When I think about romance, I think about Italian food. Perhaps it's the fact that Garlic is an aphrodisiac. Or, maybe it's that famous pasta kissing scene from Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Either way, just in time for Valentine's Day, I'm serving you Pizzeria Mozza from Newport Beach.
Brought to you by three masterminds – chef Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery and the former Campanile, chef & restaurateur Mario Batali, and restaurateur & TV host Joe Bastianich – Mozza set the pace for a slew of upscale chains to hit the OC, like Fig & Olive and Red O.
Perched on PCH across from the Balboa Bay Club, Pizzeria Mozza stands tall, bright orange, and loud. The inside matches with a bustling crowd from the packed bar to the dining room.
It serves as a great buffer for a nervous first date, or a reason to request a large table in the intimate dining room to share plates with 8 of your friends, just like the hand model & I did.
- excellent array of Leeks, spicy 'n caramelized flavor with spongey yet crispy crust, Coach Farm Goat Cheese, Leek, Scallion, Garlic & Bacon Pizza $18
- bursting with juiciness, sweet 'n tart, Bacon, Salame, Fennel Sausage, Guanciale, Tomato & Mozzarella Pizza $19
- bitter, salty 'n spicy, could use more creaminess to cool it down, Rapini, Cherry Tomato, Anchovy, Olive & Chile Pizza $16
- like heaven for a vegetarian, hearty, salty 'n tangy in all the right ways, Crispy Goat Cheese with Umbrian Lentils $12
- melt in your mouth, pesto that's heavy-in-a-good-way, Mozza Caprese with sweet Roasted Tomatoes $13
- citrus burst counteracts its natural bitterness, Bruschette with Chicken Livers, Capers, Parsley & Guanciale $9
- dripping with oil and hard to wrap your mouth around, Bread (complimentary)
- like Italian Cracker Jacks on crack, fluffy 'n salty caramel dream, Caramel Copetta with Marshmallow Sauce & Salted Spanish Peanuts $10
- a menage-a-trois in your mouth, Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo with slippery Olive Oil Gelato and sexy Sea Salt $12
Mozza's menu offers a vast variety of dishes, that even our table of 8 couldn't conquer. From fresh homemade pastas & pizzas to plates of the day like Crispy Duck Legs, there's something for everyone to love.