Okay, I have to gush. This last year, my boyfriend and I found a place SO magical and SO incredibly special that I absolutely cannot help but share it with the world. My love of Old Hollywood, glamour, musical theater, ambiance, and Italian food all paraded into my heart in one sweet and irreplaceable combination by the name of "Miceli's." Open since 1949 in the heart of Hollywood, this Italian treasure has been loved and visited by all, including those like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and the like for 70 years! This place is filled with the magic of what Hollywood was and is meant to be, with all of the heart and soul you could ever imagine. If that isn't enough to sell you on your next trip to Los Angeles, let me make Miceli's your obvious dinner choice for your first night in town, and the thing you dream of until you get here.
Singing Waitresses and waiters!
You know I mentioned musical theater above, and here is where that comes in. Not only are the waiters and waitresses here phenomenal at their job - feeding you endless amounts of delicious, carb infused, magic, but they also sing their faces off! In order to work here, you must be either classically/operatically trained in voice (or audition) to be able to give your guests dinner and a show - because you're in Hollywood and you should never expect anything less than to be entertained. Accompanied by an excellent grand pianist who plays throughout the day and into the night, these talented servers and possible future starlets sing stellar musical theater songs along with classics by Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, etc., and jazz favorites. You won't be able to refrain from your jaw dropping while slurping up your spaghetti, because boy, these folks will take your breath away.
open in 1949 - The history
Did I forget to mention that this Hollywood landmark opened in 1949?! Within the midst of the Golden Age of Hollywood?! In other words - the best and most becoming years of cinema?! I'm talking Rear Window, Sunset Boulevard, Singing in the Rain, All About Eve, Some Like it Hot - that Hollywood. Founded by singing shoe-shiner and war vet from Chicago - Carmen Miceli, Hollywood's first and now oldest Italian restaurant blessed the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Las Palmas Avenue. His brothers and sisters pooled their money together with recipes handed down to them by their Sicilian parents and relatives, to be able to open up shop in 1949. They sold 35 cent pizzas, which was a new and increasingly popular and loved trend among those living in Los Angeles at the time.
FAvorite of Marilyn and frank...
...and dozens of other iconic celebrities. Miceli's is where Lucille Ball learned how to spin a pizza for her show. Not to mention Elizabeth Taylor, Joe DiMaggio, Dean Martin, Richard Burton, and THE BEATLES ( on top of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra) ! I mean, come on... For such iconic and legendary individuals to visit such a place on more than one occasion, it has to be so gosh dar special - and that's just what Miceli's is. A legend for legends - a place where Hollywood never dies, and the heart beats stronger every day.
The Food and free smells!
Holy moly, it's hard to go wrong with the food here...and the wine...and the garlic bread...and okay - if you want an extra meatball, you should probably get it. With their infamous pizza, phenomenal chicken parmesan, sensational cheese bread, pesto fettuccine, and my favorite, fettuccine carbonara, there is no way you'll leave this place without having to unbutton your pants and eventually wipe a satisfied smile off of your face. The food here is amazing, and so are the smells. When you walk in, it's like a cloud of the most enticing garlic has given your face a mouthwatering hug of love. As you sit down in your booth, the butterflies (or ping of hunger) in your stomach will only grow stronger with each plate that passes you.
The Atmosphere - the heart and legacy of old hollywood
The atmosphere here is by far the thing that outweighs the rest of Miceli's incredible features. When you walk through their heavy double doors into a dimly lit, checkerboard floored, wooden paneled and brick-walled dining room that eventually opens into a warmly snug three level restaurant with wooden railings, red and white table clothes, whicker and glass flasks hanging from the ceiling, and the smell of garlic bread dancing through the air with the melody of "A Whole New World," being serenaded from the grand piano. The hostess takes you in and greets you with a kind smile. You see framed photos of famous legends eating a slice of pizza lining the wall to your right as you absorb the energy of this place. This is a feeling you can't find many places. It is one of going back in time. You can't help but feel your heart warming and the corners of your mouth beginning to rise. You look from left to right to see couples and families spending time with one another, waitresses and waiters singing their hearts out doing what they love most, walls that hold the cherished memories and passion of what this city was built off of, and the understanding that you're entirely present in the moment, standing there, with the ability to just be and feel.
This is what Miceli's is to me, and I know, that when Carmen Miceli and his family built this place - that's exactly what they intended it to be and how they lived their lives creating such a special place. This isn't just another Italian Restaurant - it's home for those old souls who love to bask in the moment and the music. Those who cherish and celebrate times spent with friends and family. Miceli's is a place for the ones who's souls dance to the melody called life, and see it as a gift - smiling through the good and the bad. Most of all - it's for those who love - which is each and everyone one of us if we let ourselves.
So please, I beg you, if and when you come to LA - go to Miceli's. I will go with you in a heartbeat. You won't ever regret it, and chances are, you'll make memories there that will last a lifetime.
To read more about the history of Miceli's click the link below! (this is where I got my info from):
To visit Miceli's or make a reservation, click here for more info:
Mary Gabrielle Strause