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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sanamluang Cafe


Sanamluang Cafe
710 S Indian Hill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711
909-621-0904


I visited the very popular Sanamluang Cafe in Pomona back in 2009.  In December of 2014 they opened a second, bigger location about half a mile north on Indian Hill, into the snotty city of Claremont.  The Pomona location stayed open for awhile, then closed.

Now located in a building that once housed a Baker's Square, Sanamluang Cafe is now a huge location with modern decor.  Gone are the old, worn out peeling decor that highlighted the Pomona location.  It was very busy on a Friday night and the hostess told me it would be about a 20 minute wait for a table.  Not a problem because my friend had not arrived yet.  About ten minutes later my table is ready and I told the hostess my friend hadn't arrived yet.  She said no problem and allowed me to take the table for two.  While waiting for my friend there was a steady stream of people coming in.  But, all parties of two were seated quickly.  So, I didn't feel bad that I was taking a table while waiting for my friend.

 Shrimp pad thai-$7.95.  The shrimp was slightly overcooked, tough and chewy.  There were about 8 small sized shrimp in the dish.  But the flavors all mixed well together.  I enjoyed this dish, but it would have been better if the shrimp wasn't overcooked.


Shrimp fried rice- $7.95.  Slightly bigger shrimp, but these were well cooked.   People ask what is the difference between Chinese fried rice and Thai fried rice.  I think Chinese fried rice has more soy sauce, thus a more salty taste.  While Thai fried rice has a slight sweet taste.

Service was very good, from the hostess to the servers.

Sometimes when restaurants move something suffers and it's not the same experience.  But, gladly Sanamluang hasn't changed and is still very good. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie


The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie
1453 W Arrow Hwy
San Dimas, CA 91773
909-599-7610

The Parlor Frozen Yogurt & Creperie is located a few doors down from Mike's Pizza.  It's been opened for almost three years.  A fairly large size store with a few tables inside and two tables outside.  You order at the counter and you can watch them make your crepe.

It's a combination Cold Stone and Yogurtland, expect you don't serve yourself.  They offer about 6-8 flavors of frozen yogurt.  You can choose to have your yogurt in a cup, waffle cone or cup, or on a freshly made crepe.

It was empty when I walked on a Wednesday night in summer and only a group of three people came in while I was finishing my cone.  But had a good amount of people when I went to Mike's Pizza. 



Build your own crepe, $9.95. Choice of frozen yogurt-Pistachio, two toppings- Twix bar and almonds, and choice to flavor drizzle-carmel! 

Since this is a creperie,  I decided to get build my own crepe.  I watched as the owner put the crepe batter on the hot pan, and in a couple minutes he was forming the crepe cone.  I then picked the flavor of frozen yogurt, two toppings and flavor drizzle.  They will mix the frozen yogurt and the toppings together, just like Cold Stone.  The flavors all worked well together and if they didn't it was my fault! He used an entire regular sized package of the Twix bar- one and a half pieces mixed into the frozen yogurt and half a piece to garnish the cone! 

I liked this crepe cone, but this is an once in awhile indulgence.  It's too pricey for anything else or unless I win the next big lotto!  Or I could come back for just the frozen yogurt. 

Service is good.  The husband and wife team who are the owners are very nice.  Many Cold Stone locations closed because of the high prices.  Maybe a "mom n pop" type store free from the restraints of a franchise, can stay in business much longer.  I hope The Parlor can stay in business for a long time. 


Friday, August 5, 2016

Love Letter Pizza & Chicken



Pizza & Chicken Love Letter
18333B Colima Road
Rowland Heights
626-839-1235

When I first reviewed Love Letter Pizza & Chicken back in 2010, I only tried their fried chicken.  Yes, I also called them Pizza & Chicken Love Letter. I wanted to see if Rowland Heights had any good non chain pizza places.  The only non chain pizza place I knew of in Rowland Heights was, MaMa & PaPa New York Pizza, but that closed a long time ago.  A quick search led to Love Letter or an Italian restaurant where pizza is on the menu, not exactly what I am looking for.  So Love Letter I went!



Medium bulgogi and bacon pizza-onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms, corn, $13.07. 

Love Letter does not have a pizza without any meat toppings.  Nor do they have a create your own pizza.  But, you can order one of their specialty pizzas without meat.  So that's what I did.  They put the toppings on the sauce, then put a layer of cheese.  Interesting and different.  The sauce is very mild.  I didn't find any red peppers on the pizza, but lots of green peppers.  The toppings were fine but sparse.  But, the crust tasted like Pizza Hut, which isn't a compliment.  Pizza was OK, but considering the smallish size and high price, it wasn't a good value.

Service was pretty good.  Nice and friendly and the pizza was done quickly.  I do wish they would include a veggie pizza on their menu.

