Pizzeria Mozza {restaurant} – Spiders and Pigs

Pizzeria Mozza - Bacon Egg Yukon Gold potato pizza

I refuse to go anywhere near my bathroom sink…

Not even “near” the bathroom sink, more like anywhere within a 10-foot radius, possibly wider, of any drain, any spigot, any type of opening, closing or otherwise of the plumbing to this house out of which could leap a creature that began as a tiny supposedly “harmless” house spider, died a minty-fresh death at the hands of a hyperreactive arachnophobe with nothing but mouthwash within her reach, was frantically washed down the convoluted depths of the household pipework with the burning hottest water that would come out of the tap, then genetically mutated into a hairy Alaskan King crab-sized beast, and is now clawing its way back toward a drain opening on a killer after-life mission of vengeance.

I know, I know. Weirdly enough though, I actually don’t watch movies.

But I do read webMD!

I am deathly afraid of spiders. And by “deathly,” I mean that I am certain that any and every spider that I can, and even cannot, see is going to kill me with its bite. Oh, the spider is green, so it cannot possibly be a brown recluse or a black widow? Pitch, blease. It’s obviously some yet-to-be-discovered-by-bugologists tropical species that is even more poisonous than either of the two deadliest spiders on the planet and yes, it’s in my house in a well-populated, over-developed metropolitan neighborhood of Los Angeles. Have you ever googled “spider bite?” And clicked through to oh, say, page 6 of the image search results? No? DO NOT DO IT. Especially don’t do it if it’s Friday night and you’re home alone and the house is dark because you’ve been sitting in the same spot since daylight, clicking through webMD and it’s now 9:56 PM. You will think that that little brown spot on your thigh is starting to itch and come to think of it, it does look like there are two tiny fang holes in the center and oh. my. god. When did I get bitten by a brown recluse I am going to have to amputate my leg by morning.

If I even survive at all.

I used to carouse fearlessly through the Texas backwoods that are crawling with enormous spiders that are the size of, well, Texas. So, this crippling fear of spiders is a relatively recent development, and I’m pretty sure I know the very nanosecond in which my mind succumbed to arachnophobia. About four months into our relationship, he threw a huge party that raged well into the night and some time between Champagne and the ankle pain, a spider bit me. I didn’t know at the time that I had been bitten by a spider, but four days, three ineffective antibiotics, and two trips to the ER later, guess what? I still didn’t know if I had been bitten by a spider because there is absolutely no way of confirming a spider bite unless you actually see a spider on your ankle, counterinstinctively hold yourself back from screaming in sheer terror and swatting it off, and watch it rear its ugly eight-eyed head, plunge its bloody fangs through every layer of your skin, and inject deadly venom into your bloodstream. If you do not see that with your own two eyes, then the burning, itching, swelling that has rendered yours into a cankle, could be nothing more than irritation from the ankle strap on the six-inch stiletto heeled sandals you wore for the 12-hour duration of the party. Or it could be any old bug bite that has gotten inflamed because you scratched it too much.

Or it could be that life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, MRSA.

I saw a spider the other evening. You know what’s more unnerving than seeing a spider in the center of the wall in your home office? Looking away for but a moment to grab a flip flop or notepad or three-months unopened gas bill, something, anything, to kill the spider, then turning back and NOT seeing the spider, not on the wall, not on the ceiling, not anywhere for that matter. I fled the office, ducking through the doorway because I had no idea if the crouching spider, hidden omgwtf had made itself invisible and swung across the room on a silky trapeze shooting out of its butt to the top of the doorway to drop itself down through the back of my collar to assassinate me, or if it just crawled away to the safety of a dark corner. When I got down the hallway, I slammed the door shut, locked it, and left the lights on all night.

Because we all know that even if the spider is able to pick the lock to get through the door, it will disintegrate in the light.

Though my recent Listerining of a spider may indicate otherwise, I actually have a very hard time killing spiders for reasons that have nothing to do with either their coming back from the dead to kill me or their entire spider mafia family’s hunting me down to avenge their brethren’s death, and everything to do with several unrelated irrationalities. I simply cannot stand the idea of personally killing anything, even if it’s potentially going to kill me first. This is a very bad self preservation strategy, I know, but so is drinking three bottles of wine in one night for the cancer-fighting antioxidants, so whatever.

The real problem is smashing a spider. I am afraid I will miss. Or that I might not completely kill it before it escapes my terror and drags itself on it’s eight broken and beaten legs to its family who will mount up and come looking for me. Or I will merely injure it and have to watch it suffer a slow death. For some reason, physically killing a spider with brute force seems much more challenging than just spraying into a perfectly styled permanent ultra-hold with a can of hairspray.

