Far, far away in an island country known as Singapore, on the second floor of the 800,000 sq. ft. luxury mall known as Marina Bay Sands (a new Southeast Asian offshoot of the Rat Pack's old hangout of choice, The Las Vegas Sands), sits Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. To the naked eye they are so eerily identical in décor and menu to the original Nancy Silverton-Mario Batali-Joe Bastianch Los Angeles compound that they could be their doppelgangers in a science fiction alternate reality, save for a few differences.
For instance, the Mozza Singapore pizzeria is larger in size and has two brick pizza ovens, not one. Currently the Marina Bay Sands' Mozzas are open only six days a week (instead of L.A. Mozzas' open-every-day policy) and both have slightly stripped down menus. Yet there is an upside: One reason your burrata with slow-roasted tomato & Sicilian oregano pizza might taste better there is because the USDA prohibits the consumption of unpasteurized cheeses, while Singapore is down with them.
If some have called Marina Bay Sands "the next Las Vegas," it's because the mirror-image Mozzas aren't the only high-end American restaurant flagposts in a casino complex that features wallet-draining shops including Prada, Hermes and Cartier. Among the other "celebrity restaurants" are Wolfgang Puck's Cut and Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne. They are joined by Australian super-chef Tetsuya Wakuda's Waku Ghin as well as a restaurant run by Guy Savoy, the Paris-based chef who is credited with inventing "nouvelle cuisine."
One final note: located on the first floor is an 800-seat, 21,000 sq. ft food court that is - how often do you hear this description in conjunction with "food court"? - drool-inducing: This round-the-clock street food extravaganza includes famous Southeast Asian quickie dishes from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and was curated by K.F. Seetoh, Singapore's resident "Street Food Guru" last seen as a guest judge on Top Chef D.C. Quickfire challenge. Wonder how I know all this? Google. Plus Nancy Silverton got me up to speed (in the name of full disclosure, I've known her since we were San Fernando Valley-based toddlers). Recently, novelist and lapsed Singaporean Sandi Tan visited the newly opened Mozzas only days after they'd opened. Check out her photo tour: