A nice surprise in the IE
I've been meaning to give this restaurant the credit it deserves for some time now. The family has been eating here since they opened a few years ago, and what impresses me most is that the food has consistently improved. This is a European-inspired cafe in a nondescript strip mall just up the street from the Montclair Plaza that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. I wish more mall shoppers knew about it and were brave enough to make the quarter-mile trek up, if only for a coffee and delectable sweet from the counter, but it rarely has the crowd it deserves.
We sorely miss the excellent breakfast choices we had years ago on the West Side and in the Pasadena area, but this cafe is coming close to making up for that. Just recently I sampled the Molasses Glazed Pork Chop and Waffles when it was still a special, and it proved to be as good as many of the best breakfast plates I've had, from Dish in La Canada to Marston's in Pasadena to Julienne in San Marino. Now you can get it any day of the week, and you absolutely should. The caramelized waffles alone could make you weep for joy in the IE.
If you're in for lunch, you might be surprised at the quality of their pizzas. They might not rank in the pantheon of SoCal pizza legends, but they are the best personal-sized pizzas in the area. Another great lunch choice is the Chicken Cannberge Tasca for chicken salad lovers.
Their pastas are an excellent choice for dinner, but I usually go with a special. The owner is ever-present, and I suspect she is responsible for personally preparing the specials, because they always have some unexpected flair. If you don't mind noise with your meals, they have bands that perform regularly as well.
This restaurant really deserves credit for bringing a fresh, foodie-friendly menu to the culinary wasteland that is the Inland Empire.
Dolce Cafe & Bakery
8821 Central Ave, Montclair, CA 91763