What to Order at Osteria Mozza: The Chef’s Favorites
You scored a reservation at Osteria Mozza, now what? Let Executive Chef Elizabeth Hong guide you through the menu.
As anyone familiar with LA’s dining scene knows, Osteria Mozza is the brainchild of Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton. Together, the three opened a series of very successful, Italian-inspired restaurants at the corner of Melrose and Highland avenues.
Osteria Mozza is the core of this restaurant complex. Under the direction of Nancy Silverton, the Osteria has established itself as a dining institution in Los Angeles. In fact, it is consistently ranked among the best restaurants in the city, if not in the entire country.
So, let’s say you managed to reserve a table. Well done! Now it’s time to figure out what you are going to order. And this is where Foodiamo comes in.
What should you order at Osteria Mozza?
We sat down with Elizabeth Hong to learn about the restaurant favorites. From her first gig at the Osteria’s mozzarella bar, Elizabeth worked her way up to Chef de Cuisine at neighboring Pizzeria Mozza. Now, she’s the Executive Chef at Osteria Mozza.
“I am going to present three of Osteria Mozza‘s signature dishes,” says Elizabeth. “Our menu changes seasonally, depending on whether certain ingredients are available or whether we want to introduce something new. These are classic, non-seasonal dishes, always available whenever you come in.
“And they are also my personal favorites,” she adds. “I just picked the ones I like the most.”
1. From the Mozzarella Bar: Burrata & Bacon
“Let’s start from the mozzarella bar. From the very beginning, this has been one of Mozza’s most distinctive features.” Imported, Italian fresh cheeses are paired with ingredients ranging from Cetara anchovies (a prized variety of anchovies from Cetara, south of Naples) to grilled asparagus.
In this appetizer, the crostino is topped with bacon and marinated escarole. Then you have burrata, and finally caramelized shallots and a sprinkle of olive oil. The ingredients are meant to enhance the cheese. As for the burrata itself, in the words of Besha Rodell, “break it open and revel in one of Italy’s true gifts to our culinary lives — the distillation of the exact moment when cream becomes cheese.” Not bad for an appetizer, uh?
2. Primi: Ricotta and Egg Raviolo
“The raviolo has been on the menu at Osteria Mozza since day one,” continues Elizabeth. “It’s still our most popular pasta. Almost every single table orders one.”
This is one large raviolo (Italian lesson of the day: ravioli is actually plural) filled with a creamy ricotta mixture and a runny egg yolk. Similarly to the burrata-opening moment described before, the opening of the raviolo is almost mesmerizing. Once you cut through the pasta, the yolk makes its way onto the plate, mixing with the brown butter sauce.
“We try to source the best ingredients that we can. There’s not a lot of special preparation, just making sure that everything is fresh. We make pasta fresh every day, you are never getting yesterday’s pasta. Overall, we let the ingredients speak for themselves.”
3. Dolci: Cioccolato
Finally, end your meal with a bittersweet, flourless chocolate cake with Perugian chocolates. “We are not trying to replicate anything that exists in Italy,” says Elizabeth. “Rather, we took inspiration from the chocolate masters of Perugia to create a unique dessert. The candies and nougats accompanying the cake are all done in-house.”
“All these dishes are classic Mozza. If you see the burrata salad, or the egg raviolo, anywhere on the internet, you know it’s from Osteria Mozza.”
6602 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, 90038
Phone: 323 297 0100
Photos by Agata Gravante Photography. All rights reserved