Opened in Naples back in 1870, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has long been a destination for pizza lovers. Now’s your chance to try it for yourself when L’Antica opens its first U.S. location in Hollywood on May 8.
One of the oldest pizzerias in the city that literally invented the beloved dish, L’Antica hosted Italy’s Queen Margherita of Savoy over a century ago, which led to the inspiration for a classic style of pizza. L’Antica became even more famous after appearing in both the book and film “Eat Pray Love,” where it served as a gastronomic mood elevator to Julia Roberts’ character-in-crisis.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is tucked away on McFadden Place in the former home of Cafe des Artistes. Over half of the spacious restaurant is located outside in a beautiful courtyard offering lush trees, a fireplace and prime spots for watching pizzaiolo remove artfully crafted pizzas from the wood-fired clay oven.
I’ve tried L’Antica’s cracker-thin pizza twice: at an April popup at Eataly and during an on-site preview last week. I was impressed with the simplicity and quality of the margherita (tomato, fiordilatte cheese, pecorino, and basil), the marinara (tomato, oregano, and garlic), and the bianca (with mozzarella, pecorino, and basil), all featuring high-protein flour and premium canned tomatoes.
The opening menu will feature all three, along with pizza fritta (deep-fried pizza topped with parmigiano and basil) and cosacca, featuring tomato and pecorino. Also a must-try is the Prosciutto di Carpegna, an unusually tender, new-to-Los Angeles prosciutto with notes of paprika that’s been produced in Italy for more than 200 years.
L’Antica’s Head Pizzaiolo Michele Rubini was trained by the venerable Association Verace Pizza Napoletana in Italy, while Head Chef Antonio Giordano hails from Venice’s Gujsta Bakery and West Hollywood’s Terroni. Giordano will provide non-pizza dishes like lamb meatballs with artichoke, ricotta-filled zucchini flowers, and seared scallops with black truffle.
Owner and designer Francesco Zimone’s striking eatery incorporates elements of dark walnut, leather, Baltic stone, and iron in a space that includes a ceiling-high fireplace, an extensive bar, and a second private patio in front of the restaurant.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is located at 1534 N. McFadden Avenue. The restaurant’s phone number is 323-366-2408 and it’s open daily from 5:00 pm to midnight. Restaurant Website.