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Michael J's Pizzeria & Bar

3.9
41 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Vibrant Bar Scene

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About

Michael J's Pizzeria & Bar offers a diverse range of cuisines to patrons in an interior setting painted in shades of russet and a decorated ceiling overhead. Tiny bulbs hang from the roof to create an intimate surrounding, with the large pillars in the dining room decorated with fresh flower arrangements and glasswork. The restaurant has a native Italian culinary team complimented by a beautiful outdoor patio seating arrangement making for a fine experience during warm Los Angeles nights.

Michael J's Pizzeria & Bar is popular for its variety of authentic Italian dips and sauces, with pesto sauce making a nice combination with all pastas. Pesto margarita and salami pizzas are the specials on the menu. Breakfast sandwiches and American burgers are also served at Michael J's Pizzeria & Bar. Guests can also order Bee's butt and walnut martini here.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Pizzeria, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of operation
Closed
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Phone number
(213) 687-8888
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Saul Ayala
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Catering
We have a large catering business that has been in operation for 31 years. This menu features Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisines as well as breakfast and desserts from our in-house bakery.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Cesar Chavez
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Parking details
We have a private lot to the left of our restaurant and there is also meter parking as well as other low cost lots around the area.
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Public transit
Union Station is only about 4 blocks away.
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Gift Card
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 41 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.9
service
3.6
ambience
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on July 1, 2014

I was a little surprised when I made reservations for 643 North and showed up that evening to find the restaurant was now Michael J's Pizzeria and Bar. That said, the menu seems pretty much the same and the food was still very good. We like going here for dinner prior to going to a performance at the Music Center or Disney Hall because the food is good, there's usually virtually no wait, and no problem getting out in time to make the short drive to the site of the performance. Staff is friendly and service is good.

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1.0Dined on May 16, 2014

Terrible service, was not attended to after 10 minutes of being sat down. Didn't have water or a waiter come by to check on us. We walked out and had a great meal somewhere else.

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4.0Dined on May 15, 2014

Too Quiet for such an enjoyable restaurant. I'm not sure why this isn't on the "pre-event" downtown circuit. It has a very nice bar, you get a very friendly greeting upon entering, the smallish dining room is pleasant, the food, from the 643 Special pizza to the beer battered beans were very enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the service was friendly, prompt and excellent. There's on-street parking and a couple of $3 lots close by.

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2014

I was looking for a new funky yet casual spot to have dinner, and boy did this place win! Great food, fantastic staff, creative menu, all around great experience. Definitely coming back.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2014

So glad we tried this place! GREAT FOOD! The Butter Cake is to die for!! We had a nice time. It's small, but that's what we loved about it. Our server was fun and pleasant. We will definitely go back! Also heard they are opening a beer garden.

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4.0Dined on March 23, 2014

Very cute place, and was very happy they had their own private parking lot. Loved my lamb chops, and the scallops, fish and chips, truffle mac and cheese, and burger was delicious. My bro didn't rave about the ossobuco ravioli, and the brussel sprouts were a bit oily. The staff was very friendly, but the service was slow and a little unorganized.

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4.0Dined on March 23, 2014

This is a hidden gem! Really in a random area of china town.

KEY NOTE: IT HAS ITS OWN PARKING FOR THIER CUSTOMERS! FREE PARKING!

Food was good not great:

Mushroom and sausage pizza is great!

Shredded pork was good and sour!

Mini sliders was not so good. dry burger and too much bun.

fries are the thick cut which i like

drinks are good and you can build your own martini!

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4.0Dined on March 14, 2014

This sleek little bistro in an unlikely corner of Chinatown is a new discovery of mine (although it's been open for a while.) We started with drinks in the lively bar with one set of friends, then had dinner with another. Great beers on draft and do it yourself martinis were enjoyed for the drink phase. At dinner the roasted Brussels sprouts were yummy, as were my diver scallops and my friend's lamb chops. Butter cake for dessert was to die. Kind of loud (what isn't these days?) but fun. Free parking in small side lot. When weather gets warm the small outside patio is probably very inviting.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2014

Great little place for a pre concert/theater dinner with excellent food, tasty cocktails and very friendly service. We dined next to an open window that was just as good at being outside on a balmy spring evening. Our waiter, Patrick was extremely helpful and attentive. The Osso bucco ravioli is to die for. Ahi tuna salad was also wonderful.

