Milana’s is Downtown’s New York-style pizza staple—actually, they’re Long Beach‘s New York-style pizza staple. And one thing that has always stuck with me is something owner Adriel Fasci told me years ago when they first opened: “Y’know, if a plain cheese slice can’t hold up on its own, then it isn’t good pizza. Period.”
Forthright with a thick East Coast, Italian accent and an affable personality, Fasci and his familia has built a reputation by making pizza in Long Beach exactly a decade—and making his relatives proud ever since his parents emigrated from Palermo, Sicily to the Big Apple, specifically Brooklyn. Everything inside Milana’s screams New York. The subway signs, the Yankees’ paraphernalia, the mobster movie photos and, especially, the pizza.
Pizza is very serious business to Fasci—so serious that today only, he will be offering $10, 18-inch cheese pies from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m for pick-up, dine-in, or take-out (not delivery).
And for history’s sake, not being able to get a slice of pie up to his strict standards was the driving force behind him opening Milana’s. Equal proportions of handmade crust, cheese and sauce, all baked in a 700-degree woodfire oven until it’s crispy enough to stand on its own or be folded in half for consumption. The cheese? Freshly grated mozzarella. The marinara has been simmering for six hours before it ever touches a crust. Pizza the New York way.
The pizza spectrum at Milana’s spans from the traditional margherita–a delicate blend of cheese, fresh basil and diced Northern California tomatoes–to the more adventurous Hell’s Kitchen, served with sunny-side up eggs on top. Want to test your own pie-ology skills? Milana’s offers more than 30 toppings including chorizo, bleu cheese and hot dogs.
Just don’t ask for a fork and a knife—you can leave that to the fancy folks over at Michael’s (whom I salute for their dedication to the Neapolitan-style pizza).
And just be aware, art takes time, so an element of patience is required, since the food at Milana’s is made from scratch daily—especially given their special today.
Milana’s New York Pizzeria is located at 165 E. Fourth St.
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