An Italian Amuse Bouche:Stuzzichini with basil, sundried tomato, mint pesto and olive
Much easier to eat than pronounce, the orrechiette pasta with sausage, swiss chard rivals the Burrata with its mixture of flavors and textures (it's all about the breadcrumbs spooned on top!). While less of the this dish dribbled down our chins-we actually used silverware for this course-it was no less mouth-watering. Even with the sausage, it was a relatively light course, and the saltiness was a nice contrast for our other dish for this course:
Fresh Ricotta & Egg Raviolo with browned butter
Ricotta and...egg? It's not a combination I've had anywhere but a breakfast omelet, but it worked. This raviolo (the singular of ravioli?) was rich and sweet while the orrechiette was lighter and salty. We tore through this dish particularly quickly, not only because the sweet ricotta and brown butter was pleasant after so much bacon and sausage, but also to preserve the texture of the dish before the hot plate cooked the yolk solid!
Although the pastas were the highlight of our meal, the braised beef was fantastic in its own right. The tender and succulent beef was served on a bed of polenta, which soaked up the rich au jus. Caramelized onions and meaty wild mushrooms added even more heartiness to the dish, making it the ultimate comfort food for a cold winter day. Of course, LA doesn’t have many of those so I’m not going to wait until then to enjoy this dish again.
Osteria Mozza - Take Two
Having had an overall great experience at Osteria Mozza, I decided to drag my friend Yana with me a week later for another round. I knew that she would force me to try the more unusual items on the menu, and boy was I right.Having had an overall great experience at Osteria Mozza, I decided to drag my friend Yana with me a week later for another round. I knew that she would force me to try the more unusual items on the menu, and boy was I right.
Grilled Octopus with potatoes, celery & lemon
First off, only click on this picture if you aren’t eating while reading this blog. Second, if the lighting wasn’t dim and I had actually seen what I was eating, I don’t think I would have been so brave. But Yana decided to order this based on the rave reviews and I’m not one to shy away from trying something new. A forkful was put on my plate and I reluctantly took the plunge. I chewed, pondered, and waited for some sort of weird flavor to hit my taste buds. Nothing. It tasted like chicken . . . really. Not a good thing nor a bad thing - it was what it was. Yana loved it, while I decided that one forkful was enough to feel proud of my sheer bravery.
Burricotti, braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants & mint pesto
Our second starter was definitely more tame, but still something that I would not necessarily have ordered myself. I’m much more of a bacon-cheese-onion type. Although I think I ultimately prefer the one Suni and I had, this was definitely a close second. Wonderful combination of texture and flavors. And as you can see, beautifully presented.
Agnolotti, burro e salvia
You already know of my new obsession with agnolotti, and the desire to try theirs was the main reason why I wanted to come back to Osteria Mozza. Filled with tender meat and accompanied with a sage butter sauce, it was delicious. However, I think I prefer the sweetness of Spago’s sweet corn agnolotti as just a matter of preference. Of the 4 pastas that I tasted at Osteria Mozza, I think my favorite was the orrechiette with sausage & Swiss chard – I still salivate when I think about it.
Spaghetti with clams, pancetta & Fresno chile pesto
This was Yana’s pasta, but she generously gave up a bite so that I would have something to blog about. Light and wonderfully spicy, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of flavor in this dish. Again, not something that I would normally order but it was quite tasty.
Olive oil gelato with rosemary cakes