Remains of L.A.

Traces of L.A.'s past can still be found, in the kitsch of '50s diners and the decayed glamour of '40s hotspots… and sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people.

(1949) Miceli’s Pizzeria, Hollywood


micelis signI met my friend Jenelle at Miceli’s Pizzeria  for dinner. I’d never noticed before that “pizzeria” is part of the name. It seems like such an old-fashioned Italian restaurant, I never thought of it as being a pizza place in particular.
-Brick walls, ornately carved wooden pillars and booths,  red, white, and green Christmas lights, hanging tiffany lamps (they seem to be in almost  every place I go), lamps that look like old-timey street lamps with red, white, and green glass panels. Covering the ceiling are those straw baskets they put around the bottoms of wine bottles, signed by customers. It feels very cozy and warm. There’s a short staircase up to another level where a piano is playing.
-Jenelle and I split the mixed green salad which, she says correctly, comes with the best bleu cheese dressing in the world. It’s amazing. We also split a Miceli’s Special Pizza, which has sausage and pepperoni and several kinds of peppers and mushrooms. Jenelle doesn’t like mushrooms, so I ate hers. With the salad they brought warm round rolls that are just perfection.
-Jenelle’s dress was printed with sheet music, and when she walked by the piano player he enthusiastically asked if he could try to play it.

micelis mona-I sat facing a large framed Mona Lisa, who looked oddly mannish to me. The meal was almost over when I noticed she was holding a large pizza.
-The waitress tried to take the bowl of bleu cheese dressing away before it was empty  and I nearly bit her hand. I don’t usually even like bleu cheese dressing all that much.

-the wallpaper next to the restrooms was glorious, a collage of little bits of pictures decoupaged into the wall. The walls nearby were painted, but daubed with paint that matched the colors in the collage. I want to do my whole house like this.
-in the ladies’ room there was a sign admonishing us to remember the drought and turn off the water when we were finished washing our hands. I thought that was a bit odd, because who doesn’t do that? Then I finished washing my hands, turned off the water, and was several steps away before I realized the faucets were still going. You have to turn them really hard. The sign didn’t mention that.
micelisbath-There were two olives on the pizza, somehow, but it was okay; we caught them in time and didn’t taste them or anything.
-our friend Julia joined us when we were almost done eating, cause she and Jenelle were going to a screening after, right next door. The piano player, who had played “While New World” earlier, started playing that Little Mermaid song about wanting to be where the people are shortly after Julia arrived. She and Jenelle started singing, and they sounded really good. I think maybe they should make an album.
What I Ate: Mixed green salad with bleu cheese dressing, a roll with a teensy bit of butter on it, pizza with many toppings.
Who I Ate With/Things We Talked About: Jenelle and Julia; The casting of the movie “Aloha,” hubris, theatre, Emmys.
What Sort of Ghost I’d Expect to Find if I Believed in Ghosts Which I do Not: An old man, who always brought his children and grandchildren to Miceli’s. Now his great-grandchildren come, and he likes to hang out so he can see them.

1646 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

2 thoughts on “(1949) Miceli’s Pizzeria, Hollywood

  1. I keep wanting to try Miceli’s, now I will!! Also–the ghost part of every post MAKES MY DAY.


  2. Sadly, Carmen Miceli, the founder of Miceli’s passed away on Oct. 29, 2015. He was a sweet man and had a lot of spunk all the way to the ripe old age of 92. I was lucky enough to know him from Santa Anita Race Track. If your ghost theory holds true, he’s spending time between the restaurants and good ol’ Santa Anita to watch the ponies run and maybe stop the by the First Cabin in Arcadia from time to time for that drink after the races.


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