My suggestions+request for new/funky in the West Inland Empire? Covina, San Dimas, Claremont, Upland, Pomona, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino etc.?
So, we all know that you must be West or South of the San Gabriel valley for a high concentration of good food. The netherland at the border between LA county/San Bernadino county (between the SGV and the true inland empire) is somewhat of a foody wasteland.
Covina, San Dimas, Claremont, Upland, Pomona, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino : I'm looking at you!
But then there are those chow-ish gems in a strip mall, or a weird retro place......give me your intel!
I would add that I've tried nearly all the restaurants in downtown claremont....most are passable but not great.
I posted some of my recon near Pomona here
More Local goodies:
The oaxacan place El Fortin http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-fortin-3-c...
(ask for a selection of Moles - not as good as Moles a la tia, but still v tasty
Donut Man http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-donut-man...
The Magic Lamp http://www.yelp.com/biz/magic-lamp-in...
(more for the swinging pensioners and oldskool steak house than the food
Owen's Bistro http://www.owensbistro.com
(a valliant attempt at bistro food in this neck of the woods that succeeds quite well
(run by an ex Nobu chef - delicious suhsi, esp the 'new style' specials
Dissapointments (locally recommended that I didn't like):
Centro Basco http://www.yelp.com/biz/centro-basco-...
(waay too homey - no flair in cooking at all
Loving Hut (ex Veggie Era) http://www.yelp.com/biz/loving-hut-up...
(lost it's pizzaz since it became a chain - although cool cult area
<strong> What are your Chowish or unusual suggestions? </strong>
Particularly interested in weird old restaurants, or genuine strip-mall-run-by-a-family-who-knows-their-indigenous-food restaurants.
13432 Central Ave, Chino, CA 91710
5210 D St, Chino, CA 91710
915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740
903 W Foothill Blvd, Upland, CA 91786
China Point in Rancho Cucamonga, on Archibald. It's a typical chinese takeout joint for the most part...except for their chao ma mien which is hand pulled noodles in a complex smoky spicy seafood broth. This version puts to shame versions in SGV and Monterey Park. No joke
9028 Archibald Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
For pizza: San Biagio's Pizza and Red Devil Pizza (both located in Upland)
Fried Chicken: Louisiana Fried Chicken (Rancho Cucamonga), Southern-style fried chicken with all the traditional fixings so much better than that chain...and it's located a few doors away from China Point
Broasted chicken: Old World Deli (Upland), it's fried, but it's not fried...super moist and flavorful chicken...get the spaghetti salad, too...you won't regret it
Chinese: Dragon Inn (Rancho Cucamonga), they make some excellent honey walnut shrimp...I come here for this dish alone every time I'm too lazy to drive to Chinese food central
Persian: Darvish Restaurant (Claremont), just had my husband's 30th birthday bash here and was so impressed by the service and the food...it made everyone happy...even my picky-a$$ eat American food only in-laws...loved the chicken kabobs and the saffron basmati rice
Peruvian: Inka Trails (Claremont)
Italian deli: Claro's Italian Market (Upland) I love love love their Italian cold cut sandwich because it includes proscutto
Doughnuts: The Donut Man (Glendora) rocks...strawberry donuts...peach donuts...can't ask for more than that
Ice Cream: Handel's Homemade Ice Cream (Upland) and Dr. Bob's (historic downtown Upland) artisan-made ice cream that's rich and creamy and DELISH
Italian-fusion: Caffe Allegro (Upland) super yummy fusion food...I love their seafood dishes
San Biagio's New York Style
1263 W 7th St, Upland, CA 91786
915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740
Claro's Italian Market
1655 N Mountain Ave D, Upland, CA
946 W Foothill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711
Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
373 S Mountain Ave, Upland, CA 91786
186 N 2nd Ave, Upland, CA 91786
1077 W Foothill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711
8031 Archibald Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Red Devil Pizza
659 E 15th St C, Upland, CA 91786
Old World Delicatessens
281 S Mountain Ave, Upland, CA 91786
Inka Trails is a revalation. I'm no expert on Peruvian food, but this place serves some of the most delicious chow around. I can't remember the name, but the pale green sauce they serve with bread (and lots of other things) is addictive. The aguadito soup alone, either chicken or fish, is worth a few hours drive. I've eaten there at least twice a month since March (after having passed it by for years) and have yet to find a dish that is not a delight. From the ordinary exterior one wouldn't expect much, but inside there is a somewhat romantic dark wood and red table cloth ambiance that encourages relaxation and gustatory enjoyment.