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2.0Dined on March 8, 2014

When we walked in, we thought oh no! This is just a neighborhood little place with a few tables and a bar.
However, they had a good menu list, with some small plates included and the food was surprisingly very good.
The young waiter knew what he was doing and obviously the chef knew his stuff.

So if someone is looking for very good food with the least amount of ambiance., this is it.
Obviously the price was reasonable also. We had brought our own wine so I can't comment on the wine list.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2014

643 North, located just north of Cesar Chavez Blvd. on a quiet stretch of Spring Street, is a hidden gem, serving some excellent small plates as well as a few full size entrees. We shared a plain Cilantro Cesar salad (no meat), braised pig, braised chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts, and tempura style green beans. Small plates still equal lots of food and we ended up taking portions home for later dining pleasure. Everything ranged from very good to excellent and the $5 house wine during happy hour was passable. It was a good alternative to the usual "before theater" places around downtown.

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2014

I've been staying at a hotel near Union Station for 8-10 years and I have looked and looked for interesting food in the neighborhood. I was delighted to find 643 North. I was fortunate to get in early on a Sunday night and could imagine that it would be different at other times. I was intrigued with the list of cocktails and tried one, adventurer that I am. I also enjoyed the small meal - taking a six hour flight early the next day, I didn't want a big meal. I could see it would be fun to go with a group and share! I am looking forward to going back the next time I need to stay overnight in LA.

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4.0Dined on February 15, 2014

Oz Ramuco, Executive Chef brilliantly and culinarily transformed this small space, stuck-in-the-midst-of-Chinatown, into epicurean delicacies. The roasted Brussels sprouts combined with pancetta & cracked pepper are good but added as a topping on the white pizza are so-good. The pizza also tosses applewood bacon, Creme bechamel, truffle oil, and provolone - it's cheesy but light and it's flavors work well together.

The deconstructed Cilantro Caesar is a structure: Colossal on its plate & a tease, with chicken or blackened shrimp, that arouses expectations of what more is to come from the executive Chef's kitchen. The big plates were
Big Hits.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2014

It was my Valentine dinner and wife wanted to try something different. Food was good but on the heavy side, go perfectly with cocktail and drink. Very friendly service, noisy level is acceptable, but you need to raise your voice a bit. It is combination of bar and restaurant, it is place to chat with your friend and grab something to eat. Overall, enjoy it and look forward next time.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2014

Had a nice meal while in town on V-Day. Restaurant is located in Chinatown, which is an awkward place for it, but the place is easily accessible and inviting. The space is impressive without being overwhelming - industrial, neat and clean. We showed up late for a 6:30pm reservation (love the LA traffic) but had no trouble being seated. Service was a little bit slow but we were not in a hurry. Food was well prepared and tasty. The cilantro caesar salad with chicken was filling and its presentation was unique. Drinks had a little kick. Would definitely recommend this restaurant and visit again if the opportunity presents itself.

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4.0Dined on January 31, 2014

We dined there before going to a performance at the Dorothy Chandler. They were great at getting us in and out in time, even though we were 30 minutes late arriving. This place is on the southwest edge of Chinatown, a bit difficult to find but worth it.

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3.0Dined on January 31, 2014

Went with a group of co-workers for lunch. Food was great but service was slow especially considering that there were not many people in the restaurant that day. Seems like it would be a hip spot to hang out for drinks. Location may throw you for a loop since it's in chinatown.

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2014

It's a SMALL cozy place and feels like being in a bar in the New York!! i like the design...very simple, yet enough for bar and dining. However, I DO NOT like the NOISE LEVEL in there…TOO LOUD

i think the owner and the chef DO LOOK AT YELP so they modified the FOOD PORTION and the taste on its DINELA food. the 3 star reviews for the DINELA dishes helped me NOT to have TOO high of expectation in them…

Lobster Bisque: A-. The bisque is OK but the lobster soup is NICE!

