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Jun 8, 2004 12:42 PM

Hungry in Claremont

  • h

Is the Inland Empire really a chowhound's wasteland ??

Any bright suggestions for Claremont, Pomona, Upland,and Cucamonga ??


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  1. the sycamore inn, which i believe is in rancho cucamonga/ontario - right across the Lamplighter off of Foothill. IE families go there for a great steak in a homey setting

    8318 Foothill Blvd Rancho Cucamonga , CA 91730 Phone: (909) 982-1104

    new york grill at the ontario mills (across the street) if you want to break the bank and have that 'fancy' steakhouse feel.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jaydee

      Re: Sycamore Inn vs New York Grill, the food at Sycamore Inn is better. You also have a branch of Woody's BBQ in Rancho Cucamonga.

      You might check out Braserie Astuce in Pomona (on Foothill) - no personal experience though.


      1. re: Chino Wayne

        Braserie Astuce is closed for the summer while they move to their new location in the new Claremont Village annex. I have only eaten there once and it was just okay. I have been enjoying the Thursday night wine tasting which is very nice. $10 get you 5 tastes, usually there is some theme and appetizers which range from generous to so-so. Very casual and the wine guru is friendly and usually brings a bonus bottle from his personal cellar. We will miss this until next September.

        1. re: coconutz

          We had a miserable meal at Brasserie Astuce in Pomona last year.
          I don't know how their new joint is in the Village, but I would never go back after my one and only meal there. Search this board for my February, 2007 review.

    2. hmm...couldn't seem to find previous Claremont threads posted over the last here goes...

      Aruffo's Italian Cuisine
      126 Yale Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 624-9624 haven't been there but some speak highly of the pizza!

      Harvard Square Cafe
      206 W. Bonita Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 626-7763

      my experience: good food, incredibly "awkward" service...don't go if you're not in a manana state- o'-mind.

      The Press
      129 Harvard Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 625-4808
      eclectic "California" cuisine including vegetarian specialties. Excellent composed salads and fish preparation. The bar becomes a student magnet on weekend evenings, but dining before the 10 o'clock hour insures a pleasant experience. Ignore the sidewalk crowd milling outside the front door...Bar serves a great martini. Music on Friday-Sunday evenings...sometimes rock, sometimes folk...

      Tutti Mangia Italian Grill
      102 Harvard Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 625-4669
      "Nice" Italian - white table cloths, giant floral displays, lots of eye-candy. It's an attractive place with good atmosphere, and I've had reasonably good food here, just nothing outstanding for the price or the ostentatious service.

      Viva Madrid
      225-B Yale Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 624-5500
      great tapas! fun bar!

      Walter's Restaurant
      310 Yale Avenue, Claremont
      (909) 624-4914
      Especially like going for breakfast, but open thru dinner too. Lengthy menu with lots of Afghani specialties (think herbs/spices); afghani fries are a great side dish.

      Cafe Allegro! in La Verne on 3rd Street... Nice little italian place with that little Italian place feel.

      El Merendero in Pomona for burritos

      El Taco Nazo in San Dimas or Pomona for fish tacos.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Local
        Hungry in Claremont

        Thanks ! ! !I've been to Walters any number of times...........Sometimes great.....sometimes not great.....Beakfast and the Afghani fries ( for breakfast lunch or dinner ) are the best of the menu.....Be sure to tell your server that you do not want re-heated fries...They should be soft like little pillows....

        1. re: Hungry in Claremont

          Agreed...they do lose something in transition ;-)

          Forgot to mention Yanni's (Greek)- salads are always satisfying and good grape leaves...they're big on salt, but I just ask for more lemon!

        2. re: Local

          I've only been to 2 of the restaurants in that area of Claremont, Viva Madrid & Yanni's. Viva Madrid had some really good tapas. Plus I sat at the bar next to some lovely young co-eds. So I liked that place a lot, even though the wait was horrifically long. Yanni's I didn't care much for. First of all, half the menu was crossed off. Second, the waiter spend all his time at one table, which I think were his friends. But he totally ignored everyone else. And third, it was too dark. I guess it's supposed to be romantic but I like to see what I eat. The food itself is decent but not great.

        3. Walter's is excellent!! Great romantic and peaceful atmosphere if you sit outside on the patio. My hubby started taking me there when we were first dating. We usually go for lunch when the budget is tight (lunch is about $10 a person), but I have been for breakfast and dinner also and all food has been excellent. If you go, be sure to try the bolawnies appetizer with the mint chutney. I am addicted to it and when I go I usually buy a bottle of the chutney to take home.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Wendy8869

            Zikes - you're so right!!! The mint chutney is absolutely addictive...truly an "all purpose" sauce.

          2. r
            Robert Thornton

            Yeah, Walter's is the obvious choice. I'll add to the recommendations for The Press and Tutti Magnia. If you want a greasy spoon, I like the Village Grill.

