Obika – Mozzarella Bar

When my Salmone e Ricotta pizza arrived, I remarked that the wild Alaskan salmon had such a beautiful color. The CEO of Obika restaurants, Raimondo Boggia, overheard my comment and introduced himself to me and my group of diners. “It’s wild sockeye smoked salmon,” shared Boggia. He said the salmon is hand filleted in small batches and then smoked to create a silky and smooth finish.

Sockeye salmon is one of the lowest in fat of the salmon family. “King salmon has about three times more fat than Sockeye,” Boggia said. “Farm raised salmon is even fattier.” Boggia works with Gerard & Dominique in Seattle, to produce a sugar-free salmon for his pizzas. “Did you know that most smoked salmon in restaurants has sugar?” Boggia asked.

Obika Mozzarella Bar in the Westfield Century City shopping center has just introduced new Neapolitan pizza menu. They make the dough with stone ground whole wheat and white flour that is imported from Italy, allowing the dough to naturally rise for 48 hours before making a pizza for a guest.

Boggia was so excited about his recently installed Valoriani-Mugnaini pizza oven. “In Italy, it would be heated with wood, but here we need to use gas,” Boggia said. “Regulations say it is better for the environment.” He informed me that the oven reaches over 900 degrees. “The temperature is so sensitive, we can cook four pizzas in one minute.”

My group and I devoured the delicious salmon pizza with ricotta and Mozzarella de Bufal. This is the cheese that has made Obika famous. It is handmade mozzarella that is processed using water buffalo milk for water buffalo. It has 33 percent less fat and cholesterol than mozzarella made from cow’s milk. “Our mozzarella is made with a lot of science and a bit of art. It’s unique,” Boggia said. There are various types of Mozzarella de Bufala imported from Italy. The classic mozzarella is a delicate cheese, Stracciatella di Burrata is a sweeter and creamier cheese and Affumicata is smoked on iron nets over a hay fire.

To read more of my review click here Courtesy of the Beverly Press / Park LaBrea News. Published on April 26, 2012.

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