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 Unfortunately it has gone the way, and has been replaced by a place called Prohibition which I didn't quite fancy.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.
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.
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.