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My Relationship with Mozza

When we think of relationships, we usually think of romantic relationships. But we have so many other relationships - with friends, family members, co-workers. The less obvious ones - with food, with your body, with yourself. This is a short story about my 6 month relationship with Mozza, specifically Pizzeria Mozza previously in downtown San Diego.

When I first moved to downtown San Diego, my neighborhood pizza place was at the Headquarters near Seaport Village. I would stop by Pizzeria Mozza about once a week, usually before or after yoga class.  Before dining at Mozza, I would pop into Venissimo, the cheese shop and pick up a cheese or two or three which I tended to bring for sharing with my co-workers.

I would sit at one of the few chairs by the pizza bar, where you could watch the chefs make the pizzas as well as the antipasti and salads. I later found I had a nickname, "Pizza Carol". I guess it was a way for the staff to remember me. There are worse nicknames to have.

Below are some of the pics I have in an album called Mozza on my iPhone.

To start - Farro Salad, Cauliflower Fritti with spicy mint aioli, Roasted Carrots with ceci and cumin vinaigrette, a seasonal salad with Prosciutto, persimmons and pomegranate seeds, another salad with Prosciutto, pear, black pepper.

The dishes were feasts for the eye and for my tummy. I loved any pasta or pizza with guanciale, an italian cured meat. The meatball was out of this world and I only needed one to be satisfied.

And the bruschettas! So lovely to behold, so wonderful to eat.

The pizza was superb, both crust and toppings.  I have not found better pizza in San Diego. There is good pizza at other restaurants, but none can compare, in my opinion. I have one image below for the Fennel Sausage, Panna, Mozzarella, Red Onions & Scallions. The Funghi Misti, Fontina, Taleggio & Thyme was a favorite, too. Sigh.

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I would sometimes call appetizer and dessert dinner. My preference is for sweets that are not too sweet.

I even learned about Amaro, an Italian herbal liquor that is often drunk as a digestif, at Mozza. (Just now I took an amaro break). I introduce friends to Amaro, some like it, most do not.

So, why did it end? I guess the restaurant did not get as much business at the location, mainly visitors from out of town, not so much the locals. It was pricey, but the quality was high. And folks have a thing about paying for parking.

An astute co-worker said I must be sad that my favorite restaurant closed. I guess it was a ritual for me, a regular part of my week. Even the cheese shop closed.

Another pizza restaurant opened in the vacated location. But they closed, too.

There is life after Mozza. Many new restaurants have opened in San Diego since then, many that I like.

And I've been visiting LA, where I even met the chef who created the meatball at Mozza that I so loved. 

I've started to make Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza's upscale sister, on Melrose a part of my LA travels. Pics from this past week... friend said the pumpkin tart above is probably better than the pumpkin pie he'll have for Thanksgiving. I know that to be true already :)

Carol ChinComment