22 Feb Please The Palate Pick of the Week: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Hollywood
When I first read the book “Eat, Pray, Love” in 2010, going to Naples to eat pizza went to the top of my bucket list. I finally made it to Naples in September 2019 and spent two days eating as much pizza as I could, including at the famous L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. The pizza was as good as I imagined and I loved the spongy crust and the perfect balance of tomato and cheese. Luckily, I don’t have to go to Naples in order to enjoy the pizza because L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is open in Hollywood and is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood is the first U.S. location of the historic pizzeria which opened in Naples in 1870. In Naples, the pizzeria is just that. They serve two pizzas, Margherita and Marinara, and a selection of drinks. The restaurant has two rooms and old photographs are hung on the walls. In the main room, you can see the men making the pizza and the large oven the pizzas cook in.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Hollywood is the complete opposite. Located in the old Café Des Artistes, the space is modern, large and bright. After walking through a simple wooden door, you will be blown away by the beauty of the space. A patio is at the front of the restaurant. Inside, just past the hostess stand, is a welcoming lounge area, followed by a long bar and dining area and then the gorgeous garden.
The pizza is made in a pizza kitchen that can be seen from the garden.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Hollywood serves traditional Neapolitan pizza prepared by Head Pizzaiolo Michele Rubino who trained in Naples. Using the same recipes and importing the same ingredients used at the original restaurant, there are the two classic pizzas, Margherita and Marinara, as well as a few other pizza choices.
Like in Naples, the Margherita pizza came with a soft, thin base with a spongy crust that had char-grill notes on it. The fresh tomato sauce was not too little or too much and the mozarella was melted on top. The pizza looked big when it was served but when I looked back at my Naples photo, the pizza looked about the same size.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Hollywood also offers a complete menu with antipasti, salad, meats and pastas, as well as a wine list.
But, as Neapolitan pizza is the style that I personally like best, I am excited that I can get a pizza in Los Angeles that is very very very close to the one I had in Naples.