Tag Archives: pizza

DeSano Pizza in East Hollywood

DeSano Pizza’s are hand-made (each made to order) by an authentic (and charming) Italian Pizzaiolo named Massimiliano Di Lascio. The East Hollywood pizzeria is serving up Neapolitan-style pies with imported ingredients like fresh Mozzarella di Bufala (flown in each week) from Naples.

DeSano PizzaThe four, MASSIVE wood-burning ovens are truly the focal point of the room and each are named after a saint.

From DeSano’s website:

Our four ovens are imported from Italy and each weigh 6,000 lbs. We bake our pizzas at a temperature as high as 1000 degrees, so the cooking time is between 75 and 90 seconds. Baking at this temperature makes that charring on the edges and bottom that is so familiar with Neapolitan pizzas.

Peter and I tried a few different pizzas recently and the San Gennaro (photo below) is now a favorite. It’s topped with Salciccia sausage, caramelized onions, garlic, buffalo mozzarella and charred peppadews. Fatty and tart, all in one bite.

Mangia!

DeSano Pizza
Italian Pizzaiolo Massimiliano Di Lascio.

DeSano Pizza
San Gennaro with sausage and peppadew being made.

Chef Maximino Luna at DeSano Pizza
Desano’s Chef Maximino Luna.

San Gennaro Pizza at DeSano Pizza
San Gennaro Pizza: Sausage, Peppadew, Garlic, Buffalo Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions.

Diavola Pizza at DeSano Pizza
If you like it spicy, go for the Diavola Pizza. It’s made with spicy salame, pepperoni, Calabrian peppers buffalo mozzarella.

Margherita Pizza at DeSano Pizza
In the mood for something simple and perfect? Try the classic Margherita Pizza with San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, garlic.

DeSano Pizza
Don’t forget dessert: Pistachio Cannoli.

DeSano Pizza
I  loved being able to watch all the action, from the dough-kneading to pizza creations. Left: Massimiliano Di Lascio, Right: Maximino Luna.

DeSano Pizza
Another shot of the glorious ovens.

DeSano Pizza
Imported salt.

General Manager Marino Monferrato, DeSano Pizza
Make sure you say hello to General Manager Marino Monferrato. You may recognize him from his years at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood.

All my DeSano photos on flickr

Read more about DeSano at L.A. Times, Zagat and NomsNotBombs

5 Tools DeSano Pizzaiolo Massimiliano Di Lascio Can’t Live Without by L.A. Weekly

5 Questions For Marino Monferrato of DeSano Pizza by L.A. Weekly

DeSano PizzaDeSano Pizza and Bakery
4959 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90029
323-913-7000
website

Open: Monday through Sunday,
11:30 am until the dough runs out.
FREE PARKING

Follow Desano Pizza on Twitter and FaceBook

This meal was gratis.

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Mozza 2Go!

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.comSince our very first visit to Pizzeria Mozza (Christmas Eve 2006), Peter and I have continuously wished for two things: That Mozza would offer a Pizza-to-go / Delivery service, and that Nancy Silverton would make a pizza with chicken liver, guanciale and burrata. If you love Mozza’s Chicken Liver Bruschetta, then you’d understand how amazing this dream pie could be.

Last Thursday, when I learned (via @Foodwoolf on Twitter) that “Mozza 2Go” was OPEN, I immediately texted my husband and wrote, “DO NOT MAKE PLANS TOMORROW!” 

Peter had Friday off from work, and up to that moment, we had no actual plans for the 3rd of July. I searched online to find an opening time for Mozza 2Go, but the closest thing to actual hours listed (at that time) was an Eater LA article stating that, “the first order accepted at noon and the last order at 11:00 pm”.

Thinking there would be a line around the block (hey, it’s Mozza after all!), I told Peter we should plan on getting there by 10:30 AM. I figured we could order a pie, eat it there and then do some shopping at the Grove afterwards. There’s a Mac Store at the Grove… and Peter was obsessed about getting his new iPhone. All I wanted was to check out the new Mozza 2Go. It was a “win win” situation for sure.

