Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Restaurant Review: Appetite for Mozzarella

Axl Rose has many reasons to be happy right now. Next week, the long-awaited Guns N Roses album, Chinese Democracy, will be released after 14 years of writing, recording, false starts and band member changes. Even more surprisingly, Rose has just recently opened a new pizza restaurant in downtown Los Angeles called ‘Appetite for Mozzarella’, and it’s garnering a lot of attention from gourmands and rock fans alike. I decided to take a look.

The d├ęcor of AfM is how one would expect a restaurant owned by the frontman of Guns N Roses to look. Guitars and photos of the past adorn the walls of the eatery, though his public spats with other members of G’n’R mean that only pictures of Axl himself are to be found. There are framed gold and platinum discs around the place, and in one corner there is a display of some of Rose’s famous kilts. As one might expect, the music being played is a constant stream of Guns N Roses’ most popular songs, including that one from Terminator 2.

Looking at the menu, there’s a great selection of delicious-looking pizza meals, and I opted for the ‘Sweet Chili of Mine’, a pepper-based pizza with caramelised onions and olives. My partner went for the ‘Meat-Train’, a carnivore’s dream with more different sausages than you can shake a Slash guitar solo at. Really, we were spoiled for choice; from the fromage-tastic ‘It’s so Cheesy’ (with seven different kinds of cheese) to the vegetarian ‘Welcome to the Fungal’, a mostly mushroom-based pizza, there was so much on offer here. I was quite tempted by the ‘Paradise VoraCity’, a pizza that certainly lives up to its name by being 36 inches in diameter and earning a leather jacket for anyone who can eat an entire one alone.

With all these mouthwatering choices, then, it’s a shame that the service in Appetite for Mozzarella is so poor. It was over an hour after we ordered that we saw our waiter again, and when asked what had happened to our food he apologised but said that Axl had fired all his kitchen staff shortly after we ordered. He assured us that our meal would be ready once the new recruits had got up to speed with the kitchen layout and the menu.

I took this time to read a leaflet about the restaurant. Apparently it’s possible to rent out Appetite for Mozzarella for a special ‘November Rain’ wedding reception, complete with unexpected downpours, someone diving headfirst through the cake and a general feeling of foreboding until the third act when the bride dies and the groom wakes up, sobbing, as the whole thing has been a dream.

After another hour had passed our pizzas were brought out to our table, but before the waiter could set them before us, the chef ran out and told him to bring them back because he wasn’t happy with them.

It was at this point when I realised that nobody else in the restaurant was eating.

And this, then, is my main gripe with Appetite for Mozzarella. The food looks and smells wonderful. The smells coming out of the kitchen were to die for. We couldn’t wait for our food. But we had to wait. And wait. And wait. And despite being offered free Dr. Pepper for having to wait so long, it is simply unacceptable to have people wait for as long as we were before being served. When we discovered that our food wouldn’t be ready until April 2015, my partner and I decided to leave and find a more prompt meal elsewhere.

So I’m sorry that I can’t comment on the quality of the food in question, but with service this bad, I don’t recommend that anyone else try to find out for themselves.

No chefs’ hats out of a possible five.

Welcome to the fungal/we’ve got chanterelle/we’ve got every mushroom you want/even False Morel/and you’re a very hungry man/very hard to please/if you don’t like mushrooms well/we’ve got a pizza full of cheese/in the fungal/welcome to the fungal/gonna bring you your shi-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ke/shiitake/shiitake


Red said...

"Welcome to the Fungal" sounds delicious, but it's catchy tune makes me even more eager to try a slice.

And that's just how service is in LA. That city is, like, incompetence incarnate.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

cute, catchy concept. too bad there is no service. I'll pass the word along to my niece who lives in LA. She needs a job and this looks like a perfect fit. she wont have to really DO anything.

Jillian said...

This is hilarious, IR. Laughing at my desk, people staring. Just another day reading the Imaginary Review :).

Feisty Democrat said...

Well played, sir, as usual. Well played!

words...words...words... said...

Sucker that I am, I will come back 1n 2015 for my pizza if my eagerness to purchase Chinese Democracy is any indication.

BeckEye said...

So, was there a spaghetti incident while you were there?

This is pretty hilarious. I do so love the Welcome to the Fungal song, but I would definitely go for It's So Cheesy, because I hate mushrooms.

I also hope they add some sort of calzone/pita/stromboli dish to the menu. Perhaps a Pocket Queen? (Sorry, I had to give a shout-out to my favorite G'N'R song.)

And I will totally book this joint for my wedding if I ever get married. Because I've always wanted someone to dive headfirst through my wedding cake. It's been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.

Falwless said...

I wonder.. if you put The Imaginary Reviewer and Grant Miller in a room, would the room explode from too much creativity packed into too small a space?

You are brilliant.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Red: The tune is great. The idea is that the serving staff sing the song as they bring it out, but unfortuntely nobody has ever seen this happen yet.

CDD: It's an ideal job for someone in LA, I'm sure.

Jillian: Thanks! If anyone asks what you're laughing at, tell them it's a really hilarious sales report. That's what I do!

Mathdude: Thought you'd like this one.

WWW: You and me both.

Beckeye: I was going to go somewhere with the Spaghetti Incident, but I didn't want it to seem like I condone that album. Pocket Queen? Ha! Should have thought of that one.

And just why does the man jump through the cake? "Oh no! I'm going to get wet! That's far worse than being covered in sponge and icing!"

Falwless: If you put me and Grant Miller in a room, there would be much hero worship from the Imaginary Reviewer and Mister Miller would be very embarrassed and make his excuses to leave. But thanks for the comparison!

Chris said...

I love the Mr. Browniestone Triple Vanilla Fudge Treat!

Gwen said...

I apologize for always being late to the Comment Party over here but in my mind your posts need to be savored. I like to wait until I have time to read slowly. And usually while I'm trying to find that time you've posted another. And then I panic and quit. This is supposed to be a compliment no matter how it sounds.

Now a little name-dropping: A good friend of mine was the lead singer in a band in the 80's called The Eyes (later known as Pale Divine.)

Richard Fortus was the guitarist in that band. I am one degree from Richard Fortis. That is all.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Chris: Dammit, that's a good one!

Gwen: Thanks for the compliment! I'm the same with several other blogs in my Reader queue.

And as for being one step away from Richard Fortus, that's quite the claim! I just checked his info out on Wikipedia and it seems I own some stuff by another former band of his, Love Spit Love. They were pretty good.

Unknown said...

Love your blog. You've just reminded me of the time I saw G&R at the MEN Arena (Manchester) where the band were 3 hours late getting on stage. The crowd amused itself by girls getting their tits out whilst sitting on their boyfriends' shoulders, a spectacle gleefully picked out by the spotlight guys.

Any chance of "Liver and let die" making it to the menu?

Kinorunner said...

Doh! You've just gone and fed Mr Rose a career plan for the foreseeable.

Sterling stuff, monsieur.

Distributorcap said...

so can you order in from them?

i love your review