            1. Wow, I've been to all of those places, I used to work in Pomona many moons ago. Claremont is wonderful because they have a huge pocket of independant restaurants all in one area, great for a Chowhound.

              But to jump on the band wagon, Walter's is excellent. Their salads are VERY delicious, I like the Salmon and Thai myself, my husband likes the one with avocado, I cant recall what it's called. Also, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend trying their brownies, they've got a lacing of caramel sauce in the middle, and are decadent, positively addicting, but I recommend only eating half at a time.

              Across the street is a decent Indian place. I love the Press.
              And Harvard Square I haven't had any bad experience with. Sometimes, the waiters/staff get busy b/c of the rush of people, especially in the patio so service is sometimes slow, but I guess I expect that of a BUSY place.

              Arrufo's is really yummy, we used to take clients there from time to time. Good Pizza's, but their fish is good and seafood pasta. Viva Madrid, yes, excellent tapas, reminded me of Madrid.

              Upland/Montclair has got Tokyo Kitchen, and Kishi's. Both have excellent Japanese and sushi. There's also an excellent hole in the wall place for Chili called BUCKBOARD, located on Foothill blvd, near the San Antonio Hospital.

              Sycamore Inn is also delicious. In Rancho, there's nothing great, a lot of chain restaurants, there's a brand new Thai place. The food is pretty good, I've had better, but it's big news for Rancho because there was NOTHING remotely good by way of Thai. It's called the Thai T, located on Foothill blvd, just east of Vineyard, in the Wendy's/Big Lots shopping center. They offer free refills on Thai Teas when you dine in.

              Furthermore, for a good sandwich, Cherony's Deli, with many locations in and around Rancho Cucamonga. The original "cherony" was on Haven and 6th, she sold it (the new owners are very nice) and her and her family are now near the Ontario Mills Mall, next to a gas station, right off (north) of the 10 fwy on Milliken. Via Vanetto is another cafe/sandwich place who's original owner sold (the new owners are also nice) that has a great grilled chicken sandwich, and the tuna salad and sandwich is delicious.

              6 Replies
              1. re: odelotj

                Don't forget La Picoletta! This tiny little Italian place is in a converted garage behind Some Crust Bakery. It keeps odd hours and I can never seem to go when it's open, but when it is it's absolutely delicious.

                1. re: thatssometa

                  La Piccoletta is not the La Piccoletta of the past. Does anyone know if the original owner Linda has opened a new restaurant? She was the chef there for like 20 something years and she closed it down every year for the month of August to go back to Italy. Her food was heavenly. I spoke to someone in the Village recently and was told she is still around. (sightings have been reported :) )I find myself craving the anchovie and garlic sauce she made with just the right combination of crispy garlic and anchovie bits. Her food was not pretentious or showy it was just always perfect. Italian food is a gift when it is prepared by someone who understands and respects the simple nuances. I was in Rome last month and found a restaurant called "Sora Giuseppina" hidden near the Jewish Ghetto. It has been there something like 40 years and it reminded me of "the little one" (the translation of the name La Piccoletta) that we used to have right next door in Claremont. If you go to Rome seek out this restaurant and hopefully it will still be run by the same people and if it is you will understand what Linda's La Piccoletta did that was so special.

                  1. re: sonoitaliana

                    In response to Sonoitaliana, I live in Claremont and the food quailty at La Piccoletta has certainly changed in my opinion. I believe Linda is back doing private parties and personal catering in the area. I have been there a number of times in the last few years and it was best when Linda owned it. I think there have been 2 owners since her in the last couple of years. I have taken friends and family there and no one was impressed. It was just a pasta dish that we could make at home. The service was terrible in a place the size of my closet. I love the small intimate setting but the food recently has been a let down. Too bad for such a charming little place that used to be a treat to enjoy.

                    1. re: Hawgwild

                      We also live in Claremont and had a great meal at L Piccoletta a couple months ago. They prepared a filet mignion with a reduction sauce that was about the best I have ever had. We were also a fan of the previous owner, Linda, too. Viva Madrid is worth a visit, as is Tuti Mangia. I had a bad experience at Yanni's, most everything else mentioned in this thread is pretty good.

                      1. re: Hawgwild

                        Thank you for the information. A friend of a friend was a guest at a dinner party Linda cooked for last weekend and sent me one of her business cards. If anyone is interested she has a website: ( She is cooking for a party in my home next month!)

                      2. re: sonoitaliana

                        Sorry, don't have a comment on the old owner, but I'd like to know too.
                        I used to love La Piccoletta, but about a month ago I got food there and it wasn't even bad, it was inedible. I let them know via email twice, the second time being a bit annoyed, and they responded with contempt and disrespect.. No offer to refind my money or anything, just accused me of not having a good palate and not knowing how food should be. Out of 5 stars, the meal was a 1. Seriously horrific. Could not eat the pasta. I would have given another chance because although the food it not what it once was, they have tried and done well. I would have given another change, I say, if they had not been so anti customer after I complained. They suck now. Won't ever go back unless they sell it.