Restaurant: Obika Mozzarella Bar
Location: 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Upper Level, Los Angeles, CA 90067
Date: March 3, 2012
Rating: It’s in a mall, but it’s actually pretty darn good
The day I took my Italian Wine Specialization exam a bunch of us went to lunch. I passed the test, but I didn’t know it then so was both stressed and in serious pain from my recently broken wrist.
One of the instructors, Diego (he’s not pictured, above is Stefano), took us to Obika Mozzarella bar in the Century City mall. I usually loathe mall restaurants, and I detest the parking at CC for sure, but this place turned out to be a surprise.
People brought wine. Big surprise! I wasn’t in the know before hand so didn’t have a chance to divest myself of some of my oversupply. These were all Italian, of course, and generally fall into the camp of really good terrior focused inexpensive wines. A few of these whites were really interesting. “The San Vincenzo is a fat, generous white with plenty of ripe apricots and peaches. The soft, caressing style flows through to the long, pretty finish.” It blew away your boring Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
My plate. Good stuff. I love me some proscuiotto wrapped mozzarella (which I often had in Napoli), but truth be told, Burrata is best.
You wouldn’t really see this either, burrata with beets, pine nuts, spinach, and balsamic dressing. It was great too, and you do find variants of these combinations all over LA. It’s typical that we American’s reinvent with Italian ingredients but without regard to their traditional pairings and forms.
Primitivo is also a rarely seen wine here in the states. It’s a relative of Zinfandel (the red, not the white), and has an incredibly fruity/spicy lushness. Very typical of Apulia, on the heel of Italy.
And finally, this Barbera D’Alba. “The Barbera d’Alba Superiore offers up dark cherries, flowers and licorice. The Superiore has a little bit more mid-palate juiciness and presence than the straight Barbera, but remains very much a classically built wine. I especially like the plush finish for its sheer sexiness.”
We didn’t really try and entrees. This was a “light lunch” and the meat, cheese, and simple risotto were more tuned to show off the wines, but if you’re catching a movie in Century City you could do far far worse than catching a bite here.