Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali may open a Mozza in O.C.

Although no plans have been finalized yet, a Pizzeria Mozza may be coming to Orange County, says Mario Batali.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali’s Mozza restaurants have been a huge hit in Los Angeles, and now the duo hopes the concept will have the same success overseas -- and possibly in Orange County.

In a recent interview, Batali said he and Silverton, with business partner Joe Bastianich, would open a Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in Singapore early next year.

The Crocs-wearing chef said he hoped the restaurants, which will serve “simple seafood and pastas,” would be “a good crossover hit.”


He also revealed that they are thinking about bringing a Pizzeria Mozza to Orange County, although no plans have been finalized yet.

“The pizzeria is so good and it’s so unique,” he said. “It’s something that a lot of people would like everywhere.”

Jordan to exit Disney restaurant

Michael Jordan, master sommelier, longtime general manager of Disney’s Napa Rose restaurant and the architect of its award-winning wine program, is leaving the restaurant business. After 35 years in the industry as a chef, sommelier, restaurateur, manager and wine educator, Jordan is stepping off the floor to start a wine company, called Word.

“I think it’s every sommelier’s dream to make their own wine,” Jordan says.

Jordan will become a negociant, a profession that is common practice in Bordeaux, France, where finished wines are purchased during their aging period, brought through their last paces before being blended, bottled, then sold. Jordan plans to release a Santa Barbara Pinot Noir by the end of this year; a Napa Valley Cabernet will debut in 2010.

Mirko Paderno to open Oliverio

Mirko Paderno, who has served time at seemingly every Italian restaurant in the city (Drago, All’Angelo, Dolce, Ago and, most recently, a stint at Cecconi’s), is taking over the space at Blue on Blue at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Paderno’s place is called Oliverio, and to match the Italian chef’s new menu, the restaurant’s interior and hotel entrance have been refurbished to invoke 1950s Italy. In addition to the snazzy makeover, Paderno will get to indulge in the Avalon’s rooftop garden, which manager Ryan Hoffman planted last year.

His menu will include dishes such as fritto misto and salumi served with homemade olive focaccia, branzino and a variety of handmade pastas. The prices will be similar to Blue on Blue, with entrees ranging from $16 to $30.

9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 277-5221,

-- Andrea Chang, Patrick Comiskey and Krista Simmons Also:

* Joshua Whigham is the newly appointed chef de cuisine at Jose Andres’ Bazaar. He has worked at Andres’ Cafe Atlantico and Zaytinya in Washington, D.C. The chef most recently cooked at

Hook, also in Washington.

465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 246-5555,

* Rockwell, a restaurant/lounge/bar from the owners of Vermont in Los Feliz, has opened. 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 669-1550,

* The Oaks, a gourmet market and eatery, is set to open Friday near the base of Beachwood Canyon. 1915 N. Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 871-8894.