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Crispy crust becomes quest for D’Amore’s Famous Pizza

It’s something in the water, and that’s why D’Amore’s Famous Pizza imports its own all the way from Italy.

The restaurant opened its doors just more than two months ago at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort, offering what owner Joseph D’Amore describes as “authentic, East Coast, thin crust pizza” with “tons of flavor.”

D’Amore’s father, Joe, opened the family’s first D’Amore restaurant in Canoga Park, Calif., in 1987, offering pies made according to authentic family recipes.

According to D’Amore, when the pizza crusts his father made in California weren’t as crispy as the crusts made back home in Boston, his dad’s grandmother suspected that West Coast water might be at fault.

“My father’s best friend flew 10 jugs of water on the plane and — boom — crispy crust,” D’Amore says.

“Now, we’ve stepped the game up a little bit,” D’Amore continues. “My father went to Italy two years ago and got a little jealous. He thought the pizzas were better there because they had a crispier crust.”

The upshot: D’Amore’s now ships its water, as well as a special flour, from Italy to create its pies.

Such touches — and others, including making sauce only from the July crop of tomatoes from Modesto, Calif., which, D’Amore explains, “are naturally the sweetest” — help to make pies that not only are tastier, D’Amore says, but are lower in carbs, fat and calories than pizza chains’ offerings.

“It’s a big slice,” he adds. “We make a 20-inch pie and cut it into eight slices, so when you come in you get a lot of bang for your buck.”

D’Amore’s Famous Pizza offers pizza by the slice or by the pie. Slices are $4.35 each and $24.95 for a 20-inch cheese pie, while D’Amore’s roster of specialty pizzas run $4.95 a slice or $29.95 a pie.

The restaurant seats about 70 and features such homey touches as D’Amore family photographs. Reservations aren’t required, “but if you have a large party and want us to save you a section, we will,” D’Amore says.

D’Amore’s Famous Pizza at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South, is open from 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Pizza: The signature Pizza Bianco (sauteed spinach and onion, roasted peppers, ricotta and Romano and mozzarella cheeses), $29.95 a pie and $4.95 a slice; Meat Lovers Special (pepperoni, sausage, meatball, Canadian bacon and salami), $29.95 a pie and 4.95 a slice; cheese pizza, $24.95 a pie and $4.35 a slice

Entrees: eggplant involtini (baked eggplant stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and angel hair pasta), $9.95; five-layer meat lasagna, $10.95; baked ziti with sausage, $10.95; pepperoni or sausage stromboli, $8.95

Salads: Italian meatless salad (mixed greens, mozzarella, tomatoes, garbanzo and kidney beans, pepperoncini and olives), $9.95

Information: 778-0300

By JOHN PRZYBYS

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