Pizzeria Mozza (Newport Beach, CA)

Pizzeria Mozza
800 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Dining date: 5/5/13

mozza exterior

After running 13.1 miles in the OC half marathon, a number of options were debated in which to offset our caloric deficit. Oxtail pho and Brodard’s famous nem nuong spring rolls were leading contenders, as well as dumplings and other comforting Asian soup noodles. However, in the end, Newport Beach’s own location of one of LA’s favorite pizzerias was the choice.

Much has been written about Pizzeria Mozza and its original location on Melrose & Highland in LA continues to be very popular. Opened in 2011, it’s actually the third location of the mini-chain, with the second being in Singapore.

Decor and menu are both very similar to the original, with the latter featuring a bunch of antipasti, a handful of meat, salad and panini dishes, and about a dozen pizzas.

mozza interior

oven

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Chego (Los Angeles, CA)

Chego
727 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 5/3/13

chego

The street food-slinging Kogi food trucks are undoubtedly what chef Roy Choi is most known for, but Chego may be my favorite of his restaurants (I haven’t been to A-Frame yet though). Chego shares the same in-your-face, full-flavored approach as Kogi, but primarily in the form of rice bowls and within a brick-and-mortar format. I’d been to the Westside location a couple of times and enjoyed it both times; the cross-town location just didn’t often justify a trip for me. However, the expiration of their lease a few months ago prompted a move to a very unexpected location – Chinatown.

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Douglas Keane @ The Strand House (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Douglas Keane (Cyrus)
The Strand House: Culinary Masters Series

117 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Dining date: 4/29/13

strand house exterior

For just over a year now, Manhattan Beach’s The Strand House has been doing a monthly dinner hosting notable chefs from across the country. The Culinary Masters Series presents a unique meal; local chefs prepare something different from what they’re serving at their restaurants and out-of-town chefs provide an opportunity to try their food without having to travel. Past chefs have included Walter Manzke, Michael Cimarusti and Josiah Citrin locally, as well as Jonathan Waxman and Jose Garces from the out-of-town category.

douglas keane dinner menu

On this evening, Douglas Keane (of now-closed 2-Michelin star Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA) came to The Strand House. I’ve dined at Cyrus once before a long time ago (I think it was 2006) but don’t remember all that much from it. I was very excited to get a chance to sample more of Keane’s food. 5 courses were $100; wine pairings (Opus One, La Sirena, Seghesio, Byron) were an extra $50.

One cool aspect of this dinner was the fact that the winemakers (from each winery) showed up to discuss their wines and stories. Below, Michael Silacci of Opus One Vineyards.

winemakers

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