1077 W Foothill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711
Kwon's on Holt in Pomona
breakfast at BC Cafe in Claremont
Cafe Allegro in La Verne
Old World Deli (Upland and Covina)
Claro's Italian Market (Upland and Covina)
let me chime in with pride for little chino hills...
1. mes amis, lebanese/mediterranean cuisine. (on pipeline and chino hills parkway)
sam is the owner, very personable. but more importantly, the food is awesome. tell him jack with the girls sent you. everything is very fresh, but perhaps the most exciting part is his 'journeys.' they're basically appetizers (that i have on occasion turned into stand-alone meals) with 4 different selections. almost like small plates, their style. in the picture attached, form the top and left, going clockwise (forgive me for not knowing the exact things in it) - chick peas, some meat in a creamy mixture; green beans in a tomato sauce; yogurt with pomegranate; and my favorite - sundried tomatoes, ground walnuts, and a dozen other ingredients in this paste that is at once sweet, hot, savory and intense.
2. happy kitchen - right by the albertson's on peyton dr and grand ave.
be warned - the ladies who work there are not very well-versed with their english, but the amazing food more than makes up for it. their beef rolls, shanghai spare ribs, and almost every soup in there is delicious. the shanghai spare ribs are almost a bit of a misnomer - there are no bones, but small pieces of rib meat that are coated in a light batter, dusted with sesame seeds, coated in a sauce that hints of orange and char-siu at the same time, and (most likely) wok-fried to a tangy goodness.
a few other mentions:
3. the 99 ranch food court (more like take-out counter) is really not bad.
4. good time cafe - taiwanese food, deep fried little oysters.
5. california noodle, our pho place.
6. los portales, in chino actually, but probably my favorite mexican place. their molcajete salsa - roasted tomatoes and roasted peppers, i think., fiery, smoky, made fresh, and when they run out for the day that's it. like their lengua, and i've even requested a half and half of their 2 sauces - a mole and ranchera (iirc).
7. senor baja - fish and shrimp burritos, with their smoked yellow chiles.
8. thai corner, decent thai food, for being 5 minutes from my house.
9. thai kitchen - a new place, a bit pricier than #8, but a step up. the restaurant has a more western aesthetic hint to it.
10. ojiya - for a sushi place in our neck of the woods, often with many japanese patronizing it, that's a good sign. i'd say the best in our city. it is nowhere near sushi shibucho in costa mesa, but i'd say within 7/10 of it. they always have ankimo, uni, and abalone sushi for around $12 or $15 (and they serve the liver too!). very high our list.
11. sushi ten - off the 71 and soquel canyon exit, i'd rank it a little lower than ojiya. the langoustine popcorn is worth the visit. comparing it to ojiya, they are a bit more modern, while ojiya is more traditional and imaginative.
12. first class pizza, off the 71 freeway and soquel canyon exit. afterburner pizza - jalapenos and tabasco. our family enjoys getting the big one where they let you choose for different flavors. there was a change of ownership, but still tastes the same - as in good.
re: A5 KOBE
I gave it a try and got some 'to go'. They let me know right away that they will make orange chicken or teriyaki chicken even though it is not on the dinner menu. Also point me to the chow mein section.
The beef roll was just okay for me, haven't had one before, likely wouldn't order again, I ate that in the car on the way home. does it have some kind of gelatinous meat along with sliced beef? I'm not great with that texture. Liked the cilantro flavor. A bit dry. The spareribs were good, especially when I tasted them hot in the car. Reminds me a bit of Orange Chicken, but pork.Good, but not great. My mother really liked the leftovers. The Mapo tofu had really good fresh tofu, but was a bit bland. There wasn't hardly any spice at all, even though it had a chile pepper next to it.
The menu is really laid out interestingly with sections for Taiwan, Shanghai and Szechwan, among others. The also have mini individual hot pot, which looked good. Some good set lunchs too. I will come back, and try more variety to see which things I like.. Korean place next door looked good. Both nice little places.