The Press in Claremont
- Richard Foss
Has anybody been to this place? I have heard that it has live jazz and good food, if true a combination rare enough to be worth the drve.
I'm answering my own question on this one... I was in the area last night, and can report that this is one of the best dining venues with entertainment that I have found in Southern California. The food was excellent - we started with potato taquitos with good guacamole and a plate of fries - not average fries, but a mix of yuca, potato, and sweet potato. The entrees we picked were a vegetable stir-fry with a sesame-garlic sauce and a pasta dish with mixed sauteed mushrooms. (We're dining vegetarian for a while, but meat dishes are available and looked delicious.) Wine list was not huge but well selected, with a good by-the-glass selection. The room is architecturally interesting, an oddly divided space with paintings and sculpture scattered around. A good pianist played jazz standards and improvised around, and a good time was had by all. Darn, I wish this place was closer so I could go there more often!
Location is 129 Harvard Avenue, Claremont. Phone is 909-625-4808. Freeway exit is Indian Hill. Note- this is the Claremont by Pomona, not the one near San Diego.
I don't recall there being live jazz the last time I was there, but that was over a year ago. As for the food, I went there on recommendations from friends but when I went, I was very unimpressed with my meal. Perhaps I didn't order the right thing - I had the Middle Eastern special that night (truthfully, I can't even recall what this was, I just remember that it was a sampler dish) and from what others told me later, their vegetarian dishes are their standouts. I never went back to test their recommendations.
Sorry my posting is a bit vague but from my first impressions, the restaurant wasn't worth going back a second time.
I've been there for lunch once, and while the fries plate was a nice surprise, thanks to its mix of other potato-type vegetables, little else was a taste explosion.
If in the Claremont village, try Tutti Mangia or even this one Mediterranean/Middle Eastern place, whose name escapes me at the moment, but serves your usual falafel and shawarma plates for a good price. Don't pass up the baked goods from Some Crust Bakery, either!