Authentic thin-crust pizza baked in a genuine Neapolitan oven, topped with farm fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and Italian mozzarella – hungry yet?
For many singles in Los Angeles, pizza is often the default food option when you’re hungry, you don’t have time to cook and you’re juggling life on your own. The only question is, which of the head-spinning array of pizza options do you choose?
If that sounds like you, sorry, this won’t make your life any easier, but there is a new number to add to top of your pizza list, the Obika Mozzarella Bar at the Westfield Century City shopping center. Baked in an imported authentic Italian pizza oven, these Neapolitan-style pies are covered with some of the freshest ingredients you’ll find anywhere.
Raimondo Boggia, the very enthusiastic CEO of Obika USA, which owns and operates the Obika restaurants, recently invited a group of food writers to see his new state-of-the art Valoriani-Mugnaini pizza oven and to taste the pizza that comes out of it. It may be redundant to say an Italian is passionate, but Boggia is certainly so when he talks about making pizza.
Obika, he says, follows the Neapolitan tradition, including the type of oven used, and even imported a master Neapolitan pizza maker to make sure everything is done “just right.”
The pizza magic begins with dough made with stoned-ground flour that rises slowly for 48 hours. Formed into a flat pizza crust and cooked in the oven with just a drizzle of olive oil, it comes out crisp, clean and with a satisfying earthiness. Boggia likes to point out that a proper slice of pizza won’t droop on its way to your mouth. If the crust is just right, everything stays in place as you take your first bite.
Other basic ingredients are the fresh, organic tomatoes from local suppliers and, of course, mozzarella di bufala, made in Italy from the milk of Indian Water buffalos. Obika’s mozzarella, flown in three times a week, is always fresh. The list of imported pizza ingredients also includes two different styles of prosciutto, anchovies and capers.
There are other ingredients as well, such as wild Alaskan Salmon, fresh vegetables, and other cheeses, but Boggia points out that Obika doesn’t make custom pizzas, instead offering a list of options to chose from. It’s a tradition in Naples, he says. People don’t always know what makes a good pizza.
As you walk in the door, you’ll see the three-ton, brick-lined pizza oven with a massive gas flame burning brightly inside the domed, brick-lined oven, kept between 600 and 700 degrees. After baking the crust, the pizza chef places the toppings and lets it bake for a minute more to finish. The pizzas are circulated in the oven to make sure they come out evenly cooked but not scorched.
Although Obika will keep you from needing to buy an airline ticket to Naples to satisfy your craving for authentic pizza, you’ll still need to go to Century City to enjoy it. It’s an attractive venue, great for lunch, or after a movie at the Century City AMC. Of course, you can request delivery and they also cater events if you like the idea of having Napolitano-style pizza at your next party.
Obika Mozzarella Bar
Westfield Century City Shopping Center
10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles 90067
Sunday-Thursday, 11am – 10pm
Friday-Saturday, 11am – midnight