Pizzana Chef Daniele Uditi Admits This Food Critic Made Him Cry - Exclusive

Daniele Uditi is the embodiment of the American dream. He came to Los Angeles from Italy with little money in his pocket and the hope of working his way up to become a successful chef. While discussing his new series "Best in Dough," Uditi told us in an exclusive interview that as he was trying to make it in the food world, he struggled with housing, having to live out of his car for months. "Honestly, I don't want to remember with a sad eye," he said. "It's an experience, and it fortified [me]. I [was] alone in a new country, not speaking the language. I had to figure out how to start everything from scratch."

The Italian cook explained that he slowly made money selling his pizza as a street vendor and was later able to get a position at a restaurant, where his life would change forever. Actor Chris O'Donnell came in and tried his tomato pies and would later be so impressed by the talented chef that they'd go into business together and create the popular restaurant Pizzana. The eatery features the freshest ingredients that Uditi can find and even features special tomatoes that he said are grown in Naples, but with great success also comes judgment from customers and food critics that want to weigh in.

Notoriously tough food writer gives Pizzana a surprising review

Los Angeles arguably has some of the best cuisines in the world, so it's not necessarily easy to stand out, especially to a prominent food critic that's lived in the city for decades. However, that's just what happened when the late Los Angeles Times food writer Jonathan Gold dropped in to try some items on Uditi's menu, not just once, but multiple times. "He came three or four times, and it was like a hug to my heart, because it wasn't a critique — it was a love letter," he explained. "If you read the review, it's very romantic. It was shocking to me."

Since English isn't his first language, Uditi said he had someone read him the article and they both couldn't believe the glowing review that Gold gave Pizzana. "We both hug each other and start to cry," he admitted. "We didn't even have the time to understand the feeling that we went through because after the Jonathan Gold review, the restaurant had a huge line out of the door of people that wanted to try. If Pizzana is successful, I owe it to Jonathan Gold as well."

You can watch episodes of "Best in Dough," now streaming on Hulu.