Restaurant: Michael’s on Naples [1, 2]
Location: 5620 E 2nd St. Long Beach, CA 90803. (562) 439-7080
Date: January 30, 2013
Rating: A top LA Italian
I rarely get down this close to the Orange County border, but I had to meet a friend near Long Beach and chose this restaurant because it was top rated. On the way in, I chatted with the owner (Michael) for a few minutes. He told me how they use all locally (or at least California) sourced ingredients, mostly organic. They make their own mozzarella and sausages on premises, as well as the pasta. Many years, they’ve been top rated Italian in Zagats.
This is a cute roof deck upstairs which was closed off and heated because of the time of year.
From my cellar, Parker 96. “The 1996, one of the estate’s best, takes things to another level. It shows an outrageous, well-delineated nose of fresh roses, minerals and menthol followed waves of dark fruit and licorice flavors that are just beginning to show the signs of early maturity, with exceptional freshness, length, and harmony. This opens beautifully in the glass, taking on an almost Burgundian elegance. A wine to marvel over. It is hard to resist this now, but it will be even better in another 3-5 years, and age gracefully for another decade, and probably more.”
The amuse, crostini with a leek and garlic paste.
A special menu for dine LA week/month/whatever.
Insalata di Spinaci. Spinach salad with warm pancetta dressing, poached duck egg, red wine marinated red onions and Pecorino cheese.
Spaghetti con Aragosta. Hand-rolled pasta with Maine lobster tail, San Marzano tomatoes, roasted garlic, white wine and spicy Calabrian peperoncino. Lots of tender lobster. Great pasta. The sauce was very tasty, but perhaps overpowered the lobster a bit. I still crave this lighter wine, garlic, and tomato sauce I once had in Naples.
Ossobuco Di Maiale. Braised Kurobuta pork shank with saffron risotto and pistachio gremolata. I’m always a big Ossobuco fan and this was a really fantastic one.
Torta Di Cioccolato. Flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel and crispy prosciutto.
Cremino Di Zucca. Pumpkin mousse with salted caramel and cream with gingerbread. Very nice “holiday” flavored pot-a-creme. Tasted like pumpkin pie.
Overall, Michaels we had a really great meal. I’d need to go back to really assess, but this was certainly one of the top traditional style Italians I’ve eaten at in quite a while. Excellent!