L'antica Pizzeria Da Michele

#1

gnocco fritto - burrata, prosciutto di carpegna
Really good, would have been great if they dressed the dry arugula with some aged balsami.

calamari fritti
Fine

lattuga di zio adam - butter lettuce, anchovies, garlic, balsamic dressing
Fine, I wish there were more anchovies.

capesante scottate - seared scallops, cauliflower puree, black truffle
Nicely cooked scallops, but the truffle flavor came mostly from truffle oil.

margherita - tomato, fior di latte cheese, pecorino, basil
I’m not a neapolitan expert but the pizza here seemed authentic. The crust was thin and chewy (zero crisp) with medium char and had a wet/soupy center which I’m not a fan of. It was more flaccid than overcooked spaghetti, and was impossible to pick up and fold, you’ll need a knife and fork to eat the first few bites. Flavor-wise each ingredient stood on its own, sauce was bright and the cheese was creamy and milky.
It’s also bigger than expected, about 14 inches cut into 8 slices.

tiramisu

lemon tart
Okay. Crust was a bit thick.

no toto

Service was laid-back-stoner-casual and the bar lounge area felt a little clubby. Not in a big rush to go back.

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One of Italy’s best pizzerias to open in LA
#2

Thanks for the report @PorkyBelly! Sounds like a safe place delivering VPN / Neapolitan style pizzas, but your comment that it was really flaccid (too soupy / wet?) is worrisome, but maybe it’s the way it’s supposed to be.

And that Margherita was $24 + tax and tip? Thanks.

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#3

It’s not worrisome at all. It’s Neapolitan pizzasome.

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#4

Slicing the pizza is pandering to American expectations and makes the pie get soggy in the center.

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#5

I’ll just leave this here. Skip to 1:45 if you’re short on time.

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#6

The price (if the pizza is amazing) and sogginess don’t bother me (since I think it really IS supposed to be pretty wet), but aside from the pizza, it seems like stuff we’ve seen b/f. So it’s sort of like, what’s the point? The desserts seem really sloppy (@PorkyBelly: do you recall how much the desserts were?). And the whole laid-back-stoner-casual would seriously bug me…

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#7

Foodwise, this place is truly about the pizza. The butter lettuce salad and squash blossoms were nothing of any interest. It’s a beautiful remodel of the old Cafe des Artistes space though. The back patio has plenty of heaters for cool nights, and is open and casual.

Beautiful entry way

Bar area

Menu (as it’s dated, it would appear they change the menu often)

Wine and beer list

Margherita pizza. As previously mentioned, this is Neopolitan style pizza. It’s got a thinnish crust: not paper or cracker thin, but quite thin in the middle, and it WILL require a knife and fork for the center of the pizza. The tomato sauce is fresh, moist and acidic. The mozzarella cheese is rich and stringy, and just the right amount imho. I found it to be very satisfying. It’s a larger pizza, not an individual serving size. It’s perfect for two if you have a couple of appetizers. The salami and cheese board on another table looked good as an appetizer. We might try that next time.

Char

Slice You can see the moisture. It’s quite soggy in the middle, which doesn’t bother me in the least.

Middle of the pizza You can see this takes a knife and fork.

The wine list is small, but I found the pinot grigio to my liking. And as mentioned above, I really enjoyed the pizza. It’s a different style from my other favorites, Cosa Buona and Mozza. But there’s definitely a time, and now a place for this type of pizza. Regarding service, I hadn’t heard the “laid-back-stoner-casual” description before, but I found it to be pretty accurate. Not in a bad way, though. We rather liked the service: not too pushy, more like a friend serving you dinner in her back yard.

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#8

Excited to try this!

However, I’d love to see these made at a smaller size and served whole.
Seems a bit weird to come all this way just to make (little) concessions to American customs.

#9

The VPN regulation size is 30-35 mm / 12-14 inches, which is meant to serve one (the original restaurant serves nothing but pizza). It’s roughly the same amount of bread as a bagel.

Huge concessions! I’m sure they’re expecting to make a shitload more money than a pizza-only place would.

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#10

that’s right. but it is big enough for two people to share.

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#11

Hi @robert,

Wow. That’s interesting (and kinda scary to think about): That a bagel has the same amount of bread as a 14" pizza! (Glad I don’t partake of bagels much anymore.)

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#12

Great menu image…brings me back to Napoli!

#13

The Naples original doesn’t serve wine? Weird.

Also, it’s lame that the LA branch does not have Gragnano.

#14

indeed , soggy center is the Neapolitan style…we are getting to the point of near pizza saturation, it seems to me…yes, there are still neighborhoods that could use great pizza but…

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#15

Hi Ya’ll -

I was never a huge pizza lover and am just starting to appreciate the different styles. These are the best descriptions of true Neapolitan pizza I’ve read on this board. I always thought margherita pizza was soggy because of the tomatoes, not because it’s Neapolitan. I don’t like soggy, slippery and always think of it as a flaw, but will adjust my thinking next time. Question: if the pizza doesn’t come cut how do you eat it?

Signed,
An American who’s never been to Italy.

#16

Traditionally with a fork and knife

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#17

As in the Bourdain video Ns1 linked to above.

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#18

See? What did I tell ya’? I’m a total American when it comes to pizza. My pizza experience growing up was the equivalent of Joe’s on Sunset - bought by the slice thru a window. Would that be NY-style pizza?

#19

Okay, I watched the whole thing 4 times! I don’t even like whole tomato and basil very much. Yes, I’m weird, but that’s probably my reason for not paying much attention to neapolitan/margherita pizza. But I.Want.That.Pizza! I’m a sauce lover and the way he was eating it reminds me of sopping up the last bit of delicious sauce with some bread! Except with a fork. :slight_smile: I can see why you Italian travelers border on obsession when it comes to finding an exact replica here in the U.S. Any luck?

Side note: I might be going blind. But aren’t those people eating big, folded slices on the sidewalk?

#20

Interesting article from Pizza Today on an American take on the floppy Neapolitan style.

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