By 10:45 am, the only people visible at Mozza 2Go were locksmiths working on the doors to the Scuola di Pizza (Pizza School) next door. I took several photographs of the exterior and called the Mozza 2Go phone number. The lovely voice on the recording noted that they were open Tuesday through Sunday, and that the phone lines opened at 11:00 am, with the first order availalable at noon. The message also said to check the Mozza2Go.com website for more details, but as of that morning (Friday July 3rd), the site was not yet online (Peter kept checking with his old iPhone).

So, we waited. “Mozza Groupies”, just the two of us. I kept calling the number and got the same recording… over and over again. At 11:30, we (meaning Peter) decided we should drive to the Grove and come back afterwards. My iPhone-obsessed husband traipsed off to the Mac store, while I impatiently shopped at World Market and Sur La Table (both stores are near the parking lot).

At about one o’clock we finally got back in the car (Peter flying high from his 3Gs iPhone purchase), and drove back to Highland and Melrose. The sidewalk was still empty, but Mozza 2Go was finally OPEN! Yes, some wishes do come true!

No crowds yet, just us and another couple waiting to order pizza. For some reason (hunger?) I thought we could order a pizza and have the choice of either eating there or taking it home, but of course it’s called “Mozza 2Go”! After a quick look around (they sell the chicken liver AND the Budino to go!), we decided to try to get a table at Pizzeria Mozza around the corner. Having skipped breakfast, we were both, by then, famished and a little cranky (at least I was, Peter was playing with his shiny new toy). 

During the end of our lunch at Pizzeria Mozza (photos & link below), Peter called Mozza 2GO and ordered a Fennel Sausage Pizza for us to pick up afterwards. We figured we may as well try the 2Go service since we were there, and heck… we never get sick of Mozza!

When we got back to Mozza 2Go, I was curious about the Pizza School next door. “Where do I sign up?” was the first question out of my mouth, but it turns out it’s for private events only, with a max of 45 “students” per class. A press release was recently sent out that noted, “In addition to pizza training the Scuola will be home to a variety of cooking demos, wine tastings and other culinary exploits”. I asked about the cost for a private pizza class (with 44 of my nearest and dearest), but no one had any answers yet. My birthday isn’t until March, so there’s plenty of time for Peter to sort that out.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
 Mozza 2Go Entrance / Awning

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Scuola di Pizza front window (to the left of Mozza 2Go).

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Mozza 2Go Entrance.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Imported goodies for sale.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
That’s Butterscotch Budino on the top right shelf!

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Mozza 2Go Menu.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Butterscotch Budino to GO! Make sure you get the Rosemary Pinenut Cookie with it.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Monini Olive Oil used in the Mozza kitchens. (Nancy participates in this olive oil coop in Italy).

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Counter goodies. (Partial of Nancy Silverton) 

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Peter paying for our treats.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
At the counter.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Scuola di Pizza (Pizza School) next to Mozza 2Go.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Looking from Mozza 2Go into Scuola di Pizza.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Pizza boxes on the shelves at Scuola di Pizza.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Our pizza (Fennel Sausage, Panna, Red Onion $15) outside of Mozza 2Go.

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
I love Nancy’s signature on the pizza box sticker! (Yes, I saved it)

Mozza 2 Go, MyLastBite.com
Fennel Sausage, Panna, Red Onion Mozza 2Go Pizza –
PERFECT 
at home!

Mozza 2Go
Scuola di Pizza

6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323 297 1130

Website

Hours: 12pm – 11pm
Closed Monday
Free 15 minute parking for take out orders available behind Mozza 2 Go.

Dining date: July 3, 2009

All Mozza 2Go Photos on Flickr

Mentioned above:

Lunch at Pizzeria Mozza

@Foodwoolf

Eater LA

The Grove

World Market

Sur la Table

iPhone

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Pizzeria Mozza – 7/03/09

Pizzeria Mozza, MyLastBite.comWhile waiting for the new Mozza 2 Go to open last Friday, my husband Peter and I decided to get some lunch at Pizzeria Mozza, which is right around the corner. We’ve never gone to Mozza just for the pizza, although they certainly do make our favorite pies in town.

