Eataly may have opened at the Westfield Century City, but if you’re seeking Italian food, a better bet is Obica Mozzarella Bar. After eight years, Obica continues to serve quality Italian food, importing mozzarella di Bufala straight from the motherland weekly.
Unlike Eataly’s La Pizza & La Pasta which doesn’t take reservations and forces you to wait in line, you can make reservations at Obica. Upon being seated, you will get a little basket of bread and some olive oil. Should you want some balsamic vinegar as well, they will happily provide it upon request.
Most dishes incorporate their imported mozzarella like the Bufala DOP E Pomodoro pizza (aka margherita pizza), with organic tomatoes and basil. Now that Neapolitan margherita pizzas are widely available, I can’t say this version was worth paying twice the price of the one at 800 Degrees or at MidiCi, but it was nicely done.
More intriguing was the Schiaffoni Di Gragnano – big fat tube-shaped pasta, with organic tomato sauce, basil and a dollop of mozzarella. I had my eyes on that cheese, but, to my surprise, my very picky teen tried it and then proceeded to finish it off, along with her plate of pasta. Usually she’s fairly non-commital about pasta, but this was one rare occasion where she said it was delicious. The only thing keeping her from requesting it to being added to our restaurant rotation was the price ($18).
The Lasagna Verde was fantastic – sinfully rich, creamy and worth every calorie. The sheets of spinach lasagna were wonderfully supple, cradling the beef (grass-fed) ragu and mozzarella cheese. Yes, it was $20, but it was money well-spent.
Another positive over Eataly’s La Pizza & La Pasta (which doesn’t serve coffee nor dessert so they can turn your table), you can sit and relax after your meal, enjoying an espresso or a slice of cake. The prices may be a little steep, but consider it a cheap trip to Italy.
Location – Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90067
Website – http://www.obica.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes. They also offer gluten-free pasta.
Editor’s note: Obica closed at the beginning of the pandemic and never reopened. It will be replaced by Sestina Pasta Bar.