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

Pizzette

little pizzette with Ipswich clams, garlic, oregano, pecorino and parmigiano
mozza-pizzeria-clam-pizzette-bar

Squash blossoms

with tomato and burrata cheese
mozza-pizzeria-squashblossom-pizza

Funghi Misti

with fontina and taleggio cheeses and thyme
mozza-pizzeria-funghi-pizza

Bianca

with fontina, mozzarella and sottocenere cheeses and sage
mozza-pizza-bianca-sage

Baller Move on the Bianca

add fennel sausage
mozza-pizzeria-sausagefennel

Goat Cheese Bacon

Coach Farm goat cheese, leeks, scallions, garlic and bacon
mozza-pizza-bacon-goat-cheese

Egg Bacon Potato

with egg, bacon, Yukon gold potatoes and Bermuda onions
mozza-pizzeria-bacon-egg-pizza

Bianco Dinapoli Pomodoro

with tomato, Sicilian oregano, and extra virgin olive oil
mozza-pizzeria-tomato-oregano-pizza

Clam Pizzette and Saturday Piatto del Giorno: Poll al Forno

mozza-pizzeria-clam-pizzette-chicken

Panino: Tuna

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

Tricolore Salad

GREATEST SALAD ON THE PLANET: arugula, endive, radicchio with Parmigiano Reggiano and anchovy dressing
mozza-pizzeria-tricolore-salad

Nancy’s Chopped Salad

SECOND Greatest Salad on the Planet
mozza-pizzeria-chopped-salad

Marinated Baby Peppers with Tuna

mozza-pizzeria-tuna-pepper

Calamari

mozza-pizzeria-calamari

Sardines

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

mozza-pizzeria-sardines

Prawns al Forno

mozza-pizzeria-shrimp

Mussels al Forno with Salsa Calabrese

mozza-pizzeria-mussels

Fried Cauliflower

mozza-pizza-fried-cauliflower

Arancine alla Bolognese

mozza-pizzeria-arancinis

mozza-pizzeria-brussels

Corn al Forno

mozza-pizzeria-corn-al-forno

Olive al Forno

mozza-pizzeria-olives

I Have No Idea What This Is

mozza-pizzeria-ricotta

Eggplant Caponata

mozza-pizzeria-eggplant-caponata

Fried Squash Blossoms with Ricotta

mozza-pizzeria-fried-zucchini-blossoms

Spicy Wax Beans with Almonds and Mustard

mozza-pizzeria-greenbeans

Meatballs al Forno

mozza-pizzeria-meatballs

Spicy Wax Beans with Almonds and Mustard

mozza-pizzeria-sweetbreads

Veal Tongue

alla piastra with funghi marinati
chicken livers with capers, parsley, and guanciale
mozza-pizzeria-chickenlivercrostini

Salumi and Wine

mozza-pizzeria-salumi

Some Wine

mozza-pizzeria-wine

Ginger Ale

not my fav (which is Fever Tree), but good nonetheless
blenheim-ginger-ale

Butterscotch Budino

with sea salt, rosemary pine nut cookies
mozza-pizzeria-butterscotchbudino

Gelato

mozza-pizzeria-gelato

Seasonal Gelato Pie

(this one is pumpkin. in the fall. obvs.)
mozza-pizzeria-gelato-pie

Pizzeria Mozza: Table Setting

mozza-pizzeria-tablesetting

Pizzeria Mozza: Forno

mozza-pizzeria-forno-woodburningoven

Mozza2Go: Tri Colore Salad

mozza-salad-to-go

Mozza2Go: Pizza

mozza-pizza-boxonly

Mozza2Go: Pizza

mozza-pizza-box

Pizzeria Mozza
641 North Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.297.0101
www.pizzeriamozza.com
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  • catty

    I’m also an arachnophobe but i also hate squishing spiders! One thing possibly worse than a spider you can see, but not as bad as a spider you can’t see, is a fricking spider that has been squished. because who is heck is gonna clean that mess up? NOT ME. I’ve been known to empty literally entire cans of bug spray on a single spider, after which they are all white and fluffy and look rather like a spider in a snowman’s world. BLERGH. can’t stand them. would rather have the bad luck :)

    • TheDelicious

      the funny thing is, spiders are good luck because they actually eat all the *other* bugs that are probably much worse… but why are the harmless ones always the ones you want to do away with?! (and no, this has nothing to do with guys we date ;D )

  • aliceqrobertson

    Love the Mozza photo album! I think that one you weren’t sure about is the burricota (or ricotta) with artichokes, pine nuts and raisins. I had it and it was good. I can’t wait until they open the one in SD – actually I won’t believe it until I see it, it seems too good to be true!