(Hairspray doesn’t actually kill spiders. Neither does Windex, so there you go My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Listerine, however…)

But there is something else.

According to Italian superstition, not only is it good luck to see spiders at night, it is just straight up bad luck to kill spiders. And if there is one thing I want to attract toward my life less than a hive full of poisonous spiders, it’s bad luck. Not that I believe in superstitions, luck or astrology, as I believe such things are ways for alarmists like me to make ourselves feel better about seeing spiders in our office at night, but I can’t help but wonder…what if? What if I kill this spider, and since it’s nighttime I am very bad luckingly killing a good luck spider, what if I kill it? Will I contract some debilitating infectious disease? Or worse, will I develop terminal illness with only two weeks to live? If I kill this spider, MY GOD, am I cursing myself into a lifetime of spinsterhood, to eventually drown in a woeful cocktail of my own tears and Listerine?!

Yes. Yes. And YES. My suspicion is that if it’s printed on a placemat at Pizzeria Mozza, it must be true.

It’s been fun being single these last few months. I have the weird fortune of actually liking dating. But sometimes, you just want the security of always having a guy there to kill the invisible killer spiders in the house.

Because you certainly don’t want that bad luck for yourself.

Mozza has a pizza called The Spider Pig with nduja (spicy, super soft “spreadable” salami I know wtf go out and get some now), paprika-spiked pepperoni, and fennel sausage. It is not a regular menu item, but a special that, like a brown recluse or black widow, makes rare, heart-stopping appearances.

And could kill you.

I went to Pizzeria Mozza for the first time back when it first opened in 2006. Since then, it has been a regular dining destination for me, both Los Angeles and Newport Beach, but this is the first blog post I have ever written about it. Seven incoherent and seemingly unrelated paragraphs about spiders? I know. It seems like a stretch, but if you know me, this post, the way it’s written and why it took me so long to publish, should make complete and total sense.

Placemat at Pizzeria Mozza

Good Luck: finding a button, walking in the rain, dropping a comb, SEEING A SPIDER AT NIGHT {via: TheDelicious on instagram, hence the grainy dark photo}
pizzeria mozza placement - good luck spiders


little pizzette with Ipswich clams, garlic, oregano, pecorino and parmigiano

Squash blossoms

with tomato and burrata cheese

Funghi Misti

with fontina and taleggio cheeses and thyme


with fontina, mozzarella and sottocenere cheeses and sage

Baller Move on the Bianca

add fennel sausage

Goat Cheese Bacon

Coach Farm goat cheese, leeks, scallions, garlic and bacon

Egg Bacon Potato

with egg, bacon, Yukon gold potatoes and Bermuda onions

Bianco Dinapoli Pomodoro

with tomato, Sicilian oregano, and extra virgin olive oil

Clam Pizzette and Saturday Piatto del Giorno: Poll al Forno


Panino: Tuna

olive oil braised albacore tuna, hard cooked egg, capers, and anchovy. my FAVORITE TUNA SANDWICH in the city.

Tricolore Salad

GREATEST SALAD ON THE PLANET: arugula, endive, radicchio with Parmigiano Reggiano and anchovy dressing

Nancy’s Chopped Salad

SECOND Greatest Salad on the Planet

Marinated Baby Peppers with Tuna





on the placemat with Italian superstitions, including “Seeing a SPIDER.”


Prawns al Forno


Mussels al Forno with Salsa Calabrese


Fried Cauliflower


Arancine alla Bolognese



Corn al Forno


Olive al Forno


I Have No Idea What This Is


Eggplant Caponata


Fried Squash Blossoms with Ricotta


Spicy Wax Beans with Almonds and Mustard


Meatballs al Forno


Spicy Wax Beans with Almonds and Mustard


Veal Tongue

alla piastra with funghi marinati
chicken livers with capers, parsley, and guanciale

Salumi and Wine


Some Wine


Ginger Ale

not my fav (which is Fever Tree), but good nonetheless

Butterscotch Budino

with sea salt, rosemary pine nut cookies



Seasonal Gelato Pie

(this one is pumpkin. in the fall. obvs.)

Pizzeria Mozza: Table Setting


Pizzeria Mozza: Forno


Mozza2Go: Tri Colore Salad


Mozza2Go: Pizza


Mozza2Go: Pizza


Pizzeria Mozza
641 North Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Previous post:

Next post: