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Need help with June college visits

My husband and I will be bringing our 17 year old daughter out to Southern California to visit colleges and will be staying near the Ontario airport. We will have a car and plenty of time on our hands so if need be could travel a bit for meals. One day will be spent near USC and the other near the Claremont colleges. Looking for breakfasts that are good and not too pricey near the hotel (or on the way to the other locations) and dinners that are mid-range priced near the hotel and the colleges. My daughter isn't too crazy about very spicy food, my husband likes spicy food and I'll eat almost anything. Would particularly love to find good Chinese food for a meal since we all like that and the pickings here are slim. Any suggestions would be welcome. I understand from a search of the boards that the choices may not be great but as long as the food is fresh and tasty, we'll probably enjoy it.

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  1. Paul's Kitchen downtown... relatively close to USC.... has amazing chinese food. Their It is a hole in the wall, and the waiters speak english, but start the conversation in Spanish. their Chinese chicken salad is to die for and their Egg foo tong is amazing. As for a cheap eat near USC.. chanos Mexican right by USC on Figaroa and 29th has amazing pastrami nauchos and great taquitos. They have amazing breakfast tacos too...

    Please note both places are hole0in -the-walls with great food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: utjackie

      Chanos is certainly an institution when it comes to hole in the wall Mexican food right by USC. Paul's Kitchen is one of L.A.'s last old style Cantonese restaurants, and is great if that's what you're looking for, though by LA standards where people drive to go two blocks, it might be considered a little far at a couple of miles to the north. For that matter, Chinatown is just one mile further to the north of the USC campus than Paul's. If you're looking for top notch Chinese food, as you drive on the 10 or 60 freeways between Ontario and Los Angeles, the area between the 710 and 57 freeways is home to the greatest Chinese food in the U.S.--literally hundreds of authentic Chinese restaurants representing various styles and regional cuisines. Kind of hard to single out specific restaurants, but close to freeway offramps are Ocean Star Seafood near the Atlantic Bl. offramp of the 10 freeway; the gigantic San Gabriel Square mall near the Del Mar Ave. offramp of the 10 freeway, and the 99 Ranch Market mall near the Nogales St. offramp of the 60 freeway.

    2. Around USC Chinese food is sparse...on your way from Ontario if you take the 60W, you'll pass by many places in Diamond Bar. There's a ton of little Chinese places on the way over so I would suggest there. There aren't great Chinese places around USC at all, if you find one please let me know. I would suggest Little Tokyo if your by USC, just drive down Fig and right on 2nd....Daikukunyua or whatever has really great ramen and Curry House is delicious as well. There are also tons of little sushi restaurants. If you want to try campus food, I would check to see if parkside is open for breakfast...great variety of good food if you try it once....not so good if you have to have it for a semester or 2..

      11 Replies
      1. re: christof

        daikokuya?

        Also in little tokyo, there is Fugestusdo for mochi - sweet filled rice cake balls and unfilled sweet rice moci confections of all sorts. Over 100 years old and all of is confections are yummy. Sushi Go 55 and Sushi Gen are mentioned often for sushi

        For Chinee, yu should probably bite the bullet and get dinner or a dim sum lunch in the San Gabriel Valley.

        Not to be rude, but why are you staying in ontario? sorta out of the way.

        i know of more foodies places closer to other colleges, like UCLA and SMCC, sorry

        1. re: Diana

          I am assuming that the daughter is considering Pomona, Pitzer, or one of the other Claremont Colleges. Or perhaps further out, University of the Redlands.

          When coming into L.A. to see USC, be sure to stop into Langer's for perhaps the best pastrami on rye in the U.S. On the S/E corner of Alvarado and Seventh, adjacent to the border of MacArthur Park, with its validated parking lot one block east on the north side of Seventh.

          1. re: Diana

            there's a convenient airport in ontario - it's 5-10 minutes from the colleges in claremont, and about 30-40 minutes from usc. lax is busy and the hotels in ontario and the area are much more reasonable.

            just a note - used to go to little tokyo occasionally when i was a grad student at usc - not as close as you think - the freeways are packed at rush hour and it was hard to get there and back in time for evening classes. koreatown in general is much closer and much easier in re usc.

            just a thought - very good creole style food about a mile or two west of usc - harold and belle's on jefferson
            can't find website but here's a menu
            http://losangeles.menupages.com/resta...
            just a note - harold and belle's is pricey for what you get.

            again - enjoy your stay.

            and cafe 29 on hoover is walking distance - not all that special but very close to campus. consider eating on campus as well - there's an ok restaurant next to the bookstore on the second floor. ask about it.
            http://www.thetwonine.com/

            1. re: Diana

              Staying in Ontario because flights were much cheaper and hotels were dirt cheap compared to downtown (and our flight out is at 7:15am). Also since one of the colleges is right near there, it made sense.

              1. re: SharonOhio

                please post what you end up doing on this thread. it's always interestng, esp for those who gave suggestions, to see what you finaly did and how you liked it.

                1. re: Jerome

                  I will. Chinese at the San Gabriel Square mall or China Islamic sounds great -- that will work best for Friday evening since our USC visit is Friday afternoon. Still not sure on what to do Wednesday or Thursday evenings since I don't think we want to haul back into town then -- maybe Walter's since its nearby.

                  The suggestion of the culinary school was great but unfortunately they're closed for the summer.

                  Any other non-Chinese suggestions for Ontario/Claremont?

                  1. re: SharonOhio

                    One warning, on friday evening trying to get from USC to San Gabriel Valley is going to be a bear due to rush hour traffic. So either go early (before 4:00 or late after 7:00).

                    In the Claremont Village area there are lots of good restaurants in addition to Walters, including Yiannis (Greek), Danson's, Press, Aruffo's (Italian) and Harvard Square.

                    Also in that area, there is Pho Ha (Vietnamese), 695 Indian Hill, Pomona.

                    1. re: PeterL

                      If in Claremont, my vote is with the Press or Harvard Square over Walters. Press has got great entrees, both light or substantial. Ambiance is comfortable, collegiate, yet not a pizza joint.

                      I used to like Walters, but have become less enamored of late- it all starts to taste the same-kinda like paint-by-numbers with the same 5 colors..i think breakfast is their best meal.

                      1. re: PeterL

                        remember though, the 10 has a carpool lane east of the 5.

                        1. re: Jerome

                          Well that will definitely help. Thanks for the tidbit.

                      2. re: SharonOhio

                        I have not been but have heard good things about Three Forks in Claremont.

                        http://www.threeforkschops.com

              2. Don't pass up a meal at Walters in Claremont close to the colleges. Walters 308 N. Yale Ave. 909.624.2799. East side of blvd in the old town area. Many other little places in the area including a great bakery across the street.

                1. Some Crust in the Claremont Village for breakfast. It's a local fav hangout. Walters also for sunday brunch or lunch or dinner. There are plenty of really good Chinese food in Hacienda Heights. Exit Nogales off 60, go north a bit. There is a big Chinese mall on your left hand side. Explore.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PeterL

                    I looked at Some Crust's web site and it didn't seem like they really do breakfast just pastries and coffee which is OK if we know that going in.

                  2. some of the most wonderful chinese food in the country can be found along the 10 or the 60 between claremont and USC.

                    Near USC, if you're adventurous, there's
                    CHICHEN ITZA
                    3655 S GRAND AVE C-6
                    LOS ANGELES
                    90007

                    I'd drive there. it's reasonably priced and great yucatecan food. lunch. Also, not far, on spring where it hits main st, near the fashion institute (near 9th) is a very pleasant place, cafe angelique
                    ANGELIQUE CAFE
                    840 S SPRING ST
                    LOS ANGELES
                    90014
                    french food but very reasonable.
                    for more of an adventure - not far from usc - go up vermont from the campus to olympic then turn left and turn into the mall at the end of the first block - beverly soon tofu - can be spicy or mild - very cheap - a homemade tofu (not like the stuff in the boxes ) soup/stew, you choose the protein, beef, pork, oysters, egg or no, seaweed, etc to your taste. bibimbahp also available.
                    BEVERLY SOON TOFU
                    2717 W OLYMPIC BLVD #108
                    LOS ANGELES
                    90006

                    a quick google tutorial will help. it's fun, fast, and different.

                    http://www.angeliquecafe.com/ for angelique cafe

                    http://www.chichenitzarestaurant.com/... for chichen itza either RIGHT NEAR usc or on 6th st, but if you're going up to 6th, you might as well go to langer's for lunch.
                    these are for lunch really.

                    near the hotel - something a little different, the school at Cal Poly Pomona has a culinary and hotel school. it's not far from claremont and it's fun enough. (plenty of places in claremont - there's that afghan place that someone can suggest - actually a mixed menu, part afghan, part standard college town cafe
                    )on the hospitality school
                    http://www.csupomona.edu/~cshm/collin...
                    on the menu and hours
                    http://www.rkr.csupomona.edu/about_us...
                    dinner is close to prix fixe but a good buy for the variety (this year, steak house concept

                    )

                    For chinese - consider 101 noodle express for shandong dumplings, reasonable and not spicy, and handpulled noodles at malan in hacienda heights - both on the way from claremont to usc

                    101 NOODLE EXPRESS
                    1408 E VALLEY BLVD
                    ALHAMBRA
                    91801

                    MALAN RESTAURANT
                    2020 S HACIENDA BLVD B
                    HACIENDA HEIGHTS
                    91745

                    Ma Lan is one of the few american franchises of a Chinese chain.
                    http://www.malan.com.cn/
                    the website is fun. there is one spicy dish - an uyghur chicken with garlic and ribbon like noodles. i think the place is fun - noodles usually pulled to order.

                    you might like china islamic, just off the 10 in rosemead also on the way to usc...
                    CHINA ISLAMIC RESTAURANT
                    7727 E GARVEY AVE
                    ROSEMEAD
                    91770
                    HEre's their website.
                    http://www.chinaislamic.com/
                    why not try some a little different now that you're out here and have a chance to go deeper than you might at home (not knowing exactly where home is, perhaps i overstep- if so I'm sorry).
                    the tabs ato the green rectangle on the chinaislamic.com page take a little while to download. if you go to china islamic, make sure to get the sesame bread with scallions.

                    enjoy your stay.
                    (you may notice that my suggestions will not jibe with other folks who've replied already. there are student hangouts nearer 'sc. la barca is a typical cal-mex place on vermont, but the places i've mentioned i honestly feel are worth a special trip).