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dinner with a famous foodie- claremont recs needed

Help! I'm meeting an aunt who I haven't seen in years for dinner in Claremont next month, and I need a really good place to eat. Why, apart from my endless quest for good food like all my fellow chowhounds? Because my aunt is a well known food writer and chef, and I don't want to pick a bad restaurant and be embarassed. It can be an ethnic dive or an upscale restaurant. Let me know where YOU would take her.

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  1. Bert 'n Rocky's Ice Cream for dessert!

    1. Falafel at Saca's in The Claremont Village is exceptional, but not appropriate for dinner. If you get a chance, go for lunch. Pair it with a trip to The Claremont Juice Co, which has great combinations of juices and smoothies.

      Yianni's Greek is my favorite in The Village. The avoglemono soup is very good, as are the braised lamb shanks.

      Tutti Mangia has, IMO, the best Italian in The Village but is certainly nothing exceptional as far as Italian food in general.

      We used to drive down to Pomona for pho.

      None of these places are probably the best of ___ in LA County, but pretty good for Claremont. One of the few things Claremont has that no other place in LA has is Some Crust Bakery. Amazing croissants and cookies, and the chocolate cake is to die for (if you have the appetite of 10-12).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        ah yes, i often crave that falafel from Saca's. but you're right, not suitable for dinner.

        1. re: Pei

          For Italian in the village, what about La Piccoletta? I always thought that was a good back-to-basics Italian restaurant.
          http://www.lapiccoletta.com/

          1. re: ironykettle

            you know, this was actually my first instinct as well. but i haven't been in a couple of years so i'm glad to hear it's still good.

        2. Here's an FYI to your SOS.

          Translation - I haven't persoanlly been, but I've seen it recommended before. If you've got time, try it out yourself first.

          http://www.viva-madrid.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: JBC

            That's the name! Viva Madrid is a lot of fun, and the food is fine. Actually, I think it's pretty good tapas for LA regardless of location. I've had better tapas in other cities, but not in LA.

          2. take a drive to west l.a., and go to orris on sawtelle

            1 Reply
            1. re: budlit

              Or take a closer drive to SGV for some fabulous Chinese food. China Islamic or Chung King or Meilong Village or ...?

            2. Walter's on Yale Ave. in Claremont Village.