Seamless Restaurant Spotlight: Obika Mozzarella Bar
We love cheese. So when we heard of Obika Mozzarella Bar in Los Angeles, needless to say, we were very intrigued. What would a bar made of mozzarella be all about? Do they serve only mozzarella foods? We sat down with the owner of Obika Mozzarella Bar, Raimondo Boggia, to get all the details on their cheesey and yummy restaurant.
Seamless: What inspired the concept for the Obika Mozzarella Bar?
Obika: In the dialect of Naples, hometown of Obika founder Silvio Ursini, Obika means: “here it is!” They say “Obika” when something special happens right before your eyes, like a freshly made Mozzarella, still dripping from its brine and ready to be eaten then and there, paired with the special ingredients selected by our chef to create an unprecedented balance.
Seamless: Your famous mozzarella is imported from Italy three times each week! Can you describe where the Mozzarella di Bufala comes from and how it’s made?
Obika: Mozzarella di Bufala comes from the Campania region, south of Rome to Naples. It is made with the milk of the specific bufala we have in Italy (it is originally from the Indian Ocean, not from Africa like the Buffalo that is common here in the US). It’s a very ancient specific process and still today the Mozzarella is handmade by cheese makers that pass their secret from father to son. Watch the famous Italian fashion photographer Fabrizio Ferri’s artistic interpretation of the Mozzarella di Bufala production here.
Seamless: What do you think sets Obika apart from other Italian restaurants?
Obika: I would say the integrity of the products that we use in the kitchen. Our Pizza is always and exclusively done with Mozzarella di Bufala, the pasta we use comes from Gragnano and it is shaped with bronze dye. We make our own ravioli every morning. Both the products we import from Italy (because they are really different and unique) and the ones we select locally, going to the individual organic farmers, are the best you can find in the market.
Seamless: How do you select the unique seasonal items featured on your menu throughout the year?
Obika: At the farmers’ market, and with the knowledge of cooking that comes from centuries of tradition, in which our Grandmas and Moms never bought strawberries in January, grapes in March or eggplants in December.
Seamless: Besides your mozzarella, what are some other delicious items you recommend Seamless customers to try?
Obika: Home-made Ravioli, Trofie al pesto, Paccheri di Gragnano with Mozzarella and Tomato sauce; Eggplant parmigiana, Milanese veal cutlet, all our Pizza, Butter-squash soup with goat cheese. All these are popular dishes at Obika in Century City!
Seamless: What’s next for Obika—new locations, menu items, upcoming events?
Obika: We feature a dinner dedicated to one region of Italy each month and on July 17th, it will be the turn of Sardinia with a special menu and wine pairing. From the 1st of August, new fish items in the menu, and a new location in LA in 2013.