Dining details: Osteria Mozza

Osteria Mozza

Rating: ***

Location: 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 297-0100; www.mozza-la.com.

Ambience: High-energy, high-stakes Italian from Nancy Silverton along with New York partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The decor is simple and tailored -- dark wood, white marble and, center stage, the mozzarella bar.

Service: Zealous and informed; sometimes a bit stiff.

Price:Antipasti, $12 to $20; primi (pasta), $17 to $19; secondi (main courses), $26 to $29; contorni (sides), $7; cheese plate, $12; dolci (desserts), $8 t o $12.

Best dishes: Grilled octopus; crispy pig trotter; little gem salad; mozzarella in carozza;burricotti with artichokes; tortellini e brodo; ricotta and egg raviolo; grilled orata; grilled quail; beef brasato;torta della nonna; almond cornette; poached pears with bittr almond gelato.

Wine list: Wines from regions all over Italy. Plenty of picks for both the novice and the connoisseur. Corkage fee, $20 per bottle (two bottles maximum).

Best table: The "mozzarella bar."

Details: Open 5:30 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Full bar. Valet parking, $8.50.

To see a photo gallery, go to latimes.com/food.

Rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price taken into account in relation to quality. ****: Outstanding on every level. ***: Excellent. **: Very good. *: Good. No star: Poor to satisfactory.

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