Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton’s much-anticipated Los Angeles restaurant Pizzeria Mozza finally opened last week (the fancier Osteria is expected to early next year). And we’re happy to report it is already the family date place of the season. We took the kids there for Sunday lunch this weekend and within minutes of getting our table, and before the doors even opened at noon, the other families had lined up: there was a famous local chef and his brood. There was a family we recognized from the neighborhood farmer’s market. Clearly, no packed reservation book was going to get between the foodie families of Los Angeles and their wood-fired funghi misti and tallegio pizza and a glass of mid-day Rosé (followed by a glass of mid-day Babera D’alba). Inside the restaurant, a good fifth of the tables had a diner or two under the age of 10. Within minutes of being seated, our kids were given crayons and paper to draw on. Best part was, printed on the paper were drawings of toys and their Italian names (ball=pallone; rocking horse=cavallo a dondolo. Good to know). Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s New York-based Babbo takes its name from the Italian version of “daddy,” so it’s no surprise that they’ve made accomodations for the west coast Babbos and Mommas and Bambini that are going to make up a good portion of their customer base. While pizzerias traditionally cater to families, a big name, big-shot team could’ve taken it another direction. It’s really nice to see them making the extra effort to make families feel at home. (And the food? Easily the best pizza we’ve had in L.A., with great crust and smart, satisfying toppings. Though Violet declared the mushrooms on one pizza “too mushroomy.” What can I say, she’s never had Hen of the Woods mushrooms or fresh porcini before, but there’s a first time for everything. She totally dug the fennel sausage and the margherita pizza. Des actually ate around the tomato on the margherita; an amazing feat of dexterity for a two year old. Now that’s picky. More on the full meal in a later post.)
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