Restaurant of the Week: Fratello’s Pizza and Pasta

Fratello’s, 1667 N. Mountain Ave. (at 16th), Upland

There aren’t many places to eat above 16th Street in Upland, which is probably how privacy-lovin’ homeowners up there like it. One of the few exceptions is Fratello’s, which is in the Stater Bros. center along with Rancho Los Magueyes, Happy Wok, Legends and the Bulldog Pub.

I first visited Fratello’s last week. It’s on the small side, just a few tables, a bar and an open kitchen, but the ambience is pleasant enough: golden paint, dark wood, comfortable seating and vintage wine posters. The insistent music may be a bit much.

I tried one of the $5.99 lunch specials: a cheese pizza slice, salad and soda. The salad was above average, aided by the vinaigrette dressing. The pizza was quite good. The crust was uncommonly light and chewy. Based on this slice, Fratello’s is now my second-favorite pizza in Upland (although I still need to try Petrilli’s).

On Thursday I went back for the pasta lunch special (also $5.99): a half-order of either spaghetti or penne, meat sauce or marinara, and a soda. I went for the penne with meat. Pasta is pasta, and hard to mess up, but the sauce was hearty.

So were the ’70s rock classics playing over the sound system: “Blinded By the Light,” “Rocket Man” and “Brown Sugar,” among others. Until the next table asked that the volume be turned down.

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