With a century-old recipe and authentic, Neapolitan cooking method, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele opens its first U.S. location in the heart of Hollywood this Thursday, May 9, 2019. The concept originates from the famed Naples pizzeria, which first had its Hollywood moment with notable inclusion in Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat Pray Love,” followed by Julia Robert’s film adaption in 2010. Owner and Designer Francesco Zimone has reimagined the 6,000 square foot space where over half of the restaurant’s seats are housed in “il cortile,” the restaurant’s lush, alfresco courtyard where diners can view the pizzaiolo as the main focal point.
“We have meticulously brought the same standards, recipes, ingredients, and respect for Neapolitan pizza to Los Angeles,” Zimone says. “Our Hollywood location serves as a flagship to plant our roots in the U.S. and share our passion for this unique pizza experience.”
Trained by the Association Verace Pizza Napoletana in Italy, Head Pizzaiolo, Michele Rubini prepares traditional pizzas and ensure that each pie meets the specific requirements to respect the traditional art of Neapolitan pizza making. Rubini utilizes imported ingredients—from high-protein flour, fiordilatte cheese to premium canned tomatoes from Italy—to put forth pizzas with impeccable quality and taste. His calls upon Italian culinary traditions and a practiced mastery to replicate the pizza as it would be made in Naples.
The opening menu will focus on L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele’s simple, yet sophisticated pies, including the celebrated classic Margherita and Marinara. The pizza menu features:
- Margherita tomato, fiordilatte cheese, pecorino, basil
- Marinara tomato, oregano, garlic
- Pizza Fritta deep fried pizza, parmigiano, basil
- Cosacca tomato, pecorino
- Bianca mozzarella, pecorino, basil
Under the culinary direction of Head Chef Antonio Giordano (an Italian restaurant owner and formerly of Gujsta Bakery and Terroni), the restaurant will showcase coastal, Italian-inspired dishes upon opening and expand the taverna menu later this spring. Complements to the pizza menu include:
- Polpette di Agnello e Cariciofi lamb meatballs with artichoke
- Calamari Fritti deep fried calamari, lemon
- Tartare di Tonno tuna tartare. shallots. black olives, capers
- Capesante Scottate seared scallops, cauliflower puree, black truffle
- Gnocco Fritto burrata prosciutto di carpegna
- Polpo Alla Luciana slow cooked octopus, tomato, lentils
- Selezione di Salumi capocollo, prosciutto di carpegna, salami
- Selezione di Formaggi pecorino, gorgonzola, truffle cheese
- Selezione di Salumi e Formaggi
- Melanzane a Funghetto burrata, eggplant, cherry tomato & basil
- Insalata Greca feta cheese, romaine, black olives, onion, tomato
- Lattuga di Zio Adam butter lettuce, anchovies, garlic, balsamic dressing
- Polpette di Cavolfiore cauliflower balls with puttanesca sauce
- Cavoletti di Bruxelles sautéed brussel sprouts with nduja
- Fiori di Zucca Ripieni zucchini flowers filled with ricotta
In 2018, Zimone recognized the potential in Hollywood’s Café des Artistes restaurant and clarified a vision to bring the unique, Neapolitan concept to the area. He built and designed the 6,000 square foot space, which includes two garden patios (one at the entrance and one in the back courtyard), an indoor lounge area with a fireplace reaching the top of the ceiling, and an expansive indoor bar. The atmosphere is classic Italian meets modern Californian with most of the seating outdoors surrounded by lush greenery, where guests witness the pizza-making process in Da Michele’s signature stone oven. The décor weaves together natural wood and Baltic stone throughout the terrace and interior; green hues from the Mediterranean, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast; blue and white tiles adorning the walls alongside the patio; iron from historic buildings in Naples; as well as dark walnut wood and leather elements influenced by Zimone’s family’s home. The result is an airy and inviting home-like space tucked away in the city.
For now, select beer and Southern Italian wines will be available with cocktails debuting soon. The restaurant is located at 1534 N. McCadden Pl. just north of Sunset Blvd. and will be open daily from 5 p.m. until midnight.