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Pizzeria Mozza, in Newport Beach, Is A Winner

Pizzeria Mozza

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If you can get me to go to the same place to eat on consecutive days you must be either my wife (she’s controlling) or someone I respect or you are from out of town. I stopped into Pizzeria Mozza for lunch after an average dinner and the truth is kicked and screamed all the way to my seat at the pizza bar.

I walked in twice with fellow CheckingIn/ editor Mike Hiller. He’s from Dallas and a bit of a nut about pizza.  I won’t mince words. Dinner on night one was not over the top. It was good, but was it as good as a place that is often referred to as one “the” best should be? No. It was above average, but we wouldn’t miss Sunday Mass for it. (We’d skip Mass for a whole lot of things–a free beer, a trip to Vegas, a threat of rain, even the threat of any weather. But not that pizza.)

But how could it have been mediocre? After all, we’d been to the LA Mozza and liked it. A lot. So we went back for lunch the following day.

Different day, different story. This pizza  came alive with flavor. A chewy, crispy, crunchy, bubbly crust crust that broke apart in shards, then melted into caramelized notes from its brief stint in the 570 F WoodStone oven. It was so  good, I thought about eating  the crust off the pizza from the kid behind me. The toppings were good, too. Terrific creamy burrata. Homemade sausage whose sweet fennel and savory spice played off each other in concert. Gooey, melted mozzarella. A bright red tomato sauce that sang with acidity so that it cut right to the forefront on the first bite than stepped back to let the rest of the ingredients play.

(Many of the ingredients–including the fresh dough–are trucked down from the LA Mozza)

The well-crafted Italian-centric wine list had a nice selection of bottles and a dozen by-the-glass offerings at reasonable prices. Service was polished and friendly. On our second visit, the server had every opportunity to upsell us on a bottle of high priced wine but didn’t, recommending a $36 bottle of Calabrian red that suited us just fine.

If you’re looking for a great pizza in the tony section of Newport Beach, you won’t do better than Pizzeria Mozza.

800 W Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663

(949) 612-9579