By Brad A. Johnson: Restaurant Critic:

I’ve been sitting at the bar for more than an hour, patiently waiting to be seated at a table in the dining room.

“I’m sorry it’s taking so long,” the hostess says. “The problem is that we’ve run out of menus.”

It’s a busy Saturday night at Michael’s on Naples. The fancy Italian restaurant is packed. The dining room oozes with glamour. Customers are dressed for a night on the town. An impressive art collection sparkles beneath perfectly aimed spotlights. Classic alt-rock plays softly in the background, giving way to the pop of Champagne corks and the repetitive staccato of cocktail shakers.

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General Manager Massimo Aronne, left, looks on as Executive Chef de Cuisine Eric Samaniego (formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana) carves a duck table side at Michael's On Naples in Long Beach. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)

General Manager Massimo Aronne, left, looks on as Executive Chef de Cuisine Eric Samaniego (formerly of Little Sparrow in Santa Ana) carves a duck table side at Michael’s On Naples in Long Beach. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)