If you were to ask us separately, what our favorite pizza was at Mozza, there is no doubt we would both say, “Chicken liver and Guanciale”. It doesn’t actually exist, but we pretend like it does by each ordering our own serving of Bruschetta with Chicken Livers, Capers, Parsley & Guanciale (three pieces each). It’s the one dish that Peter and I always crave, so whenever we sit down for a bite at the pizzeria, we treat the chicken liver on bruschetta like the “main course”, then split a pizza “on the side”.

I want to note here that the bread that comes with the chicken liver is beautiful. The bruschetta is warm, crispy and is a sturdy vehicle for the creamy chicken liver. I have no complaints about the bread, but I just think the chicken liver mixture would be stellar on Mozza’s light and airy pizza crust. The dough could be cooked with just a little olive oil in the wood-burning oven, then topped with chicken liver, guanciale and burrata while still warm. 

This brilliant idea of ours hasn’t made it on the menu yet, even though we hint anytime we see Nancy at a food festival or at the restaurant. I was thrilled to learn that Mozza 2 Go will be selling their chicken liver for take-out as well, so you can bet I’ll be having some fun whipping up my dreamy concoction at home!

The pizza (that we shared) on this visit was a luscious Egg, Bacon, Yukon gold Potato & Bermuda Onion Pizza. We also each had a quartino of Bastianich Tocai Friulano wine, and it was a perfect start to the holiday weekend.

Pizzeria Mozza, MyLastBite.com
Bruschette: Chicken Livers, Capers, Parsley & Guanciale

Pizzeria Mozza, MyLastBite.com
Egg, Bacon, Yukon gold Potato & Bermuda Onion Pizza, Photo 1

Pizzeria Mozza, MyLastBite.com
Photo 2

Pizzeria Mozza, MyLastBite.com
Photo 3

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Ave. Los Angeles,
California 90036
(323) 297-0101
mozza-la.com

Dining date: July 3, 2009

Mozza 2 Go (my first visit)

Bastianich Tocai Friulano

Mozza 2 Go (website)

About Guanciale

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Gjelina

I was in no rush to dine at Gjelina (pronounced “jelina”) when it opened last summer, adding it to my lengthy list of “places to eat”.

To be honest, I just didn’t care about ANOTHER pizzeria opening, so I pretty much just forgot about it. Then I read Patrick Kuh’s review in Los Angeles Magazine (Feb 2009 issue).

Gruyere Arugula Pizza, MyLastBite.comKuh wrote:
The cooking of Travis Lett is the main draw… only 30 years old, he has developed a remarkably sustained culinary style…

That sparked my interest a little because I love supporting our local up-and-coming chefs.

Then I read: 
Back when he was starting out, Lett had an epiphany while eating a meal at Mario Batali’s breakout restaurant, Babbo, shortly after it opened in Greenwich Village. “It wasn’t one thing they did. It was how they did everything,” he recalls of the food’s exacting forthrightness.

With Mario Batali, MyLastBite.comOne of my best dining experiences ever was at BABBO restaurant in New York. Peter and I had dinner there in October 2005, and we still talk about the amazing Bucatini all’Amatriciana. To this day, we’ve never tasted a better pasta dish and Mario Batali is a culinary king in our home. I’ve learned so much about Italian cooking AND culture from his old series, “Molto Mario” and it’s a shame he doesn’t “teach” on television anymore. If Gjelina’s chef was pulling inspiration from BABBO and Batali, then it could only mean good things for the restaurant.

Patrick Kuh ended his review with the following:
Certain restaurant openings are cautious, some careless, and some overproduced. Then there are those that sing. Gjelina is one of them. It has the snap of originality, a little strut. It knows it’s good. It captures a neighborhood.

At this point I opened my “places to eat” list and moved Gjelina up near the top. When our friends Kevin and Tamara (both oenophiles) wanted to meet for brunch in Venice recently, of course it had to be at Gjelina. They brought along a gorgeous bottle of Williams Selyem 2005 Chardonnay, which was a refreshing and crisp companion to our delicious brunch of pizzas, salads and sides.

