Stepping into Lanza’s Restaurant is like taking a step back in time to 1970s Lake Tahoe. The slightly kitschy dining room has a lodge feel with wooden booths, red and white checked tablecloths and vintage fixtures. The menu features build-your-own pasta dishes in which you select the type of pasta, the sauce and toppings. You can also choose from one of several chicken or veal dinners or specialties like stuffed lumaconi — jumbo pasta shells filled with beef, spinach and cheese. Their Sicilian-style, thick-crust pizzas come stacked with big portions of rough-cut toppings. The servings are large, and the prices are reasonable. The bar is funky and fun, decorated with segments of a mid-'50s Cadillac — the full dashboard mounted above the bar and the front and back ends fixed to the rear wall. There’s usually 1950s rock and roll playing and a few TVs showing sports. You’ll find creative cocktails at the bar, great mid-range wines by the glass and tasty appetizers. Lanza’s is open daily for dinner. They don’t take reservations and parking is limited, so get there early.
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