By Andy J. Gordon
On the second floor of the Westfield Century City shopping center is a restaurant that seems to have been transported from a bustling corner of Milan, Italy. Obika Mozzarella Bar is a sleek, fine dining establishment that honors the old world by using fresh ingredients prepared authentically. In addition to a full menu of Italian delicacies, the restaurant has begun serving pizza that compares favorably with some of the best in Los Angeles.
When a restaurant calls itself a mozzarella bar, you know they are serious about their cheese. Obika (www.obikala.com/) uses only authentic Mozzarella di Bufala cheeses imported from Italy. The recently introduced pizza menu uses the mozzarella and other great imported cheeses. To complement the delicious cheese, Obika creates light and crispy dough by letting stone-ground wheat flour rise for at least forty eight hours. They also use organic tomatoes and other sustainable crops produced by California farmers. To cook the pizzas, the restaurant installed a Valoriani-Mugnaini wood burning pizza oven. This thing is like the Ferrari of pizza ovens – it burns at over 900 degrees and produces thin, crispy, magical pizzas in less than 2 minutes.
Trying some of these pizzas was a real foodgasm. The new pizza menu included both traditional and creative choices. The classic pizza with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil had terrific flavor. It was cooked perfectly and the light dough with the fresh ingredients made the simple combination extremely satisfying. The grilled vegetable pizza with smoked mozzarella was loaded with eggplant, zucchini, radicchio, and parsley. Their multiple cheese pizza was a decadent blend of gorgonzola, stracchino, ricotta, and mozzarella. My favorite selection was the pizza with N’duja, a spicy pork sausage from the Calabrian region of Italy. This pizza had a generous layer of burrata cheese along with the organic tomatoes and basil. The richness of the cheese and cooked tomatoes was beautifully offset by the spiciness of the sausage.
Obika has jumped into the local pizza wars with some serious weapons at their disposal. Their expert preparation, world class equipment and use of the finest ingredients make it easy to recommend Obika for anyone craving delicious pizza. The new pizza menu is in addition to a diverse selection of fine Italian dishes and a full bar. They also offer a generous happy hour everyday from 4-7pm.
Obika Mozzarella Bar
Westfield Century City Shopping Center
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Upper Level
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel.: 310 55 OBIKA (62452)
Sunday-Thursday, 11am – 10pm
Friday-Saturday, 11am – midnight
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon and Ballantines PR