Niman Ranch Bacon, MyLastBite.com
Niman Ranch Bacon $5. Is there any better way to start off a brunch?

Spinach Salad, MyLastBite.com
Heirloom Spinach Salad with Tomato, Olive, Feta, Pinenuts and Croutons $9. This was devoured within minutes of hitting our table. The large crouton pieces were a terrific crunch mixed with the super fresh vegetables. 

Guanciale Pizza, MyLastBite.com
Guanciale Pizza with Crushed Olive, Fresno Chili, Buffalo Mozzarella & Rosemary, $15
I LOVE guanciale, it’s my favorite type of bacon (the pig’s jowel) which is extra fatty. Notice how THIN the pizza crust is in the upper left of the photo. All the flavors were baked into (and almost through) the crust. I love thin-crust pizza so this wafer-thin heater was my kind of pie (or maybe I should say “cracker bread”!).

Chickpeas & Truffle Potatoes, MyLastBite.com
Two more sides we enjoyed:
Chickpea Stew with Greens, Cous Cous, Spiced Yogurt and Harissa, $12. It was more like a belly-warming soup than a stew and I found myself craving it when I had a cold last week.
Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with Truffle Oil, Herbs and Parmesan, $5. Perfectly crispy on the outside with just a hint of truffle oil.

Gruyere Arugula Pizza, MyLastBite.com
Gruyere, Arugula Pizza topped with Caramelized Onion, Fromage Blanc Pizza and Sunny Eggs, $18. This pizza came after the Guanicale, and we all decided that this one was our favorite. Again, the toppings were almost baked through the thin crust and the runny eggs on top added a creamy-like richness.

View from our table, MyLastBite.com
In the relaxing, sunny back patio area, the view from my seat.

Butterscotch Pot de Creme, MyLastBite.com
Butterscotch pot de creme. Very similar to Mozza’s Butterscotch Budino, (except you don’t get the rosemary cookie here). Gjelina’s version was rich enough that we were happy sharing one together.

Blackberry Crisp, MyLastBite.com
Blackberry and Cornmeal Crisp. I only had one bite (too full!) but my husband said he loved the tartness and crunch.

Beautiful Fixture & Wall, MyLastBite.com
I loved the decor, especially the chocolate brown wall, with what looked like “tooled leather” engravings. The light fixtures were also fun and funky throughout.

Gjelina, MyLastBite.com
From top left: Lighting above bar, Back patio, Vintage glass, Wine bottle chandelier.

I can’t wait to go back!

The L.A. Times writes: Though they’re only a small part of the menu, the pizzas at Gjelina in Venice keep getting better. Six months in, chef-owner Travis Lett has his pizza mojo down. His pies have a graceful aesthetic, beautiful to look at, even better to eat, and farmers market all the way. Like the seductive vegetable dishes here from the wood-burning oven, the eight pizzas on offer shift with the seasons. A pie blanketed in Fontina cheese and bitter greens accented with bacon lardons or one that melds Taleggio cheese with dusky wild mushrooms and pea shoots may give way to a pizza topped with sweet porky guanciale, crushed olives and bufala mozzarella. The crust is very thin, very crisp. Pizza is such a popular item, though, you may have to wait for yours: The oven is only big enough to cook four pies at a time.  Full Article Here

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429
(no website as of this writing) 
Dining Date: 3/7/09 

Mentioned Above:

LA Magazine Gjelina Review by Patrick Kuh

BABBO

Mario Batali

Molto Mario

Williams Selyem Chardonnay

Niman Ranch

Gjelina on Urbanspoon

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Riva Restaurant

On those very rare occasions when Peter and I have pizza delivered, we either argue over the type of crust to get, or simply order separate pizzas. Peter likes classic “hand-tossed” crust and I prefer a thin crust because it’s less filling, and I admit…. I just care more about the toppings.

When Pizzeria Mozza opened a couple of years ago, we finally found that one pizza that we could agree on and actually enjoy together. Nancy Silverton’s pizza crusts are thick enough on the outside for Peter, yet thin enough on the inside so I don’t feel overwhelmed by dough.

