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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Valley of the Jolly Good Restaurants

March 13, 1987|RUTH REICHL

What's going on in the Valley? At this rate, people who live here will have to stop complaining about the lack of good restaurants--and people who don't will be forced to venture onto the Ventura Freeway. For no sooner does the fine Fresco debut in Glendale than La Scala Presto Trattoria is throwing open its doors in Toluca Lake (3821 Riverside Drive, (818) 846-6800).

La Scala Presto Trattoria has been a roaring success in Brentwood and Redondo Beach. And no wonder. The food in these casual offshoots of the classy Beverly Hills restaurant is well made with good ingredients. There are real clams in the linguine with clam sauce (an occasional special), good crusts on the pizza (I especially like the Pizza Presto, made with basil and roasted peppers). Salads are swell. Prices are moderate. The wine list is not only well priced, but well chosen.

But although the restaurants all have the same menu and the same design, the new Toluca Lake version has something extra: some of the most pleasant service I have ever experienced.

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