Monday, April 18, 2011
The second I read about a new, wood-fired pizza place opening up in Los Feliz, I bookmarked the page and made a mental note to get there as soon as possible. First of all- the name of the restaurant- Mother Dough- just grabbed me. You see, the dough is- by far- the most important element of any pizza (to me, at least!) and after reading about how their recipe was sourdough-based, I knew we had to try it. J LIVES for sourdough and he also loves a good, thin crust pizza, so there was no question- we were going.
We walked in around 8:00pm on Saturday, and there were a few empty tables so were happy about that since we were STARVING. The giant wood-burning pizza oven was clearly visible in their open kitchen, so we watched the owner/chef put together the pies as we decided on what to order. The menu is small, but filled with many appealing items like duck crostini and raw almonds with lemon and sea salt. After a short discussion on what to get with our extremely knowledgable and friendly waiter, we decided to share three things: the charcuterie platter, mixed green salad and the margherita. I sipped on my rosé while J sipped his prosecco and we waited to get our food.
First up: this gorgeous assortment of charcuterie which included prosciutto, a nice, slightly spicy capicola and paper thin slices of one made from pork shoulder which was our favorite. Sorry- I can't remember the other ones but the star of this dish was the feta cheese mixed with fennel seeds and rosemary. I am not a fennel fan and usually loathe things that taste like licorice, but the combination of the sweet seeds, tart cheese and salty meat was amazing. It was really a surprise for my tastebuds...and I'm totally going to steal that idea for my next dinner party!
Mixed green salad: We were happy to see this was not just a pile of mixed greens, but a nice combination of lettuces, kale, cherry tomatoes and radicchio. It was lightly dressed with just lemon juice and olive oil which made it a bit on the tart side but refreshing nonetheless. The surprise here? A hint, just a tiny hint, of fresh mint that made us do the "what IS that flavor...I know it but.....hmmm" thing and after awhile we finally figured it out. As with the fennel seeds in the previous dish, the mint simply accentuated the flavors and didn't stick out on its own. Another idea to use in a salad at home:).
Margherita Pizza: We got our pizza piping hot, and we tried to wait a couple of minutes for the cheese to set before cutting into it (they do not slice the pies for you- you eat it with a knife and fork) but we couldn't wait. This resulted in cheese sliding around the pizza as I attacked it, but it was still delicious. The crust was nice and chewy and well seasoned- good totally on its own, great with toppings- and the sauce was bright and simple. A solid pie for sure, although I didn't really detect any sourness to the dough. Next time I'm looking forward to trying one with a few more toppings, but was glad we got our introduction to Mother Dough with the classic margherita.
Overall, we really loved the freshness and quality of the food, and our server was exceptional. Once he realized that we'd ordered the equivalent of a bottle of wine (we ordered by the glass) he adjusted the bill so we were charged for the bottle which saved us a few bucks- what a guy, right?! I also loved the interior of the space with the vintage-style lights, exposed brick and comfortable seating. My only request would be for them to dim the lights for dinner service...it was a bit on the bright side.