Restaurant: Osteria Mamma
Location: 5732 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004. (323) 284-7060
Date: January 24, 2020
Rating: Great meal
I’ve been eating at Mirko Paderno restaurants for years. He’s a super talented Italian chef, who’s been at a lot of places: Oliverio, the 4 Seasons, Berea (briefly), Estrella, Spring, and now Osteria Mamma.
I’m not entirely sure if Mirko is cooking here all the time or just using the kitchen for special dinners like ours — slipped in. Yarom asked him to cook up a meal including a bunch of big Y’s “fresh shot” wild boar.
The location is right next door to Kali — far far from me on a Friday night in traffic!
The interior is cutesy LA Italian.
We had a giant table in the back.
As usual at Italian (or most) “gang” dinners, people neglect to bring any whites despite the fact that half the food goes with white! So I put a couple Italian whites in my bag.
From my cellar: 2015 Vietti Roero Arneis. 91 points. Light yellow color; aromatic, lemon balm, lemon syrup, tart peach nose; tasty, medium bodied, lemon syrup, vanilla palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points.
Caprese di Bufala. fresh buffalo mozzarella DOP, tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, sea salt.
Calamari. grilled calamari with arugula, oranges, cherry tomatoes, lemon dressing.
From my cellar: 2010 Borgo del Tiglio (Nicola Manferrari) Collio Studio di Bianco. Vinuous 95. Weightless, crystalline and pure, the 2010 Studio di Bianco appears to float on the palate. White pear, crushed rocks, oyster shells and lime jump from the glass. A beautifully delineated, vibrant wine, the 2010 captures the best qualities of the year. Stylistically, the 2010 is brighter and more focused than the 2011, with a bit less body but more sheer drive and personality. What a gorgeous wine this is. (Drink between 2014-2025)
Burratona. fresh burrata cheese with roasted squash, aged balsamic, frisée, toasted pine nuts.
Main Lobster Catalana Style. A great lobster salad.
Linguine al Pesto di Rucola. Mamma’s arugula pesto.
From my cellar: 1966 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva. 95 points. This took a few minutes to open up, but it had tremendous fruit and strength still when it did.
From my cellar: 1997 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto di Serralunga d’Alba. 97 points. Bricking medium dark red color with pale meniscus; lovely, roses, milk chocolate, leather, incense nose; delicious, gorgeous, poised, velvety, roses, spice box, tar, resin palate; medium-plus finish
Roasted Quail, cannelini bean puree, natural jus. Another stand out dish.
Focaccia bread and tomato sauce.
2001 Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT. 93 points. Elegantly light and refined, plums, licorice, cherries, well balanced deep and classy wine with clear and pure taste world, I preferred this over the Miani Merlot 2001.
Maltagliati Pasta with Wild Boar Ragu, fresh ricotta cheese. Great ragu — Yarom shot the boar!
2004 Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT. 94 points. The inky-colored 2004 Redigaffi, 100% Merlot aged for 16 months in new oak, offers expressive, nuanced aromatics along with sensations of richly-textured blue and black jammy fruit, minerals, mint, chocolate, spices and sweet toasted oak on big, powerful frame with notable underlying structure and a warm, resonating finish. Although it has enough structure and acidity to drink well for another decade or so, I enjoy Redigaffi most in its youth. (Drink between 2013-2016)
Bigoli Neri alla Bottarga. black squid ink bigoli, cherry tomatoes, shrimp and bottarga.
Branzino. Grilled Mediterranean branzino fillet, red and green bell pepper peperonata, garlic aioli.
2012 Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT. VM 92+. Bright ruby-red. Coffee and cocoa nuances almost overpower the wine’s delicate violet and dark berry aromas. Then rather graceful in the mouth, with a distinct delicacy to the dark berry, cocoa and coffee flavors. A lighter Redigaffi than usual, but harmonious and refined.
Colorado Lamb Chop, dolce latte fonduta, bagna cauda.
Arnie brought: 2007 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. VM 95+. Dark medium ruby. Lovely vibrancy to the aromas of blackcurrant, plum, licorice and cocoa powder, with a strong impression of minerality. Like liquid silk on the palate and yet powerful at the same time, with strong minerality contributing to the impression of lift and inner-mouth perfume. The dark berry, violet and cocoa powder flavors offer compelling early sweetness, and this wine’s wonderfully lush tannins will not get in the way of early enjoyment. A great example of the new generation of Quilceda Creek cabernet. Based on its superb length and balance, I’d cellar this for even more fireworks ahead.
Roasted wild boar loin & ribs, soft polenta, pioppini mushrooms, natural roast jus — extremely gamey and salty. Very salty. Given that the boar has been dead (and in the freezer) many months, this rareness was a bit “interesting.” However, the salt must have sterilized everything as I was fine.
Seb brought: 2014 Sine Qua Non Syrah Piranha Waterdance. VM 95-97. A wild, exotic wine, the 2014 Syrah Piranha Waterdance hits the palate with serious richness, power and voluptuousness. This is in a decidedly lush, exotic style. A rush of super-ripe, intense fruit builds into a flamboyant finish in a heady, inviting wine that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The blend is 81% Syrah, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Mourvèdre, 4% Touriga Nacional and 1% Graciano, done with 26% whole clusters. (Drink between 2019-2029)
Selection of fine cheese & fruit marmellata.
Peppered Lemongrass Ginger Creme Brûlée Gelato — A blended milk and Thai coconut cream base steeped with lemongrass and ginger and then juiced up with yuzu and black pepper. For sugar, I used coconut palm sugar and even torched the top! — created by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #lemongrass #ginger #CremeBrûlée #BlackPepper #coconut #yuzu
Double Shot Gelato — Hot brewed espresso gelato with house-made dark chocolate hazelnut ganache — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — this will keep you up! — #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #chocolate #valrhona #espresso #coffee #hazelnut #ganache
Overall, this was a great meal — some even thought the best Mirko meal, but I’ve had several better, particularly this one. Still, it was a fun night with good wines (I liked mine best, of course as they were native Italian varietals), great company, and very good food. It’s unclear which dishes were Mirko’s or if some were the normal restaurants. Certainly the lobster, quail, boar dishes were Mirko. All a touch confusing. We didn’t have any of his risotto though — which is one of my favorites.