$21.50 bought me an amazing lunch today. Noreen and I fled the valley for the hinterland they call West Los Angeles. She had some business she needed to take care of over at the Century City Mall, and while we were there we decided to grab some lunch, which you all know is my favorite pastime. We moseyed into a place called Obika Mozzarella Bar (pronounced Oh Bee KAH). I was immediately drawn to its sleek and modern design.
A mozzarella bar…interesting concept, huh. Well the specialty of the house is…you guessed it…mozzarella. Their’s is imported directly from Italy three times a week. That was the best darn mozzarella I ever had. We had it in a salad with juicy pieces of pink grapefruit in a Balsamic vinaigrette. We also split the Pollo Ruspante, a salad of tons of free-range chicken and baby spinach, European radishes, sundried tomatoes, pomegranate (love, love, love) also dressed in the Balsamic vinaigrette. It was so light, but a great combination of flavors.
As a baker, I take bread very seriously. I don’t know why so many restaurants place little or no attention on the bread. C’mon guys, this sets the tone for the rest of the meal. So, along with our salads they placed the cutest little linen basket on the table filled with four different kinds of very fresh bread and dipping oil.
At this point Noreen and I are really quite pleased with how lunch is turning out when we glance over at the table next to us. No salads for them. This couple had some serious looking lasagna on their plates. We figure, what the heck. So we order some for ourselves to split. Good move. This lasagna was just like what mama used to make, if my mother was a little Italian woman from Italy. For me, lasagna is usually dense and heavy, but this was surprisingly light. Made with their imported mozzarella, it was so cheesy, and the noodles had a nice crispness on the edges. The tomato sauce, doused moderately over it, had a creaminess that complimented the mozzarella perfectly.
But alas, all good things must come to an end. Noreen and I both felt this place was a winner and will probably come back to this Brave New World they call West L.A. the next time we venture out of the Valley.