California pizzeria named Zagat's best in the U.S.

Oct. 1, 2013

Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach, Calif., has been named the "Best Pizzeria" in the U.S., according to Zagat. Michael's was also named Los Angeles' "Best Pizzeria" for the second year.

With these results, Michael's has unseated longtime winner Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco as the best in the U.S.

"We opened a little more than two years ago, and for the second year in a row, we have been named the Best Pizzeria in Los Angeles," Michael Dene, proprietor of Michael's Restaurant Group, said. "We managed to top that by being named the Best Pizzeria in the United States, a title Tony's in San Francisco has held for years. It's very humbling, and I'm extremely proud of my staff who work in the front of the house and the heart of the house."

Zagat Guide, a source for consumer-generated information, gave Michael's Pizzeria, the only Los Angeles pizzeria to make the list, a 27 out of 30 food rating.

Michael's features hand-tossed dough, fresh sauces and herbs and homemade mozzarella. Pizzas are cooked at 850 degrees in a wood-fired oven for 90 seconds, and then delivered whole, not sliced.

"Michael's Pizzeria was born out of necessity," Dene said. "I wanted real Italian pizza, not the take-out, cardboard variety we're accustomed to eating in the United States. There was no place to go for that experience, and I feel as if Michael's Pizzeria has filled a culinary void. We pride ourselves on everything being made in-house, from our sauces to our cheeses. Honestly, it's like having pizza for the very first time."

Aside from pizza, Michael's Pizzeria also offers a selection of antipasti, salads, charcuterie, cheese, and puccias — Italian flatbread sandwiches made from the same hand-tossed dough as the pizza and filled with ingredients such as prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula and more. The menu features beer, along with a suggested wine pairing list for the pizzas.

Michael's Pizzeria has three locations: on Naples Island in Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach on The Promenade at Third Street, and in Rancho Mirage at The River on Highway 111 at Bob Hope Drive.

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Topics: Food & Beverage , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

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