Beet salad: B+

Lamb chops: B+. tender for medium rare, the celery root mash potato is the BEST! OMG, yum YUM!
!
Seared Scallops: B+ Good presentation, but nothing TOO special…

Butter cake: B-.

Chocolate cake: C. Too dry, not much flavor

Red wine: B

White wine: B+

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2.0Dined on January 30, 2014

This place was loud and the service was mediocre. This place would serve better as a bar than a restaurant. It should stick with more traditional bar food like a burgers, appetizers, and etc. and make them gourmet. Items like lamb chops and scallops should not be on their menu. We ordered them from the DineLA menu and the food was bland or over cooked. I would recommend that people save their money and not order from the DineLA menu, but maybe try this place during happy hour.

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5.0Dined on January 29, 2014

The Dine LA lunch selections were really good. I'm going back with friends to try their regular menu items as it looked great!

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4.0Dined on January 25, 2014

We love these new little spots tucked away in seldom-traveled downtown streets. 643 North has great potential. Its a great looking space on a side street with an outside space connected to the bar.

The bartenders are awesome, expertly crafting a perfect Old Fashioned. We had the beet salad (good) , the Caesar salad (excellent, liked the anchovy and the brioche (?) "crouton').

We both had fish & chips. The fish was quality and tasted great. I wonder if the chips (fries) were a little over done- though not overly caramelized - mushy on the inside. They outside "crispy" part of the fries tasted as though they were permeated with the oil.

We'll be back to try something else on the menu...

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3.0Dined on January 23, 2014

I gave a slightly higher rating than I wanted to because my companion thought the meal was better than I did. The menu has lots of options, so perhaps I just picked the wrong ones. The martini was really great, the vegan chopped salad left a lot to be desired (2 pieces of lettuce?). The broccolini with egg was good, but the egg was overcooked. The calamari was crispy and not chewy, but the dipping sauces tasted like ketchup and really flavorless aioli (ie mayo). The butter cake was great and luscious. Service was friendly but slooooooooow.

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4.0Dined on January 23, 2014

The 2-course lunch was very good. The hamburger was terrific and too much food for one person. The braised pig in a bowl was also good--spicy and rich. The Caesar salad tasted great, though I prefer croutons rather than the romaine lettuce leaves wrapped in toasted bread. The Mediterranean Trio had tasty hummus and baba ganoush, but the chips were doughy and not crisp (we used the toasted bread from the salad instead). Very attentive and friendly service. We plan on going back for happy hour as it is conveniently located near public transportation.

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5.0Dined on January 21, 2014

This is a real gem; great food in a cool space with parking. Close to downtown and easy to get to.

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2.0Dined on January 14, 2014

Came here 2 months ago and like it a lot (4 stars). Came here two days ago and had a difference experience (not good). Seemed like a new waiter that had no familiarity with the menus (food or bar). He was nice, and made an effort, but just didn't know anything. It took three drinks to get anything that wasn't overly bitter, and finally settled on a lemon drop martini because that's almost impossible to mess-up. Battered smelt was so-so. Chorizo flatbread wasn't bad. Truly, though, everything was just barely "good". Much, much different than the first time.

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4.0Dined on January 4, 2014

Loved the menu and the food. Build your own martini was great as well. Problem is it won't last six months with those prices. Either make the portions a little bigger or lower the prices. With that location there is no reason why you couldn't do both! I am a professional consultant in the business with over 15 years experience. Good luck and wish you the best.

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4.0Dined on January 4, 2014

Our experience started with a call an hour before our reservation making sure we knew of a road race going on that had some streets blocked. We were told to let the officer know we had reservations, and we'd be let through. Sure enough, that's exactly how things played out!

It was quiet when we arrived, presumably because of the closures, but started to pick up by the time we were leaving.

Service-wise, outstanding. Attentive but not overly so, and great recommendations.

Food-wise, amazing! Regarding the Mediterranean Trio, I would have been happy to have just the dips OR the chips. The fact that they came together was mind-blowing. We also had the Grilled Asparagus (not bad), Braised Tinga (yum) and the Butter Cake for desert (whoa).

