Gras, perfect sourdough equals foodie heaven
So of course since the Chef's Table was filmed at Osteria Mozza I had been jonesing to try that restaurant. 

View from a bar seat 
Well, my bleisure karma paid off and I found myself with no dinner engagement on a recent trip to the general area and was twittering like a chipmunk (not literally--I don't think I posted a thing) and this chronically unpunctual diner was even early for my reservation at Osteria Mozza.  I sank into the calm blue of the dining room and let my immersive experience into the Netflix series begin.

Dining alone, I snagged the catbird's seat, with a view of the prep area.  Even though I saw it with my own eyes, I still cannot figure out how they made the food so wonderfully complex, tasty and satisfying.

The menu changes with the season, focusing on whatever is freshest and combining ingedients to elevate whatever is of the season.  Insight from Chef's Table series tipped me off to expect complexity based on the extensive tasting and testing that is done .  All this to create combinations that are magically delicious.  Every dish was beautifully prepared and served.


 First Course:
Burrata and a fresh peach half with an herbal dressing of basil and a little dill with San Danieli ham, cured with Alpine breezes and travelling in whole haunches to be planed into salty, tender slices and draped over the burrata stuffed peach.  Fried whole garbanzo beans circled the whole dish and added a crunchiness that was just perfect











Second Course:
Soft shell crab fried under a perfectly crisp armor of batter,  then served over a mesmerizing salad of fennel and greens with a Green Goddess dressing/dipping sauce.  The dressing is choreographed to perfection balancing the herbs, savory notes and creaminess.












Corn Tortellini

Third Course: 
Corn tortellini with perfectly soft and tender pasta filled with the freshest corn filling and dressed with a corn sauce.  Corn at this time of year is great simply boiled, but this preparation locked the joy of summer into a dish.  It was light and rich at the same time and bursting with corn flavor













Dessert:
What is more summer than a Fourth of July-Style finale?  Trio of nut tart, polenta gelato and blueberry cake?  Clearly this dish was meant to be shared but I did not get the memo and ate it all up...every crunchy, creamy, corny, berrylicious bite  My light lunch strategy worked!

Dining at Osteria Mozza was everything I dreamt of and more.  Great service.  Yummy, yummy food and the bread and cheese I craved since that first glimpse via Netflix.

When people say Nancy's genius is pizza and salads it is absolutely true.  Flavors are perfected and honed to an amazing degree of excellence.  I can't wait to go back!

Osteria Mozza is located at 6602 Melrose Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.  They have valet parking to make your experience just a little more wonderful.  Reservations can be made on OpenTable




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