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MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Opens in Sherman Oaks, California

MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Opens in Sherman Oaks, California


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Paying homage to traditional Neapolitan-style pizza, the new MidiCi is serving personalized pizzas with fresh toppings in Sherman Oaks.

Many topping ingredients are imported from Italy including organic olive oil, prosciutto, and canned tomatoes, and pizzas are cooked to perfection in a traditional handmade, wood-fired brick oven brought over from Naples.

Diners can watch their pizza being assembled in the open kitchen housed in a large, airy space under a live, 21-foot olive tree. Standout specialty pizzas include the Devil’s Pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella, spicy sausage, Italian salami, Fresno chiles, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; the truffle pizza with truffle cream, mozzarella, mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and fresh basil; and the Pizza Bianco with mozzarella, oregano, garlic, baby arugula, and prosciutto di Parma.

MidiCi also offers a wide variety of salads including a purple kale, spinach, and date salad; a romaine, rock shrimp, arugula, Italian tuna, and avocado Pantelleria salad; and a caprese salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and pesto.

A nice assortment of appetizers, including wood-fired roasted vegetable tapas, marinated olives and house meat, and cheese boards, are also available, along with a selection of fresh artisan burrata paired with kale, artichokes, prosciutto, and beets. Desserts include a huge nutella calzone with berries and bananas, an affogato with espresso and ice cream, and an assortment of Italian gelatos and sorbets.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Restaurant review: At MidiCi in Sherman Oaks, passions include pizza and people

There sure is a lot to read at MidiCi, the wildly successful Neapolitan pizzeria on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Two of the eight pages in the menu are dedicated to long essays about the purpose, meaning and intention of the restaurant, its staff and its food.

The first of the essays has this headline: “People. That’s Our Passion.” And what follows is as much a pep talk about the importance of making connections, new friends, even lifelong companions.

The essay begins: “They move us, shape us, excite us and inspire us. We believe people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

The last page of the menu is headed, “The Original. Pizza with a Capital N.” It goes on to offer a history of Neapolitan pizza and to declare the purity and authenticity of the pies served here.

The reading matter is repeated on the shirts of the servers and on the takeout pizza boxes. (“We Bring Friends Together … When Shared With A Friend, A Minute Becomes a Moment, And That Moment Becomes A Happy Memory”).

I kept expecting the staff to lead the diners in inspiring songs and to march around the dining room shaking hands and offering hugs.

You may find yourself reading quite a bit of the menu as you wait for a place to sit at one of the communal tables or the long counter, in between watching pizzas go into and come out of the bee hive-shaped ovens in a matter of seconds.

The efficiency of the service here is nothing short of dazzling. The servers are happy and friendly as the slogans suggest. Strangers do, indeed, chat with each other.

(I had a nice talk about craft beers with an Aussie sitting next to me, though his supermodel wannabe girlfriend seemed bored.)

And the menu sure is big — and sadly, just a tad disappointing.

With all that life-affirming, good-will-win-out-over-evil enthusiasm in the air, saying anything that’s less than positive about MidiCi feels like kicking a puppy.

My problem is that I just don’t like the crust. Now, for those of us who are pizza obsessed, the crust isn’t just a big thing — it can be pretty much everything.

Yes, the sauce and the cheese and the toppings are of vital importance. But if that crust isn’t just right, the whole delicate of mozzarella cards falls into disarray.

Much is made on the menu and the box of the excellent provenance of the crust. We’re told: “Our dough is only four fine ingredients: Non-GMO double zero Neapolitan flour, water, salt and yeast.” Which sounds wonderful, even holy.

And yet, what emerges from the pizza ovens is strangely … puffy. This is not a solid, yeoman crust — the sort I’ve eaten in, yes, Naples.

It’s a softer, almost fluffy crusty. Lift a slice to your lips, and it sags, as if it’s weary. And it’s not with the weight of its toppings: The classic Margherita Pizza seems rather spare of 𠇌rushed Italian peeled” tomatoes, 𠇏resh whole” mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 𠇏resh organic sweet” basil and “organic non-GMO extra virgin” olive oil. (And yes, they do love their adjectives and modifiers here.)

Clearly, I’m a minority report. The restaurant is packed with happy people (or should I say, “people”) working on any of four 𠇌lassic Neapolitan Pizzas” and 13 “Specialty Pizzas.”

Most of the menu items are in English, with a parenthetical Italian translation. Thus “Specialty Pizza” is also “Pizza Speciale.”

There are a dozen or so salads, and some 10 appetizers, including a meatball dish with ingredients that take four lines to describe, which results in just two small meatballs in tomato sauce, with some crusts of bread on the side. (There’s a truffle cheese bread that takes six lines to describe. This is as much a cookbook as it is a restaurant.)

MidiCi feels very much like a concept ready to expand. And no doubt it will, and no doubt it will be packed with affable folks, who go for a companionable evening.

I liked being there. I liked the place. I liked the servers.

But I do wish the pizza moved me more than it does. And I also — and this may seem a bit minor — wish they had a big screen showing the games of the moment. Sitting at the counter, watching the pizzaiolos make their pies, is interesting for only so long.

I know — the point is to socialize. But socializing over the big game is also fun.


Watch the video: Midici Neapolitan Pizza