Obicá — named for an Italian phrase that translates to “here it is” in English — has three locations in Los Angeles. The Century City outlet opened first, then Santa Monica, and finally Obicá Mozzarella Bar in Sunset Plaza in West Hollywood. The Sunset Boulevard location, in the former Avenue 31 space, recently hired chef Alessandro Borghese to develop a new menu.
Part of a global restaurant group with locations in New York, Tokyo, LA, London, and Dubai, Obicá Mozzarella Bar serves contemporary Italian cuisine with an emphasis on imported mozzarella di bufala from cheesemakers in Campania in southern Italy.
Guests can choose from delicate, smoked, or creamy bufala as well as black truffle burrata. Appetizers also include a huge variety of small plates including carpaccio with arugula, smoked cured pork with dates, asparagus and pecorino cheese, beef tartare with black truffle and quail egg, salmon with avocado and poppy seeds, deep-fried mozzarella with tomato dip, Sicilian eggplant casserole, and an assortment of roasted vegetables.
Salads include burrata with red and gold beets, spinach and string beans; avocado, salmon, almonds, and arugula; black rice, octopus, green beans, peas, avocado, and yellow peppers; chicken, spinach, radish, sundried tomatoes, and pomegranate; and red cabbage, green apples, cashews and squash.
Pizzas are prepared with a blend of organic white and wheat flour and can be topped with tomato, mozzarella (obviously), prosciutto, burrata, black truffle, asparagus, and porcini mushrooms.
Fresh pastas include butternut squash and goat cheese; tomato, mozzarella, and basil; wheat pasta with basil pesto and potatoes; spinach lasagna with beef ragù; black kale ravioli with sage butter sauce; squid ink pasta with crab and sea urchin; and rosemary pasta with duck ragù and orange zest.
Other main dishes include an Angus fillet of beef with baby potatoes, branzino with black-eyed peas and green beans; chicken breast stuffed with black truffle and kale; slow-cooked beef with nebbiolo sauce and corn polenta; lamb chops in a hazelnut crust with spinach strudel and seared salmon with rapini.
Obicá Mozzarella Bar also offers a “La Prima Volta” (or “first-time”) tasting menu, which includes a mozzarella, basil, and heirloom tomato caprese; Sicilian eggplant casserole; tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza; spinach lasagna; and a flourless chocolate almond cake.
New menu items include crocchette di patate e cime de rapa with breadcrumbed potato, rapini, anchovies, and smoked mozzarella croquettes; baccalà mantecato with whipped salt cod, corn chips, and smoked mozzarella; and zucchini alla scapece, zucchini with mozzarella and pine nuts.
Diners can choose to sit in the front patio area (perfect for people-watching on Sunset Boulevard), inside at the long marble bar or at one of a few cozy tabletops, or outside on the romantic back patio overlooking the city.
Desserts include a flourless chocolate cake, passion fruit panna cotta, tiramisù, pear with cinnamon gelato, and salted caramel brittle with zabajone gelato.