We first went to Pizzeria Mozza on Christmas Eve in 2006, and have tried every pizza on the menu since then. Mozza’s “Gorgonzola, Fingerling Potato and Rosemary” is the one we return to again and again. It’s a real shame they don’t deliver.

Riva, MyLastBite.comLast friday we were invited to dinner by Peter’s friends, Barbara and John. They were in town, from Seattle, looking at colleges with their two teenage kids, Corey and Claire. Peter asked me to make a dinner reservation in Santa Monica (near their hotel) so I decided on Riva restaurant. We hadn’t been to Jason Travi’s Italian eatery yet, so after I made the reservation I started researching the menu online.

The L.A. Times noted that Riva’s menu “plays off the cuisine of the Italian Riviera” and serves delicious crudo (Italian style “sashimi”). I was surprised to read that they don’t serve pasta, but Riva does specialize in pizza. I found several good reviews about the pork lovers pizza called “Molto Maiale”, but it’s when I started reading about the “Patate Semplice” pizza that I began feeling well…. a little guilty. It’s made with potato, rosemary, fontina and sea salt, which sounded very similar to our favorite pizza at Mozza. Should we even try Riva’s potato pizza, or would it be like cheating on Nancy? It took almost fifteen years of “crust fighting” to find a pizza that my husband I both love, so maybe it was best not to test fate by bringing in a new player.

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s JUST PIZZA… GET OVER IT”.

Well, we did… and both of us absolutely loved the Riva potato pizza. To me, the crust seemed a little lighter than Mozza’s version, and the topping was almost custard-like underneath the potato. It was velvety rich and so cheesy that I had to eat it with a fork.

The other pizza we ordered was (of course) the “Molto Maiale” which was topped with sausage, meatballs, pancetta and bacon. After a few bites, we were all in pig heaven.

The L.A. times said it best: “While Pizzeria Mozza still rules, Riva is closing in, and here at least you can get a reservation”.

What we ate:

Riva, MyLastBite.comPatate Semplice Pizza (potato, rosemary, fontina, sea salt) $14

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Molto Maile Pizza (Sausage, Bacon, Meatballs, Pancetta, Caramelized Onion, Tomato) $17

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Molto Maile Pizza (Sausage, Bacon, Meatballs, Panceetta, Caramelized Onion, Tomato) $17

Riva, MyLastBite.com
 Crudo: DELICIOUS cured belly of ocean trout with house made mustard. $9

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Chef Jason Travi

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Chef at the pizza oven

Pastry Chef Miho Travi is a dessert goddess…

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Torta Della Nonna (grandma’s cake) served with roasted pears, caramel ice cream $10

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Ricotta Fritters served with catalan cream foam $9

Riva, MyLastBite.com
Sorbetti e Gelati Trio $8

More photos on Flickr

Riva Restaurant
312 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica
(310) 451-7482
RivaRestaurantLA.com

Dining date: 3/6/09
Thanks Barbara and John, for a wonderful dinner at Riva!

Mentioned Above:
L.A. Times Review of Riva

Pizzeria Mozza

Nancy Silverton

At Mozza
Riva on Urbanspoon

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Terroni

Favorite Bites at Terroni

Terroni Los Angeles, MyLastBite.com
Arancini, Risotto Balls with cherry tomatoes and olives.
Deep-fried, cheesy rice goodness.

Terroni Los Angeles, MyLastBite.com
Bucatini all’Amatriciana, pasta, onions, tomato sauce, olive oil and pecorino cheese. Note: Bucatini is a long, hollow pasta (and my favorite).

C’t Mang Pizza, a white pizza with fresh pears, mozzarella, gorgonzola, walnuts and speck (smoked prosciutto). I know it sounds a little strange, but it’s delicious!

Terroni
7605 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 954-0300

Website (L.A.)

Terroni Menu (pdf)

Fun Fact (from the main website): “The name Terroni served as a brazen wink to the industrial Italian north where people often use the derogatory term when referring to their southern neighbors”

Thanks Marty!

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