Sometimes you need a little entertainment with your dinner – and we don’t mean your 2 year-old dumping macaroni on their head when they turn their bowl into a hat. We have the perfect spot for food that will get devoured, singing waiters straight from Broadway and an atmosphere that will make you think you’ve magically been transported to Little Italy.
This is the kind of Italian comfort food that appeals directly to still-forming palates: spaghetti and meatballs in a sweet red sauce, pizza kept warm over candles, and the rolls, oh, the rolls! Kids eating here have been known to fill up on baskets of the doughy, warm rolls before orders are even placed. Yep, this place knows kids, and understands that you don’t want to have to pull out the bags of cheerios to keep them quiet till the food comes; milk or lemonade arrives in no-spill plastic cups and baskets of hot rolls and butter appear like magic while you wait for your entrees.
Chianti bottles hang from a ceiling strung with twinkly lights (if you order a straw basket bottomed bottle of vino for yourself, you or your artistic little ones can leave your mark on it with a sharpie and it too will dangle from the ceiling) and checked red and white cloths cover the tables. But the highlight of the evening is the singing waiters and waitresses that take turns belting out songs that run the gamut from arias to showtunes (including all the Disney classics). They take requests, and there is always at least one ingénue in the house with Disney classics in her repertoire, happy to sing directly to your little princess.
In addition to being the perfect place for kids, it’s a good spot to entertain out of town guests. More than one mother-in-law has swooned after being the recipient of a serenade from a handsome waiter with a booming voice.
You say it’s your birthday?
It’s the perfect place to celebrate a birthday, because you know the waitstaff can carry a tune when they bring you a dish of spumoni with a candle in it and sing to you on your special day.
What to Order
Come with your expectations correctly set: this isn’t the upscale northern Italian cuisine of Angelini Osteria or Mozza. While your kids may love the sweet sauces, most grownups have slightly different tastebuds. Menu standouts for grown folk include the chicken Marsala, the house salad that has plenty of garbanzo beans and olives to give it a kick, and if you’re feeling old school & hungry do indulge in one of the parmigiana selections (vegetable, eggplant, veal or chicken) that’s dripping with gooey cheese.
Universal Citywalk is just across the street, so if you need the bright lights, movies, bowling, shopping, arcades and fun, have an early dinner and head over. Or if you’ve spent a long day at Universal Studios, this is a perfect spot to get away from crowds, sit back and be entertained.
There are two Miceli’s… the one on Cahuenga (at 3655 Cahuenga Blvd W.) is the one you want. The restaurant opens at 11:30 am for lunch and stays open through dinner, but don’t get here too early as the singing doesn’t start until 6:00 pm. Valet parking is free in the attached lot.
Any tips to add for a fun family outing to Miceli’s? Leave us a comment below!
— Meghan Rose
All images courtesy of Miceli’s Restaurant.