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NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Hold the Phone, Luparello's Delivers Pizza the Way You Want It

February 21, 1991|APRIL JACKSON

Thick tomato slices and extra cheese, that was all I wanted. OK, so maybe I wanted extra sauce, too. Was this asking too much? Oh, yeah, and deliver that to . . .

I don't like an array of meats and olives, bell peppers and prepackaged fast pizza toppings slopping all over a 12-inch round of frozen dough. And leave out the double pans, glossy newspaper coupons and inane commercial antics of cartoon mascots. Just give me a few slices of pizza without all the hype.

Hello, Operator? Get me Luparello's in Fountain Valley.

Walk into this eight-booth, storefront pizzeria (assuming you decide to forgo the free delivery) and the first thing to hit you is the deep, savory smell of a gutsy tomato sauce. As you wedge in through the doorway, passing neighborhood kids perfecting their computerized kung fu kicks, the noise of the restaurant falls into recognizable forms. Phones ring with delivery and takeout orders, family chatter drones through the room and, in the background, a mega-screen television rattles with whatever bang-up sport happens to be on. For those devoted to Luparello's, this isn't just life, this is lifestyle. The pizza joint has been providing Saturday night's staple to area families for the past decade. In this competitive section of the restaurant industry, such devotion is earned.

Luparello's provides the definitive pizza-eating experience. Every bite offers a challenge to keep cheese, sauce and toppings from sliding off a chewy dough. And, after each slice, it takes three picnic-size napkins to wipe the sauce-drenched scraps of pepperoni, meatball slices or fennel seed-infused sausage off your chin.

For non-pizza lovers, Luparello's throws together thick sub sandwiches drenched in Italian dressing, and their meatball sandwich with pepperocini peppers will make your taste buds absolutely drunk with pleasure. Plus, there are plenty of pastas to please, including a thick, cheesy ravioli, spaghetti and mostaccioli.

Luparello's Pizza, 9037 Garfield Ave., Fountain Valley. (714) 964-1610. Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m; Saturday and Sunday till 10 p.m.

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