Compari’s Italian Restaurant

Compari’s Italian Restaurant

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    I have been wolfing down Compari’s food for the past 35 years, and the food hasn’t changed one iota in all that time, nor has the décor. Come inside and you’re greeted by a romantically dim atmosphere (some might go as far as calling it gloomy; it is rather dark, but that’s not to hide revolting-looking food), a very narrow dining room overhung by a wooden trellis adorned with either very long-lived or plastic grapes, decorative (and dim) hanging lamps and Chianti bottles. Amazing and tantalizing aromas fill the entire restaurant, and you won’t find friendlier waiters anywhere.


     This time we had the lasagna (standard fare, and while it may not be quite as excellent as that made by your favorite aunt, it’s truly delicious) and the Italian sausage sub sandwich. My sandwich overflowed with mozzarella and fabulous homemade sauce, smothering two perfectly cooked sausages, all inside a French roll that was moist and delicious inside and mildly crispy outside. Salads preceded the meal, and while they were somewhat small, they were also very tasty and fresh. And you’d be a fool not to try the garlic bread they serve beside every meal. I have also tried their pizza and the fettuccine Alfredo, both of which were terrific. In fact, I can’t complain about anything I have been served in the past 35 years.


     While we didn’t order it this time, you can’t go wrong with Compari’s pizza, which is what they are locally known for most, as they make regular deliveries. The lasagna lunch my wife had this time—with salad, garlic bread and your choice of beverage (including beer or house wine)—cost $8, and so did my enormous sandwich, of which I only ate half and was stuffed (part two of the sandwich I look forward to for dinner). We loved the meal so much, not to mention the price, that we were compelled to tip more than the usual 20 percent we leave when both the food and service are good.


     On other occasions, I have had the spaghetti, which is good but kind of pedestrian compared to some of the other dishes, such as the ravioli, which is particularly delicious with the pink sauce. Try the lobster ravioli; you won’t be disappointed.


     One of the few drawbacks is that the small dining room lies right beside the kitchen, and if the restaurant has air conditioning, they are hesitant to use it, or use it enough. The solution: dine outside! You will be too near Centinela Boulevard, but that isn‘t a major thoroughfare, so it’s not as bad as eating on the breakdown lane of the 405 Freeway. Wherever you sit, you’ll be treated to superb service from knowledgeable and very friendly waiters.

    Despite the lousy location and nearly nonexistent parking lot (it can accommodate only about four cars during the daytime), Compari’s has managed to stay in business and maintain its high quality and affordability for over 52 years: no small accomplishment for a Los Angeles restaurant.


    Compari’s Trattoria Pizzeria

    5490 Centinela Avenue
    Westchester, CA 90045

    (310) 670-8122

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