South End wine and pizza bar is Mozza chef Frank Fermin and Piccolo Veniceâ€™s sommelier Mario Volleraâ€™s authentic Italian collaboration on Abbot Kinney.
The Vanguard pizza comes with Asian mushrooms, Fontina, piave, Fresno chilies, and fine herbs.
The High Sign pizza is made with bacon, mozzarella, Fontina, and thyme.
What happens when a chef di cucina at Pizzeria Mozza teams up with a wine connoisseur from Piccolo Venice and Barbershop? South End, the most buzzed-about new pizza and wine bar to spring up on—the south end of—Abbot Kinney. Now in its soft-opening phase, with a grand opening set for September 14 and weekend brunch coming later this month, chef Frank Fermin and partner/sommelier Mario Vollera’s chic, European-style café encourages communal sitting and simple, authentic Italian eating.
A striking black-and-white wall mural by San Diego artist Brandon Roth greets patrons of this intimate, 28-seat establishment, which is situated cozily between Venice Beach and Marina Del Rey. A black cement bar top, metal touches, and concrete floors suggest industrial influence, but communal high-top wooden tables, an exposed wine shelf of beckoning bottles, and a glass pastry case housing sweet treats offer subtle homey touches.
Less subtle is the food by chef Fermin, who served as consulting chef at Osteria Mozza in the Marina Bay Sands Singapore and worked under Walter Maske at Church & State before moving to Pizzeria Mozza, and now, South End. For breakfast-goers, baked goods and coffee are served Italian café-style, before the main menu rolls out at 3 p.m. From the latter, start with assorted cheese and charcuterie, share some fresh takes on traditional salads, and move on to one of several tartes, such as the caramelized onion and brie, with peaches and aceto balsamico. Traditional pizzas come round, doughy, and rustic, brimming with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients: the Venus has Roma tomatoes, salami, homemade mozzarella, Fresno chilies, and red onions; and the High Sign stars bacon, mozzarella, Fontina, and thyme.
To honor the ritualistic pizza-soda pairing, the soft drinks selection includes gluten- and caffeine-free renditions of root beer, cream sodas, and a ginger brew with fresh ginger root and raw cane sugar. Beers are pale, medium, or stout, and Vollera expertly curated the list of glasses and bottles of about two-dozen worldly wines. Fromage fans will enjoy the goat cheese cheesecake for dessert, and for those who prefer to indulge in private, delivery and takeout are also available. 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 424-228-4736