For people who are interested in pork, they might as well have screamed, “Woo Pig Sooie” when they opened the doors to Mozza for their very first Salumi Bar on May 31. The famous hog call of football-crazed University of Arkansas Razorback fans wasn’t directed at the menacing wild pigs that roam Southern woods. Instead, Arkansans use those three words to urge on football players at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium in Fayetteville. And just like in Arkansas, it shouldn’t be long before Angelenos hear Mozza’s call and head to the multi-use Scuola di Pizza space between the Osteria and Mozza 2 Go.
Colby and crew worked for more than a year to set an L.A. County public health precedent so they could dry-cure meat in-house. The menu’s right sidebar did a good job of conveying their cause, including Scuola Salumi Facts like, “It took over one year to approve the Mozza Scuola for its dry cure case – Chef Chad butchers a whole sustainably-raised Heritage pig every two weeks in the Scuola to make our delicious salumi.”
We opted for dealer’s choice, any five house cured salumi for $22, drawn from four categories: Whole Muscle Dry Cures, Dry Cured Salami, Smoked & Poached, and Pate & Terrine. They pretty much hit every mark, including a slab of pork butter; beautiful fat-streaked coppa with concentrated pork flavor; ribbons of lardo, which melted beautifully on the warm gnocco fritto, savory beignets, which cost $4 extra; silky poached cotto; a drier, spicier Tellicherry pepper salumi; and off-menu oregano, which Colby added as a bonus.
Mozza Salumi Bar is probably best for a snack or light meal, but they do offer a pair of Secondi, Hanger Steak and White Trout. We ordered neither.
The Mozza Salumi Bar required plenty of research, dedication and due diligence on the part of Chad Colby and the Mozza crew, and diners are finally reaping the rewards. We’d encourage Angelenos to patronize the Salumi Bar, not just because of the precedent – which wouldn’t be reason enough – but because the food’s interesting and flavorful. Sooie!