Thereâ€™s nothing quite like the wafting warm smell of fresh pizza cooking in a fiery hot pizza oven. Surround that experience with a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant thatâ€™s a local tradition, and the comfort, taste and enjoyment gets even better. Thatâ€™s what you get served, every time, at Domenicoâ€™s on Washington in North Pasadena.
â€œIt’s still personalized service. If you come here, you get what you want,â€ says Domenicoâ€™s owner Don Bitonti Sr. â€œAnd the variety of things that we have nobody else has to offer. Plus itâ€™s all family. It’s been family since 1960. But I think the personalized service, where you still when you get a pizza you say thin crust, light cheese, light sauce, made crispy, you get it that way here,â€
Domenicoâ€™s is fast and family friendly, and will cater to customersâ€™ wishes.
â€And that’s why the people come back,â€ Don Bitonti Sr., added. And the restaurant keeps a tab of these customers so when they call, Domenicoâ€™s already know their order.
Their personalized service is so much different from fast food and other pizza places where you come and get ready-made, off the oven pizza.
According to Don Jr., walk in customers from New York who are used to eating Royâ€™s New York Pizza swear Domenicoâ€™s pizza was the best they ever tasted.
â€œIt’s going to go back to the authentic, [on] how you should get a meal. [You] go to these chain restaurants where [they operate like] a machine just pumping out the stuff,â€ Don Jr. explains.
Looking at the future, Domenicoâ€™s believed it should adapt to the changing times and use available technologies to keep ahead against its competitors. But one thing that will not change is its personalized service.
Don Bitonti Jr., said, â€œI want to keep it the way it is ran,â€ adding that they just finished renovating the outside of the restaurant and changed its color and the look. But other than the cosmetics, Don Bitonti Jr., believed that those are the only items that needs to be updated with Domenicoâ€™s.
â€œThat is what got us to where we are right now, and I think that’s what is going to keep us where we’re at,â€ he added referring to their famous personalized care to their customers.
Family tradition and history
Domenicoâ€™s is really a family-run business. It was started by Don Bitonti Sr.â€™s father in the 1960s assisted by their mother. Later on, Don Bitonti Sr.â€™s, five brothers joined in. And then uncles and aunts were also part of the business.
And as the business boomed, so is the number of its restaurants.
However, the later generation of the Bitontis have other interests and pursued other careers. Although Don Bitonti Sr., wanted the whole family to continue working for the restaurant, he admitted he could not force anybody to work and stay at Domenicoâ€™s if they wanted to establish a career outside of the restaurant.
Fortunately for Bitonti Sr., his son Jr., and two daughters Jenna and Tara are helping him with the business.
When Domenicoâ€™s started its business, its menu was limited to just pizzas and spaghetti. Back in the day, Don Bitonti Sr.â€™s mother would make homemade Italian olives and potato salads. But when he got involved in the business, he saw the need to expand the menu.
Now, Domenicoâ€™s serve Veal Picatta, Veal Marsala, Chicken Marsala, Chicken Picatta, Halibut, and scallops. They have a ton of pizza selections, lunch and dinner entrees.
The restaurant also offers a variety of menu for its catering service.
Consistency is the name of the game
But what really makes Domenicoâ€™s customers loyal this past five decades? Don Bitonti Sr., said it is because of the consistency of their food â€˜s flavors and taste.
â€œOur kitchen staffs and chefs, almost all of them have been with us a minimum of thirty years. I donâ€™t go to a place where the food taste different every time. That means thereâ€™s a different cook back there every time. Consistency is the name of the game in the restaurant business,â€ Don Bitonti Sr., said.
Domenicos is located at 2411 East Washington Boulevard, near the intersection of Altadena Drive. For more, call (626) 797-6459 or visit http://www.originaldomenicos.com/.