Kirbie's Cravings

Pizzeria Mozza

Finally, DH and I have found a pizza place serving wood fire oven pizzas that taste as good as the ones we ate in Italy.

We had heard good things about Pizzeria Mozza and so it had been on my “to do” list, especially since they have a location in Newport Beach. Pizzeria Mozza is the joint collaboration of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich. We previously dined at the more formal Osteria and thought the meal enjoyable but unmemorable. Pizzeria Mozza is a much more casual establishment.

The seating is a little bit crowded. The tables are decorated with interesting placemats. I forgot to take pictures but they kept us entertained. Mine showed all the inventions I could thank Italians for. DH’s was teaching him various Italian words.

Upon being seated, we were provided with breadsticks completely wrapped up in brown paper. I don’t know why but I loved the idea of eating crunchy breadsticks while waiting for my food.

There were so many appetizers I wanted to try, but only two of us, so we only chose one to share.

Prosciutto di Parma & mozzarella di bufala

Since this doesn’t come with any accompaniments, we also ordered some garlic bread.

There was plenty of proscuitto on our plate and the Mozza group is known for their delicious fresh cheeses. I enjoyed this combination but next time I’ll opt for a warm appetizer. It seemed a little plain to just being eating these two items alone.

The garlic bread we ordered was absolutely massive. I like thick toast, but this was maybe a little too much. We basically had to break off little pieces at a time. There was no way to really pile proscuitto and cheese on top and eat it together.

Margherita with mozzarella, tomato & basil

I used to enjoy a lot of different toppings on my pizza, but I’ve found that I prefer the simpler ones, really letting that tomato sauce shine through.

One bite and we were transported back to that first night in Italy. The crust was paper thin, as it should be, with the center unable to hold its weight. The crust was slightly charred around the edges, but the middle of the crust remained fairly char-free. It was messy and required a lot of napkins, but every bite was delicious. I loved the cheese, the basil and the bold tomato sauce.

Bacon, salame, fennel sausage, guanciale, tomato & mozzarella

We knew we wanted a meat topped pizza for our second one, but we couldn’t decide on what meat choice we wanted. This one is basically a meat lover’s pizza. We pretty much guessed that it would be too salty, but we went ahead and ordered it anyway so we could try all the meat toppings available and get a sense of what we would want on our next visit.

I was surprised by the meatball-sized fennel sausage chunks. On the one hand, it made it sort of impractical to eat, but there was also a caveman-like appeal to them. I ended up just rolling them off the pizza and eating them solo. Out of all the meats we preferred the fennel sausage, so next time we’ll probably try a fennel sausage topped pizza.

Coconut Sorbet Pie

For dessert, we shared a coconut sorbet pie. It was like a mud pie, but filled with coconut sorbet instead. The sorbet was quite rich and creamy, but other than that the dessert didn’t really impress me. Next time, I’ll have to try their butterscotch budino.

We left really really happy with our meal and I’ve been talking about returning ever since. I’ve already planned out my order for our next visit, which hopefully will be soon.

Pizzeria Mozza
800 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663

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17 comments on “Pizzeria Mozza”

  1. I love this place! Love the savory flavors of all the dishes I’ve had. We’ve had several pizzas and most appetizers.

    For dessert, the budino is The-BOMB. Last year we searched & found the recipe (Nancy Silverton’s) and we made it. Mmmmm it was sooooo good.

    • I need to go back! I’ve been saying it since we left the restaurant. Trying to find a day to fit it into my calendar!

  2. We’ve got quite a few Neopolitan-style pizzerias here, as well – this place definitely looks like a winner to me!

    • There’s been a lot in San Diego, but I feel like they don’t always get it right. crust is too thick, flavor of the sauce too bland, crust too charred. But I really loved this one!

  3. I’ve heard so much about this place! It’s on my list of places to try out. About the char, do you just scrape it off or do you eat it?

    • I personally scrape off most of it because I don’t like that bitterness. The pizzas here were mainly charred at the outer crust and I don’t usually eat my pizza crusts anyway, so I just didn’t eat the super charred areas. Definitely try this place out!

  4. Oh I am so jealous. I have the cookbook, (I love it) and have made some of the pizzas, delicious, but I still need to work on my pizza peel skills. I need to get there soon.

  5. Yummmm that first pizza especially looks amazing!!

  6. We also really like Pizzeria Mozza but their pizza is not Neapolitean style but a very unique own creation. The dough taste quite different to anything you would get in Italy and also the consistency is quite different. Nancy discussed this also in their cookbook and desribes how they wanted to create a unique pizza different from those around Naples

    • Thank you for that clarification. I was wondering if their pizza was considered true Neapolitan style. I tried to do some research online but couldn’t find anything specific about their pizzas and I haven’t read the cook book. I still think their pizzas taste quite similar to what we had in Italy and is very similar to Naples pizza with the thin crust, wood stove, soupy center, etc. Either way, I really enjoy it.

  7. Sorry, but I found the margharita pizza to be bland, to the point of flavorless, and not a value compared to other pizza places in San Diego.

  8. Where did you criticize it?… I read how every bite was delicious… Not sure why plain, margharita pizzas get such props anyways–I will take a good NY style pizza any day of the week….as for other dishes, I ordered the meatball appetizer that came out lukewarm and what’s with the $4 charge for plain bread and EVOO….overall, I do not share the same love for this place that others do… Probably same people who tell me Cowboy Star steak is better than Peter Luger.

  9. Hi Kirbie–found your full article….Iphone posted a condensed version.

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