More imported mall madness is coming on the heels of Capital Grille and the six new restaurants at Santa Monica Place. Obika Mozzarella Bar, which has 13 existing locations from New York to Tokyo, will open this September on the upper floor of Century City's Westfield. Okiba owner Silvio Ursini, who founded the first locale in Rome, is all about a special D.O.P. supply of mozzarella di Bufala handcrafted by dairy farmers that he imports three times a week from Italy's Paestum and Agro Pontino regions. Local produce, salumi, and a Japanese-inspired reverence for ingredients and presentation will compliment the cheese on plates of informal Italian during lunch and dinner, as well as an apertivo hour in between. So, besides the high-grade mozzarella, what's going to be served here?
A 22-seat mozzarella bar will also feature cured meats along the lines of fine prosciutto, speck, salame, bresaola, and culatello, with sides of grilled vegetables, smoked salmon, Sciacca anchovies, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, and a cold organic basil-tomato soup with stracciatella di burrata and crostini. The restaurant seats an additional 25, with appetizers like fried breaded mozzarella, salads with oven baked olives and sundried tomatoes, plus spicy sausage pate, burrata, and ricotta-topped roasted bread. Entrees include pasta preparations and a tortino made with rice, capers, pantelleria, tuna in olive oil, and mozzarella. A selection of Italian beer and wines, plus house cocktails, will be available as well.
Ursini already scores points for calling L.A. "the cradle for new American foodies" in a press release. Hopefully, his fourteenth location adds something fresh to both the cradle at large and Century City's dining scene once it opens this fall.
Obika, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd #206. Century City. 310-556-2452.
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