When someone mentions the word "brunch" my mind typically drifts to thoughts of bottomless mimosas, a blood mary bar, eggs benedict or hash browns. I wouldn't necessarily gravitate toward pizza or lasagna and I certainly wouldn't normally consider a drive from my home in The Valley down to Long Beach.
And yet one wonderful morning spent at Michael's Pizzeria has changed everything.
EVERYTHING at Michael's is made fresh, on site. Even the Mozzarella. They serve Napoli-style pizza. Wood-fired. In fact, everything is prepared in their wood-fire oven (I didn't even get to the wood-fired frittatas!) and it shows in the remarkable flavors.
I ate some more "traditional" breakfast foods.
Cast-iron cinnamon rolls with a rosemary maple drizzle. Think is sounds weird because of the rosemary? So did I. Don't worry, you'll be licking your fingers. They do have kind of an.... earthy taste to them but they're unique and delicious. By contrast, the french brioche toast is sweet as sweet can be and in addition to strawberry and nutella on top (well not on mine -- I am allergic to nutella), it has the BEST whipped cream I have really EVER tasted. Which, yes, they make on site. I dream about it at night.
It wasn't until after my meal, when I was chatting with my dad over the phone about how the restaurant was, and I dropped the name of the chain, that my dad excitedly told me Michael's Pizzeria had been named the top pizzeria in the country by Zagat. (Yes, my dad knew that off the top of his head -- he's a knowledgeable foodie!) I guess that didn't really surprise me. They served me two pizzas to try and they both BLEW MY MIND.
The first, a basic Margherita. But there was nothing basic about this pizza. The second, the Carbonara with provolone, house-made mozzarella, pancetta, asparagus, and two eggs.
I mean.... LOOK AT THE CRUST. Can we just take a moment for this?
It should be noted that a day, two days and three days later, a little reheated, that pizza was still G.D. AMAZING.
I had a really unique lasagna as well. I am normally not a lasagna person but I found this to be perfect for my taste because it wasn't swimming in sauce, it wasn't overrun with one ingredient above another, and the pasta layers were sort of crispy on the edges. During lunch it comes with a side salad with a wonderful, light dressing. I also enjoyed two scoops of housemade sorbet - strawberry basil (surprisingly good!) and salted caramel. The perfect way to end this egregious feast.
Please note, you guys, the Manager was not only a nice guy but her was above-and-beyond generous. He and his lovely staff brought me a lot of food. You've probably noticed that while reading this post. So I just want to clarify that NO, I did not eat ALL OF IT. I took bites and pieces and brought the rest home. And like I said about the pizza - days later, warmed up, it was still just as delicious.
- Michael's Pizzeria website
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Pro tip - The Long Beach location I went to is on a Promenade so don't solely rely on Google Maps to find it. You'll get lost on all the one-way streets in Long Beach pretty easily. Keep an eye out for signs like this and park close to them:
P.S. If the weather's nice, sit outside. Especially at brunch time when they have live music. I particularly enjoyed watching all of the people walking their dogs. :)