Mozza and Osteria Mozza: Hit Hollywood dining alongside celebrities, or in your room

Sweetbreads Picatta with artichokes at Osteria Mozza
Sweetbreads Picatta with artichokes at Osteria Mozza

Created by celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joseph Bastianich, Mozza is the biggest hit restaurant Los Angeles has seen in recent years. Located close to most Hollywood hotels, on famous Melrose Avenue, it makes for a meal you will never forget.

Nancy Silverton can be seen on site at the Pizzeria Mozza (pronounced MAHT-SO), manning the unique mozzarella bar. All the antipasti is based on Italian fresh cheeses. Silverton serves what's available, whether mozzarella or burrata, and always presents dishes in a unique fashion -- on a bed of stewed leeks, for example. Pizzas are topped with such items as Ipswich clams, fried egg, and white anchovy, but even the traditional Margarita Pizza is amazing. Note that you can also order from the regular menu at the L-shaped bar (a great place to chat with fellow foodies).

You might find Mario Batalli next door at Osteria, wandering the room in his infamous clogs. Pastas are the star here, but dishes like the grilled octopus also deserve attention.

If you cannot get a reservation (be sure to book about 2 weeks in advance), and have no luck as a walk-in (not a bad way to go, if you're willing to go early and sit at the bar), there's also Mozza2Go. It has a very large menu that mixes the best of the two restaurants (Osteria is the more formal of the two) so that you can take a pizza, some pasta, or an antipasti back to your hotel room.

- Lesley Bracker

[Photo courtesy of Flickr: loremipsum]

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