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2013

My husband and I decided at the last minute to go to dinner for NYE. Reservations were made easily online, excellent bartender, ambience was just enough energy, and the food is unique, yet familiar. Can't wait to return and try other menu items.

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1.0Dined on December 31, 2013

I cannot stand restaurants who do not respect the term "reservation." They relied upon the excuse "we're really busy." Yeah? It's New Year's Eve--did you not expect to be busy? Then service was poor/slow because they were understaffed. It's New Year's Eve. Did you not expect there would be customers?

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2013

Found this gem thanks to Open Table! Came here for an early dinner on New Years Eve. Food was great and service was outstanding. Also, looks like they have a fun happy hour menu. Will definitely come here again!!

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4.0Dined on December 21, 2013

We usually eat at LA live when we come up to Los Angeles for a game. We chose to try this little spot and were not disappointed. Having the private parking is a nice feature. We will definitely go back. We also appreciated having several vegetarian dishes to choose from.

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5.0Dined on December 20, 2013

It was our first time at 643 North, and it was a super experience. We had several of the small plates and each was prepared perfectly and was delicious. We had a second round of the mushrooms small plate - we ate the first round so fast! If you're downtown or have a layover at Union Station, definitely try 643 North (just a short walk from Union Station).

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3.0Dined on December 7, 2013

Went with a group of friends to this little joint in Chinatown. The food and cocktails were all really good. It's in a very strange location--hopefully they're a frontrunner to revitalizing a neighborhood. The service was great.

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2.0Dined on December 4, 2013

As a relatively new gastro pub, this place needs work. The food was very good and tasty. However, the focus of this place is definitely on the bar area as service is abysmal for lunch. Even with only a few tables, the server took a long time to take our order and then never checked on us except to bring us more water. Then we had to flag down the server again to ask to pay the bill. Lunch too much longer than it should have and the lack of attentiveness totally overshadowed the quality/taste of the food.

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4.0Dined on November 22, 2013

What a fun place to go - right on the West-end of Chinatown. Clean & modern, with an up-scale feel/look. Food was excellent, as was the service. Very small place so reservation is a must. Even a privateparking lot - which is rare over there. The ambience may not be good for a first-date, or romantic experience, however, because the noise level is very, very high. It's a small room with hard wall-coverings so the sounds are amplified, making intimate conversations impossible. This is a place better suited for friends and co-workers, where you want a lively vibe and don't mind shouting to be heard.

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4.0Dined on October 29, 2013

A spare and modern interior welcomed us as we entered 643 North. It was a sparse crowd with a few people seated at the bar on the left and a few more occupying restaurant booths. There is an adequate but not extensive selection of wines to compliment everything on the menu. The presentation of the Cesar Salad, as well as the taste, was excellent, as were the green and white asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. Both the pear and gorgonzola pizza and the fennel sausage and mushroom pizza had deliciously thin crusts and were large enough for two. Service was polite, helpful and prompt, assuring we will be back for more.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2013

Great little restaurant in chinatown. I think chinatown is next foodie scene with chego and starry kitchen. What's next.

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4.0Dined on October 8, 2013

Food is a little pricey but very good none-the-less. Drink are amazing, so if, for no other reason, stop by for a drink and socialize.

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5.0Dined on September 29, 2013

I was so impressed with Chef Oz and would say this is one of the best restaurants that I have been to in LA. The menu was creative with generous portions and I enjoyed the "Create your own martini." I will continue to go back and eventually try everything on the menu I had the ahi and goat cheese salad and my son had the grass fed hamburger and fries. Dessert disappeared but was a flourless chocolate cake and the coffee was from a local roaster. A WOW place worth a try.

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4.0Dined on September 29, 2013

The place has a very hip and stylish ambiance; very open and sleek decor. Service is very friendly and prompt w/o being obtrusive. Most of the cuisine was terrific, including seared ahi tuna, salad, cream of asparagus soup, and the most incredible warm butter cake ever! However, my friends trout almondine entree was nearly inedible...very dry and desiccated. That had to be a fluke because everything else was terrific.

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