Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Spring Break Part II - LA {Pizzeria Mozza, AOC & 3rd St.}

Clare Vivier at Lucky Shops LA
Hello! Yes, I am alive! So much to say, so let's get to it. The second part of the spring break adventure was a short trip to Los Angeles with my friend Susan. We do this every so often - a little girls getaway. I'm not sure when I stopped hating LA and started loving it, but we have so much fun when we go up there. The impetus for this particular weekend was an event called Lucky Shops - put on by Lucky magazine. They set up a big warehouse (or in this case, a studio) full of small boutiques with discounted fashion items. We were both on a bit of a budget so we didn't buy much, but I was thrilled to find these Clare Vivier clutches at about 20% off, and I found these shoes. (I'm really inspired lately by Joslyn's credo - don't buy anything you can't see yourself keeping for at least five years - when it doubt that really helps with the decision making.)
New Shoes at Lucky Shops - Instagram
After the Lucky Shops, we headed over to Pizzeria Mozza for an early dinner - and had the best pizza of our lives. The crust was paper thin in the center and puffy and crackly on the edges - and the toppings were shredded scallions, bacon and goat cheese. We also had the meatballs and an order of their squash blossoms - then we moved on to dessert.
Goat Cheese, Bacon & Scallion Pizza @ Pizzeria Mozza
Everyone raves about the butterscotch budino, but I for one am crazy about their gelato desserts. This was the banana ice cream pie with hot fudge and candied nuts.
Banana ice cream pie @ Pizzeria Mozza
And this is the caramel copetta, with marshmallow cream, salted peanuts and salted caramel sauce. I can never get enough of this. Sorry for the crummy iPhone photos, but I was too shy to pull out the real camera after they scolded me on the last visit. Though I have to say, I don't think anyone was really watching this time. It was definitely a lot less crowded than it's been on previous visits too - the hysteria may have finally died down just a bit.
Caramel Copetta @ Pizzeria Mozza
After dinner we checked into our hotel - the Standard on Sunset. It's affordable but stylish - and we had a killer view.
View from our hotel - Standard on Sunset
The next morning, we headed down the hill to Third Street to do some window shopping and have brunch at AOC. I couldn't resist the smoked salmon platter with goat cream cheese, tomato, onion and cucumbers...
Brunch at AOC
and Susan had the croque madame, a thick slice of brioche toast topped with bechamel and gruyere, layered with lightly dressed curly endive and a perfect fried egg. It was delightful. I hadn't been to AOC before, and was surprised by how "fine dining" it was. It was the kind of place where they re-fold your napkin when you get up to go to the bathroom. You don't necessarily expect that at brunch. It could be a little more relaxed, but it was certainly very nice. Not terribly expensive either, and they take reservations - no waiting outside for hours (like some of the other places in the neighborhood.)
Brunch at AOC
As we were sitting at our table, I spotted Suzanne Goin at the bar, talking with the servers. Starstruck, I gasped (I thought quietly, but apparently not!) "There's Suzanne!" She looked up and said "I heard my name" then came over to say hello. She kindly accommodated my friend Susan's request for a picture - then Susan took one of me with her. It's the kind of thing I'd be too shy to ask for, but I'm glad we did it. She was sharp, funny and gracious - exactly as you would expect.
We met Suzanne Goin at AOC
After brunch we strolled down Third Street and back, popping in and out of the boutiques, and stopping for a "cloud cupcake" - at Joan's on Third.  It was worth every calorie - moist chocolate cake topped with light marshmallow fluff dipped in chocolate.
Cloud Cupcake @ Joan's on Third
We also walked into the new Magnolia Bakery almost right across the street, but we didn't have it in us to try another one.
Magnolia Bakery on Third Street
One of my favorite shops on Third was OK. It's full of cool and unusual books, objets d'art, jewelry and useful household items. I bought some Japanese fabric shears for myself and an Opinel picnic knife to take home to James. (This collection of bottle openers is pretty awesome too.)
Ok on Third St.
From Third Street we headed over to the other side of the Grove and CBS Studios to the Heath store on Beverly. We parked on a side street, and as we walked back toward the main drag, we checked out some of the very cool, classic Hollywood apartment buildings in the neighborhood. This place had a huge beautiful orange tree and a koi pond in the courtyard, along with beautiful classic light fixtures (the mailman clued us in to have a look inside as we were walking by!)
Orange Tree
The Heath store is a must if you're a fan of the ceramics line. (I wrote about my visit to their Sausalito factory and store here.) This is their new Spring color scheme, lemongrass and creamy white linen. Heath Store - new Spring line
Just next door to the Heath store, we stumbled on a lovely nursery and garden store, Rolling Greens. They had some beautiful gifts, garden furniture and plants as well as full nursery services.
Rolling Greens Nursery
The next day we did the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but that really deserves a post of its own. Maybe I'll mix that in with a little New Orleans, since I really need to get going on that! xox

Here's where we went:

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N Highland Ave
(323) 297-0101

The Standard Hotel
8300 Sunset Blvd
(323) 650-9090

8022 West Third Street
(323) 653-6359

Joan's on Third
8350 W 3rd St
(323) 655-2285

8303 West 3rd St
(323) 653-3501

Heath Ceramics
7525 Beverly Boulevard
(323) 965-0800

Rolling Greens Nursery
7505 Beverly Boulevard
(323) 934-4500


  1. Nice weekend jaunt! I'm so dying to try Mozza - some day soon, I hope. Everything looks fantastic and Susan looked tres chic, like always :)

  2. This sounds like the absolute perfect girls getaway, the goods and the food... tres fantastique! I'd kill to have that smoked salmon platter right about now. Could you divulge the shoe designers name?... Must. Have.

  3. What a perfect weekend! The smoked salmon platter looks absolutely delicious, and I must visit OK.

  4. Sounds like so much fun! I read somewhere that one of Alexander Skarsgard's fave places to lunch is Joan's on Third! Hmmmm, maybe I'll bump into him one day! :)

  5. @Lisa - yes, chic is Susan's middle name!

    @Kate - the shoes are by Pour La Victoire. Anthropologie has them in the blush color on their website - unfortunately they are a lot more than I paisley though.

    @Sarah - yes, I think you will dig it. There's a lot of cool stuff on that little street. We fully exhausted our four hours of valet parking at AOC!

  6. *paid* not paisley! Here is the link for the shoes:

  7. @caninecologne - that does not surprise me, it's insanely crowded at all hours and the food is really good!

  8. i had no idea there was a heath store! we were in la last weekend - sad i missed it!

  9. @Krista - well then you'll just have to go back! :)

  10. I love your traveling post!

  11. My husband is always bemoaning the fact that we don't do anything -- which isn't true, of course. He just thinks that. So I think I'm going to use this post as a guide to treat him with a Father's Day get away. What a great time you must have had. Loved this!

  12. Man, I so should have been on this trip. Can't wait to do girls' trips with you! Nursing babies, shmursing babies..... ;-)

  13. Love your LA adventures. I'm heading there next month for Dwell on Design. Any interest in joining? There's a house tour too!

  14. i've been itching for a trip to LA of late...and for the record, I would have gasped too if I spotted Suzanne Goin!!!

    p.s. you look lovely in that photo!