Last Monday, Satish and I choose to have dinner at Mario Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza in West Hollywood because of his signature “MM” dishes. He is among the few chefs who has embraced the campaign and encourages Americans to make vegetables more of a “star” on their plates. I’ve read many (negative) comments and opinions on Chef Batali’s MM promotion as vain. I think he is genuine and understands the point of MM. Quoting Batali, “Most people in the U.S eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet. Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn’t a realistic or attainable goal, but we can focus on a more plant- based diet…that’s why I’m such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement.”
Pizzeria Mozza is understated in the world of glamorous and over the top restaurants in Los Angeles. It’s a place you would go to have a relaxing meal with your friends or family, or just by yourself. Our servers were very kind, knowledgeable, and accepting of MM. My expectations were at best neutral I didn’t think the staff would care that we practice MM. I was expecting one vegetarian option and a nonchalant response. Not that we were looking for accolades or a badge, but it’s rare to find people who actually understands the whats and whys about our request. We unfolded the large paper menu and were overwhelmed by all the options. We just let our server tell us what the vegetarian options for the day were (usually at any resto there are only 3-4 things). He started out by apologizing that the signature MM dish was all sold out and then rattled off at least 10 vegetarian options! We ordered the Cauliflower Friti and Squash Blossom (obsession) Pizza, wanting to save room for dessert. To be honest, if it weren’t so late at night and if we didn’t have an appetizer at Rick Bayless‘ Red O Restaurant beforehand, I would have ordered at least 3 other things. How can I say this without using childish words like delicious or yummy?! The pizza crust was perfect, the squash blossoms laid out beautifully, the mozzarella impeccable. The friti was delicious and hearty. The best part was the Mozza Caprese that the chef brought out for us: slow roasted tomatoes on the vine with mozzarella and pesto. It was the best tomato dish of its kind I have ever had. I would put it in the top 1o list of the best things I’ve ever ate. I was so inspired that the next day I bought all of the ingredients and tried to replicate it for the family. I would like to thank Nancy Silverton for introducing me to a new way of pairing mozzarella and tomatoes.
I highly recommend Pizzeria Mozza and they offer plenty of healthy options (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) to keep you on the track of wellness and support local farms. Club Dine In! approved.
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