Michael's Challenges U.S. Pizza Makers to Cook-Off

By Lesley Balla  |  October 11, 2013
Credit: Michael's Pizzeria

Michael Dene is very proud of his pizza at Michael's Pizzeria in Long Beach. Not only is the margherita pizza classified as D.O.P., meaning the dough is made from special Italian flour, San Marzano tomatoes make the sauce, and the mozzarella cheese is made on the premises daily, but he uses tomatoes and herbs from the rooftop garden at Michael's on Naples, and makes other ingredients, like sausage, in-house. This alone makes great pizza. So it's no surprise that for the second year in a row it topped the Los Angeles Restaurants Survey for best pizza around LA, giving it dibs as one of the best pies in the country, along with popular spots in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

It was also listed among Zagat's top-rated pizza joints across the U.S. Check out the full list here, which spans the #1 pizzeries in 15 different cities, although it doesn't anoint any particular pizzeria as the front-runner.

Thing is: when the news was released last week, pizza lovers across the land were up in arms over the news - how could California pizza challenge New York? Outrage! - so Dene is calling all top pizzerias around the country to a cook-off.

"Apparently radio stations in New York City are scoffing at the fact that L.A. is home to one of the top pizzerias in the country,” he says in a release. “New Yorkers claim that they have the best pizza, yet only one pizzeria from New York City made Zagat’s list. I say let’s go dough to dough with Lucali to see who really has the best pie. And those who made the list from Boston, Chicago, Philly, and everywhere else can join in, too.” Imagine an event with the best pizzas from around the U.S. all in one place. Sign us up.