Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where to Eat: New Aperitivo Hour @ Obika' Mozzarella Bar

Last week I made my way to Obika' Mozzarella Bar in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center for the unveiling of its reinvented Aperitivo Hour. It was a glorious occasion, with characters from all walks of life restlessly squeezing into the tiny cafe and spilling out onto the patio into the delightfully warm night. As business suits, track suits, stilettos and sneakers coolly mingled with one another, bottles of rosé flowed freely and glasses of red and white wines were generously passed out.

Yet of course, the star of the evening - what everyone had dangling in their fingers, on their napkins, towards their mouths - was the exclusive Italian Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP.

Now let me start by saying that I am no cheese connoisseur. I can pick out jack, and I can pick out cheddar. And while I couldn't even begin to tell you the difference between manchego and asiago cheeses, I do know a good cheese when I taste one, and I know Obika's mozzarella is something special.

Hailing from various provinces in Italy, Obika's imported mozzarella comes in three options: delicate (Classica), smoked (Affumicata) and sweet and creamy (Stracciatella di Burrata). Each has a distinctly different taste, and it's fun to figure out which one you like the best.

While the mozzarella is mixed into many of the lovely seasonal dishes, during the aperitivo hour (weekdays from 4pm – 7:30pm), the mozzarella, along with selected organic vegetables and cured meats, is displayed in “desgustazione” style, exquisitely spread on the big table in front of the restaurant. As you sip on 50% off specialty drinks and wines, there’s no limit to how many mozzarella balls you can pop into your mouth, or how many pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto you can pile onto your plate.

This modestly sleek and elegantly simple restaurant took the Westside by storm when it opened its doors late last year and it's determined to keep us intrigued with the tastes of Italy this year as well. So the next time you’re craving melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella and delicious cocktails, make sure to stop by Obika’ in the afternoon!

For more information:
Obika’ Mozzarella Bar

10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Upper Level
Los Angeles, CA 90067

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