Slow Down in Santa Monica

New mozzarella bar Obicà is an homage to fromage – slow food style. 

Written by Michelle Lyn | Photos Courtesy of Obicà

In the dialect of my home town of Naples, obicà is how we describe something that’s happening right before your eyes, like a freshly made Mozzarella, still dripping from its brine and ready to be eaten there and then,” says founder of Obicà Mozzarella Bar Silvio Ursini.

Thus Obicà, which, roughly translated, means “here it is,” inspired Ursini to create a unique restaurant with its cornerstone being a mozzarella bar. Originating in Italy and thriving around the world with 20 locations from London to Dubai, Ursini’s concept serves classic, regional Italian cuisine in a contemporary yet casual atmosphere where cheese takes center stage. The latest location, which recently debuted in Santa Monica, expands the restaurant’s international footprint, although the mozzarella bar concept itself, inspired by traditional sushi bars that prepare and serve food to guests “in sight,” is dubbed the first in Italy.

The sleek design of every Obicà restaurant, consistent in each location, features natural materials such as wood blocks, textile panels, glass and iron. Conceived by Roman design studio Labics, the décor strips out “unnecessary ornamentation” to make the restaurant’s colorful, hand-made ingredients—and food—the star.

Italy is one of the most productive cheese regions in the world, with well over 300 varieties, with mozzarella easily one of the most recognizable. Sourcing from the very best farms on the fertile plains of Campana, Obicà’s mozzarella bar serves Bufala Classica (delicate), Bufala Affumicata (naturally smoked), Burrata (deliciously creamy), Burrata al Tartufo (with black truffle), and Stracciatella di Burrata con Caviale (with sustainably farmed Italian Calvisius caviar).

In addition to mozzarella bar specialties, Obicà serves a full Italian menu and authentic Italian pizza made with imported, stone-ground flour that’s left to rise for 48 hours. The best of Italian regional cuisine is also presented every month, with dinners focused on particular aspects of Italian food and wine culture—a region, a product, or a wine.

The “Obicà Experience,” served to two guests minimum, consists of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, Caponata alla Siciliana (Sicilian eggplant casserole), Selezione di Salumi e Verdure (cured meats and grilled vegetables), Focaccina, Pizza Bufala DOP e Pomodoro and dessert.

At the heart of Obicà’s success is an adherence to slow food values: serving good, clean, fair food. Ingredients are always specialty products that sustain longstanding Italian culinary traditions, local and fresh.

Open for lunch, dinner, aperitivo and brunch, Obicà piques our interest in a seat at the bar—the mozzarella bar, of course.

606 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.393.6633 |


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