SINGLE DINER: Little Love Pockets from Heaven or LA-Italian Style

Maybe because it’s summertime, your intrepid and starving SINGLE DINER is feeling a little in need of a good European vacation.  With travel across the pond more than expensive, eating well in LA, especially at some of the highly lauded Italian restaurants, seemed like an affordable solution.  Rules of thumb for us, we always eat at the bar, bring a book and focus on the food at hand. 

SINGLE DINER revisited two great restaurants, Osteria Mozza on Highland and Melrose, late on a Tuesday night, and La Terza in the Orlando Hotel on 3rd Street at 5 PM on a Thursday.  Both have wonderful pedigrees.  O. Mozza has been turning the heads of the most discriminating eaters with Nancy Silverton behind the counter and Mario Batali on board (if only in name?) while La Terza, sister osteria to Angeli Osteria, certainly comes from good stock-I hear Silverton used to do Mozarella Nights there before moving to the Mozza duo. 

While my methods of observation are not necessarily scientific, there are summer Italian food items I always have to have.  I started with the Prosciutto and Melone at both.  The portion and presentation at Osteria was a little more “controlled” with a perfect addition of olive oil gracing the perfect melone and charcuterie.  La Terza’s had wonderful melone as well and both were similar in standard, but La Terza just wasn’t quite as graceful.  But one thing, both still needed a bit of fresh cracked pepper which was never offered.  I ordered the $38 glass of Brunello at Mozza and started with a Chianti at Terza but my wonderfully enthusiastic bar tender Greg, steered me to a Barolo that had alot more going on.  Both were lovely, complicated enough, the Brunello more so, and balanced well, not to much alcohol overload (the Chianti was not balanced, thanks Greg for taking it away!) 

My main courses were similar-Francolli di Brasato at Mozza and Agnolotti with lamb and parmigianno reg. sauce at Terza.  Both daintily al dente although I felt the Mozza dish needed a bit of salt and maybe some pepper.  I’m all for subtle and light but the pureed meat in the raviolis was a tad too bland.  The Agnolotti at Terza was perfect though.  I ordered a half portion to not go crazy and little love pockets from heaven is my best description.  Perfect proportions of the lamb combined with the pasta and the cheese sauce.  Lovely. 

I can’t not say anything about the bread and the service.  These items for me are always what put the cherry on the top of the sundae.  Let me say it was a close race on service, with La Terza winning by a hair, but considering that I was the only one at the bar at 5 PM, let’s call it even.  Bread though? La Terza, how do you know we love our bread warm with a little olive oil and grilling?  Ms. Silverton, you are a bread genius but I hold you to the highest standard always…this night didn’t cut it.

I didn’t have an official dessert at La Terza, my lemon drop started the evening and so I guess let’s say that was dessert.  Sugar rim was a little rocky, but good enough.  The Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes with gelato and glass sugar accompaniment had been sold to me at Mozza because of their simplicity.  Sadly, while I was a little overstuffed at that point, the salt inclusion which started off as an interesting play against the ice cream and the little cakes, became cloying very quickly.  I just couldn’t finish it. 

My total bill at both was in the $75 and up range for one person.  I do recommend considering half portions when you order pasta…you really get away from feeling it’s a horse race to finish everything and you aren’t so overstuffed later.  Both get my SINGLE DINER stamp of approval with the following SINGLE DINER ratings:

SINGLE DINER COMFORT RATING:  28 of 30 for both.  Didn’t matter if I was there with someone or by myself.
MEETING NEW PEOPLE:  Osteria M. The bar is very large and more of a party crowd.
BEING TAKEN CARE OF: Both tie.  Osteria M. had great service, hard to tell with Terza as I was one of two at the bar and the bartender talked to me the entire time.
BEING LEFT ALONE: Osteria M.  Too busy for anyone to notice you unless you want to be noticed.
QUIET FOR WORKING OR READING: I would not give marks on this to either, La Terza can get pretty loud and it’s a small bar.

Hugs and kisses….

SINGLE DINER (E)

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One Response to “SINGLE DINER: Little Love Pockets from Heaven or LA-Italian Style”

  1. Pune Cuisines Says:

    Well all I can say…Italian food is creamy, cheesy and the most tastiest food I can imagine… I really don’t care if I’m eating alone or with friends… the taste just capture my mood entirely…

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