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Hot List 2008

Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, California

Address: 6602 Melrose Avenue

Tel: 323-297-0100

The offspring of two celebrity chefs, Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza could have suffered from one too many talents; thankfully, it doesn't. The ponytailed bon vivant's orange clogs may not be a regular sight, but Silverton is there nightly, ensuring that things run smoothly and manning the mozzarella bar. The designers have outfitted the high-ceilinged dining room as if it were straight out of Restoration Hardware, but the professional waitstaff are anything but off-the-rack: Informed and honest, they steer diners to standouts like the sublime burrata cheese with bacon, marinated escarole, and caramelized shallots or the grilled octopus tinged with lemon. It's hard not to love the single oversized ricotta raviolo served in a pool of brown butter. Olive oil gelato, made famous at Batali's New York tables, shows up here alongside olive oil cakes with rosemary brittle. Another Batali trademark—although not nearly as sweet—is the loud sound track. Grab a seat at the bar and let the exceptional wine list and the sight of Silverton hand-pulling mozzarella help you tune out the noise (entrées, $17–$29).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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