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Oct 15, 2013 02:41 PM
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Riverside - Mission Inn

My last night in the LA Area found me staying at the (very nice, and recommended, "Hyatt Place" (sic) in Riverside. I had planned to visit a creole Cajun place the Crescent (Queen?) which had sounded quite good. Unfortunately it has gone the way, and has been replaced by a place called Prohibition which I didn't quite fancy.

So I staggered into the Mission Inn hotel. http://missioninn-px.trvlclick.com/

Intending to just have a drink to regroup, it was here I discovered the reason I could not find the Cajun was its aforementioned demise.

So I stayed here and had their Mexican Shrimp Cocktail. Quite nice rendition of the classic cocktail which takes you unawares the first time with the soupy gazpacho broth. It was nicely done. Also their Gin & Tonics were, if not industrial, certainly "commercial"-grade, in terms of strength.

The downer was a cheese enchilada with salsa and onion. a simple dish but something about the construction and cheese itself left me giving it an F.

A very pretty place, to be sure. Riverside was not 100% convenient for LAX (!!!) but by getting on the road at 325am I more or less beat the traffic, but only just! (The commute starts imponderably early in Los Angeles!

)

My feelings upon departure was that more walk-up taco stands and less "fine food" was (probably is) the way to most satisfyingly eat one's way around town. I will probably have night sweats and possibly nightmare flashbacks of that bloody pork belly sandwich in my previous post.

I really enjoyed exploring more of the area than previously. I still feel LA is a bit like New Orleans which, I think requires a local's knowledge to some extent to truly find the best places.

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  1. For openers, Riverside isn't even in Los Angeles County, let alone in the city. I went to college in Riverside and, back then, it was barely the same state. The Mission Inn is a pretty place, but a quick Yelp check would have warned you off most of the food there.

    1. The Mission Inn is an exceptionally interesting place to stay and to tour its innards in depth. Glad it became such a labor of love for the parties that undertook the long overdue rehabiliation of this historic structure. Agree, wish the same care could be lavished on the dining options. Downtown dries up at night and the local places of merit are few and far between. The Inn is an underserved beauty and glad you tried to make it work.

      1. I'm resurrecting this old thread because my wife and I will be staying at the Mission Inn for 2 nights in May. We're flying down from SF for her brother's college graduation in Mission Viejo which I realize is a good 45 mins away, but I've always wanted to check this place out and I figured the ocassion was a good excuse. Anyhow, I'm not sure what to do about food... should we avoid eating at the hotel or Riverside for that matter? The property boasts 4 or 5 different restaurants. The top end is a steakhouse which doesn't interest me in the least as the atmosphere seems bland and modern and doesn't reflect the historic charm of the Spanish mission. The Mission Inn Restaurant is the one that's situated in the old Spanish courtyard. They apparently host a famous Sunday champagne brunch. Could anyone comment on whether it's worth the cost? There's also a poolside trattoria and Mexican restaurant on site as well, I believe. We'll likely be spending a majority of our time with my in-laws in Orange County, but I'd love to get a bit more feedback on the food options at the Mission Inn itself, as well as the surrounding area. Thanks!

        3 Replies
        1. re: OliverB

          The setting of the courtyard brunch is very lovely. As long as you are enjoying the hotel, this is an important part of it. Be sure to get a tour of the hidden nooks and crannies and collections this hotel is famous for. Hope you will report back and add some dining suggestions, hit or miss as they might be.

          I remember some good small family Mexican places but that was a long, long time ado and some international spots out closer to the University. Might want to poke around that UC Riverside area and try yelp or trip advisor to get a students take on local offerings.

          Yelp: Salted Pig downtown might be worth a try.
          http://www.thesaltedpig.com

          1. re: OliverB

            Marios Italian restaurant across the street from Mission Inn is pretty good.
            Upper Crust across the plaza deli is great for breakfast and lunch, and Mezcal Cocina for decent upscale Mexican.
            Also, check out Augie's Coffee a couple blocks away, excellent cappuccinos, pour overs, and cold brews.

            1. re: Agrippa

              Thank you both; duly noted and I'll let you know how the food at the hotel fares too!