L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele Brings a Slice of Italy to HollywoodAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Whether you have Italian heritage on your side or just an extraordinarily strong predilection for pasta, the second you step inside Hollywood’s L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, you’ll feel at home.
It’s not just the enticing aroma (that helps) or the mouth-watering menu options (we’ll get to those in a minute). The instantly perceptible coziness of L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele lies in the painstakingly planned and expertly executed interior design, courtesy of the restaurant’s owner, Francesco Zimone.
Aside from being an exceptionally ambitious entrepreneur, Zimone is an accomplished designer who began pursuing his creative passions while earning an education in business and finance. Born and raised in Naples, Zimone relocated to Los Angeles in 2001, and after a stint in the film industry, returned to his roots in food and design and found potential in Hollywood’s former Café des Artistes restaurant. He spent the next year transforming the space into an homage to his Neapolitan legacy.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the result of Zimone’s hard work, but the restaurant isn’t entirely new — the Hollywood site is the first U.S. location of the historic pizzeria featured in the film Eat Pray Love. The L.A. version is entirely unique to Zimone’s vision, however. Guests entering the restaurant are greeted by design touches from the Mediterranean, Capri, and Amalfi Coast. The interior integrates elements like iron from historic Naples buildings to dark walnut wood and leather details influenced by Zimone’s parent’s home. The overall aesthetic reflects a combination of classic Italian inspiration with modern Californian décor. Blue and white tiles adorn the walls while natural wood and Baltic stone are weaved through the interior and terrace.
Beyond the bar is the restaurant’s picturesque garden (the “il cortile”) where guests dine alfresco, surrounded by lush greenery. Aside from the fresh air and tranquil vibe, outdoor diners are treated to an up-close-and-personal view of L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele’s signature stone oven, which showcases its freshly tossed pizzas. And let’s talk about the pizza — and appetizers, and pastas, vegetable dishes, entrees, and desserts. It’s impossible to go wrong when ordering, but a few must-tries include the margherita pizza (double cheese is worth the splurge), pappardelle alla Genovese, fiori di zucca ripieni, and gnocco fritto. And the flourless chocolate cake is a warm, hazelnut indulgence, so don’t skip it. The extensive wine list is also a vino lover’s dream, with options from Sicily, Tuscany, Corsica, and beyond.
Head Pizzaiolo Michele Rubini and Executive Chef Antonio Giordano have helped Zimone turn his culinary vision into reality, and the attentive staff and servers round out the top-to-bottom blissful experience.
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele is located at 1534 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90028. For more information or to make a reservation, visit damicheleusa.com.
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