    • TheDelicious

      WHOA, i had no idea they were opening in San Diego! that nancy silverton…

  • furiousepicurious

    This might be my favorite post yet! Thought I am 100% guilty of overly aggressively smushing spiders (or at least attempting to do so) – bad luck or not. Absolutely gorgeous photos too!

  • http://mymansbelly.com My Man’s Belly

    Oh if only my boy would take care of the spiders . He screams like a little girl causing me to “man up” and take care of the creepy crawlies.

    • TheDelicious

      HA. i actually did not include this bit in the post, but i honestly thought killing spiders was an easy job for a dude, but some of them are worse than i am?

  • http://www.twosuitcasesandatinpot.com/ Two Suitcases & a Tin Pot

    Like looking in a mirror. I will not even touch the bit of dead skin they leave behind when they moult. And I am virtually certain, CERTAIN! that they can teleport. I will, however, only kill ones I know are poisonous (and I feel no guilt about them), or the rain spiders we get that are bigger than my hand, but totally harmless. Those I cry about. Like, ugly cry. Poor spiders that have to die, because I have a totally irrational fear of them.

    • TheDelicious

      omg i laugh about “ugly cry”

  • Guest

    If spiders ever realize that people are scared of them, we’re screwed.

  • Matt

    Thank you for the post about Mozza!!! The pictures are fantastic. I haven’t been in a few years because of the location in Hollywood but now that I know about the one in Newport beach I am so game. Looks like you had alot to eat. What was your favorite? What no bone marrow? LOL!!!
    Matt

    • TheDelicious

      matt: the photos are from a few different meals…! though it’s a pizza place, the tricolore and chopped salads and the tuna panini are my favs! (but if we’re talking about fav pizzas, i quite love the bacon goat cheese leeks and scallions!

  • http://www.scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com/ Ellen

    “Listerining” is my new favorite verb.

  • Biz

    I am with you on spiders – and my husband reminds me all the time that in our old house, built nearly 100 years ago, there are probably dozens walking around as I type this. Eek! Love the label that says “don’t put this pizza in the microwave!” I am a total pizza whore who married a man who could care less about pizza – wtf?!

  • gracie

    when i was little, i was bitten by a spider. idk if it was semi-poisonous or if i ended up with an infection on top of the bite… either way, it traumatized me to no end. my little brother used to come running to my rescue and whenever we watched movies that show spiders (including… you know. harry potter), my brother would toss a sweater over my head until it was safe for me. haha. but then he saw arachnophobia and now is scared of spiders too. good grief. so now, when my brother and i are home, we have to call our mother to kill it for us… we are such pansies. haha. what’s even funnier- my mother is deathly afraid of EVERYTHING except for spiders. wtf. i just don’t understand.

    • TheDelicious

      ok, gracie, this is hilarious.

  • Guest

    Fever tree ginger ale is weak sauce

    • TheDelicious

      agreed. fever tree ginger BEER is awesome, though ;)

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  • Rebecca

    I had to make my Italian boyfriend read this post to understand that throwing a plastic spider that resembles a tarantula in my face at work on two occasions that is the size of my head IS NOT COOL. and would explain why we fought for two days and did not speak for 3 because he is Italian and doesn’t get it. the true talent is being able to keep your eyes on the spider while matrixing to get (I grab Lysol) anything with in reach that is a safe bet that it will demolish and not lose the spider with in. No towel, no shoes with grooves on the soles, newspaper even, I don’t mess with that.
    one time I saw a spider move on my exposed brick by the bathroom in dimmed light.. how my cat eyes caught that?–I think to torture me. Because I sprayed the shiz out of that being and it seemed to have died but I didn’t want to take chances on wiping its corpse off the wall because there were many holes in the brick and i did not want a dead spider around for other bugs to smell. so I left it and woke up less than 2 hours later and it was GONE!

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