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NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Whether Whole or by the Slice, Paolo's Pies Are a Pizza Work

May 02, 1991|ROBERT MARSH

Paolo's Pizza is one of those wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurants that remain in business due to two simple factors: word of mouth and excellent food.

Owner Tony Hauser has operated from the same location since 1979, and is usually behind the counter himself. However, if you visit on his day off, you will still be able to see the owner--the walls are covered with autographed photos of Hauser sitting with various Dodger team members.

In this tiny, six-table eatery you'll find what may be Orange County's best pizza. Its plainest version, the simple cheese variety (true test of any pizza), tastes fresh, the rich tomato sauce huddled close in gentle swirls of cheese. One light and tangy mouthful and you feel like you're floating on the pizza's very aroma.

You can buy pizza whole or by the slice. But keep in mind, these slices are huge--two will hang noticeably over the sides of your plate. A large cheese pie is $11.95, with one topping (such as pepperoni, meatball or salami) added for an extra $1.

For those preferring Sicilian pizza, Paolo's offers a wonderful behemoth 14-by-18-inch variety for $15 (additional toppings are $1.25 each).

Paolo's also offers hot pasta dishes and both cold and hot sandwiches. As with their pizza, the sandwiches are large. A "whole" sandwich is 13 inches long, and prices are far less than many franchised specialty sandwich shops.

If you're in the mood for a hot sandwich, try the meatballs with cheese--the meatballs must be a good 3 inches in diameter. If you're more of a cold-sandwich person, try Paolo's Special, made of ham, salami, capicolla, pepperoni and cheese.

And don't be surprised if you find yourself seeing more and more of Hauser.

Paolo's Pizza, 7682 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach. Open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday till 10 p.m. (714) 848-3003 or (714) 848-5882.

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