CLOSED: L.A.'s Iconic Dish: Pinkberry Froyo Vs Mozza Margherita Pizza

Los Angeles is full of people who care passionately about food, and there are plenty of restaurants happy to serve us. We don't all agree on what constitutes "good," but we do know we like our burgers, our froyo, our Korean BBQ, our pizza. (That's right, our pizza. We like it.)

The thing is, we don't have one iconic dish. Nothing that we can point to and say, "This. This is Los Angeles on a plate." So now we're going to find out. KCET Food came up with 16 contenders. You vote on your favorites. Here's the seventh match up:

VOTING CLOSED.
Photo by Amparo RiosFrozen yogurt at Pinkberry: A sugary treat that people call healthy.

The History: Pinkberry's had a bit of scandal in its short time. It's been accused of ripping off other companies' formulas, the founder has a well-documented anger management issue, the original recipe wasn't actually yogurt. But, it tastes good!

The Scene: When the first location opened in 2005, it was an actual madhouse: people happily double-parked, knowing the cops were waiting in the wings to issue citations, in order to get in line for some delicious, fruit-topped yogurt. The chain went through a rapid expansion and then had to dial back, but the stores that remain are reliably busy.

The Food: Pinkberry introduced some new flavors and ingredients to a lot of people -- remember when they kept the mochi under the counter? I have it on good authority that most of the froyo chains in the country use the same formula for the yogurt, just different flavoring agents. So even if you prefer Yogurtland or Menchie's, you've got Pinkberry to thank for making froyo the most accessible it's been since the '80s.

Photo by Jakob LaymanMargherita pizza at Pizzeria Mozza: Doughy perfection.

The History: In 2006, living restaurant legends Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich combined forces and opened two Mozzas: the Osteria and the Pizzeria. The former is quite elegant and expensive, whereas the latter is casual. But right off the bat, Pizzeria Mozza was practically permanently booked: reservations were not easy to come by. And though many will never admit that L.A. has good pizza, the menu here is a contender in any corner of the globe.

The Scene: Still celebrity-filled after seven years, which makes for great people watching. Foodists will opt to sit at the pizza bar, where they can fix their gaze upon the kitchen.

The Food: Tedious people may get into arguments about how "authentic" the food here is, but that's not really the point. With the spirit of Silverton and Batali behind all the dishes, the grub is great. And that basic margherita pizza is the soul of the restaurant and the plate that puts L.A. on the pizza scene.

Froyo at Pinkberry
Margherita at Mozza


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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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