Dinner at Mario's Osteria Mozza

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, December 26, 2008

My MIL took us out to dinner at Mario Batali's Osteria Mozza restaurant in Los Angeles. It's located on Melrose Ave. His Pizzeria Mozza is just next door.

As we drove down Melrose looking for the restaurant, we drove past Paramount Studios which had the most fabulous Christmas tree and light display. It was quite pretty. We also went by Thai Town, which I'm pretty sure is the place Anthony Bourdain visited in his show on Los Angeles. Who knew it was all right there on the same street?

We valeted the car, and mistakenly entered the Pizzeria first. Ooops. Once we went into the right restaurant, we were seated into a back room that is decorated in mellow colors and dark woods. Our server, James, got us started on glasses of Proseco right away. :)

After perusing the menu for quite some time, and asking a few questions, we finally made our decisions. We started with some antipasti dishes (Steamed Mussels with passato di pomodoro, chilies & herbs; Crispy Pigs Trotter with cicoria & mustard; & from the Mozzarella Bar--Burrata with bacon, marinated escarole & caramelized shallots). For some reason, they brought out the Farfalle with boar ragu by itself. We figured, don't question their course processing. The farfalle had good flavor, but it was a touch undercooked though. We also got an amuse bouche from the chef that was cheese on crostini with basil and tapenade somewhere in there.

My Primi was the Calf's Brain Ravioli with sage & lemon. Oh my gosh, it was so good. Everyone who tasted it thought so. I have never tasted brains before, and in the ravioli, you just wouldn't know; it was very mild in flavor. My main dish was also off the Primi list--Fresh Ricotta & Egg Raviolo with browned butter. I cannot even explain how good it was; the giant raviolo was filled with creamy cheese, and the edges were tender crisp in the browned butter. The egg yolk mixed with everything to make it rich and even more delicious!

Others in our group had the following: Goat Cheese Ravioli with five lilies, Garganelli with ragú Bolognese (this dish was not my favorite), Beef Brasato with polenta & horseradish gremolata (melt-in-your mouth good), and Gnocchi with duck ragu.

For dessert, we ordered two different ones: Bombolini mountain huckleberry compote & vanilla gelato; and another one with apple fritters and ice cream of some sort. Both were delicious.

I've eaten at a lot of restaurants, and not many WOW me. But this one did. It really is worth going to, and the food is incredible. My ONLY complaint is this: I ordered a decaf cappucino, and much to my chagrine, as I found out later, they brought me a regular cappucino. I asked the guy that brought it, "This is decaf, right?" He hesitated, which made me suspicious, but then he said, "Yes, yes, it's decaf." OK.

WELL, let me tell you...IT WAS NOT DECAF!!!!! I was up ALL night. Caffeine makes me queasy and I can't sleep. It was awful. If any servers are reading this...PLEASE make sure that when someone orders DECAF it really is DECAF!!!!

OK, i'm done shouting. It really is a great restaurant though. I highly recommend it.

For more info, their website is www.mozza-la.com .
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