It's next to a Ferrari dealership, which tells you all you need to know, but I'll go on anyway. It's a pizza place, but it has a wine bar. It's a pizza place, but they stared at me like I had three heads when I said I didn't have a reservation. It's a pizza place, for crying out loud - but their dessert menu prices range from $8 to $14 (+, with wine pairings - oh, and I guess that could be a mention: it's a pizza place and it has desserts with wine pairings). It's date-night-low-lit and full of dress-smoothing, salad-poking ladies with perfect hair.
In other words, I was all ready to hate it.
Until I took a bite of my brussels sprouts, panna, pancetta, and some-otherworldly-spice pizza, that damn $18 circle of goodness on the plate in front of me, that bready disc of deliciousness. Despite it all, it was worth it. You've heard me railing on doughy pizzas before, chastising them for making me feel like I'm eating an overpriced roll. This, despite its preponderance of dough, still impressed me. The minimalist toppings exploded with flavor, the pancetta's fat oozing through every layer, the brussel sprouts' crunch giving way to salt and oil.
And the pizzette: bufala mozzarella, fennel, chanterelles - despite the fact that my vegetarian companion had little to eat other than that and a silly pizza with aglio e olio (and for ordering that, he got what he deserved), I still ate half and didn't feel guilty at all.
Stupid Pizzeria Mozza, making me OK with spending $26 for pizza and hobnobbing with the local elite. Take your backhanded compliments. You deserve them.
800 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663