Where the Real Pizzas at?
BY DIANA AL SHAMMARI
Nothing says Italian quite like a pizza Margherita. And why shouldn’t it? Even the toppings mimic the Italian flag colors: green, white and red. After I spent two weeks in Rome this past June, I noticed that Italians get personally offended when tourists ask for certain toppings on their pizzas. Their eyes get wide open, as if they just saw an ex while looking like a hot mess. There is no such thing as chicken or even, God forbid, pineapple on pizza in Italy. Good luck trying to convince a pizzeria to serve that to you.
A while after I got back to normal life here in Long Beach, I had the craving for my all-time favorite Italian pizza, the Margherita. I began to search for restaurants that made good Italian pizza around the area and stumbled upon two in Long Beach: Michael's Pizzeria and La Parolaccia Osteria.
So, what makes these places so special? There are probably hundreds of pizza joints in Long Beach that have been serving their customers for years. The thing about Italian pizza is that it’s thin and airy, made from simple ingredients, but still full of flavor. It has to be made in a stone oven in order to get that rustic look.
There are two locations of Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach and it was voted by Zagat, a restaurant rating site, as one of the best spots for pizza in LA a couple of years ago. The first location is located on 2nd Street and is called Michael’s Pizzeria Naples. The second location can be found on 3rd Street and is called Michael’s Downtown: Italian Kitchen. You can expect Neapolitan style pie topped with fresh ingredients and house-made mozzarella that would make you say, “Mamma Mia” when you finish that last bite.
La Parolaccia Osteria is located on East Broadway in our beloved Long Beach. La Parolaccia is a family owned and operated restaurant with an intimate and relaxed atmosphere that feels and looks straight out of Rome. There’s a vespa right by the pizza oven; if that doesn’t scream Italian, I don’t know what does. The pizza here is thin, rustic and full of flavor. The great thing about this place is that their pizza oven is right there in the middle of the restaurant, so it serves as great entertainment to compliment the overall Italian atmosphere.
Next time you're craving a good Italian pizza, give these places a try. You won’t regret it.