Rowland Heights is not a place to get good pizza!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mike’s Pizza


Mike’s Pizza
1441 W Arrow Hwy
San Dimas, CA 91773
909-394-3409

I noticed that I have never been to a non chain pizza place in San Dimas.  A quick search led to Mike's Pizza and that San Dimas is not a pizza eating city!

Located in a small shopping center and near a laundrymat,  Mike's Pizza is actually takes two spaces in the center.  One space is the entire kitchen area.  The other is a combination dining and storage area.  They really need to clean up the dining area, which has about 8-10 tables.  They have pizza boxes, soda bottles, and other stuff that needs to be put somewhere else.



Large mushrooms and jalapeno, $16.  I took a menu home and realized that the menu price is $15.40 with tax that is well over $16.  So, I'm not sure how she got $16.  Anyways this pizza was pretty good.  A good solid medium crust with parts of the pizza piled high with cheese, but they missed some the other outer edges.  The sauce was mild, there is plenty of it, but it doesn't over power the pizza.  The toppings were pretty plentiful and fresh.

Service was pretty good.  It's a family run place.  They told me the pizza would take 25 minutes, which is longer than other pizza places say, but I go the pizza in about 20 minutes.  Unlike other pizza places that say 15 minutes but take 25 minutes for your pizza to be ready!  But, I came to the shopping center to got the grocery store about a week ago and they list their closing time for a Saturday night at 9pm.  They were closed and out the door at 8:30pm.  Of course, I don't know if that was a one time thing.  But, that's not good business.

Mike's is a good pizza place, better than the chains, but I'm not rushing back to San Dimas to try their pizza.  Honestly, if you're near San Dimas, just go a little further east to LaVerne, where there is a ton of good choices for pizza!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Meat Cellar


The Meat Cellar
665 E. Foothill Blvd Unit C
Claremont, CA 91711
213-999-9011

David Allen reviewed The Meat Cellar a few weeks ago, and I put  them on my list of restaurants to try!  After going though a very hot weekend, I decided to head out to The Meat Cellar and give them a try. 

Located just north of Pitzer College and their McConnell Bistro Dining Hall, The Meat Cellar is a combination butcher shop, wine store, and restaurant.  There are good quality meats in the display cases and some wines on the wall to your right as you enter the restaurant.  They have about 15 or so tables set up all over the restaurant and there are even tables outside.  Meat Cellar is next to a Starbucks and there is a huge outdoor seating area.

You order at the counter and they bring your food to you.  Since I don't eat meat-beef, pork, poultry anymore, I knew my options maybe limited.  In worst case, I would order the fries!  But, they had two fish option, halibut and salmon.  But, they were out of salmon-guess they didn't get their shipment of salmon.  So that made my decision much easier.


 Halibut fillet with mixed green salad- $18.  The top picture is what was delivered to my table.  My first thought was I paid $18 for this?  But, the guy- who I think is the owner, said "I know the halibut is kind of small, so we have another piece already on the grill."  If they added about half the size of halibut I would have been happy.

Because the first piece was very thin, it was overcooked. It would have been better on a sandwich or as a taco.

About ten minutes later I got the second piece and it was huge!  I was more than happy and satisfied with the quantity.  Now the big question was quality!  The second piece was well cooked, moist throughout and something I really enjoyed!

The mixed green salad was fresh and had a light vinaigrette dressing.

 Fries- $5. Twice fried kennebec potatoes.

We waited a long time for the fries.  The table next to us, who came in after us, got their poutine-fries with gravy and topped with short ribs before we got our fries!  But, the fries came out lukewarm and there were too many small pieces!  They were well seasoned and tasted good, but would have been better served hot, right out of the fryer!

Service was good.  I liked how they noticed the small size of the halibut and on their own, more than made up for it with a huge second piece.  If you're a meat eater the tomahawk rib eye, even at $37/lb is the way to go for presentation.  Or you can get the ribeye for about $24/lb, you just wouldn't get that huge piece of rib bone.

I would go back to Meat Cellar, to try their salmon, and would take my meat eating friends here anytime.  But, I would ask them to make sure the fries are right out of the fryer.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Prime Pizza




Prime Pizza
446 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-852-1188

LA Eater's 16 places to get a killer slice of pizza in Los Angele, has been a hit with me.  I have tried four places; Pie Life Pizza in Pasadena, Pizzanista, Pellicola and Joe's Pizza, I loved all four places. Prime Pizza was next up on my list.  As I've mentioned before, I'm not big on ordering slices because who knows how long the slices have been sitting on the counter!  Give me a freshly made whole pie over a slice anyday!!

Prime Pizza is about 100 yards north of Canter's Deli, and while parking is terrible, the pizza is good but damn expensive!  It's a small place, with a few tables and a u-shaped counter, that has been open for about 18 months.  It's mostly a take-out and delivery place.



20 in, they only have one size, mushrooms and jalapenos, $28.32. The crust was a bit too well done, but firm and held up to the all the toppings.  The jalapenos and mushrooms were fresh but there could be a lot more on the pizza.  Overall a good pizza.

Service was good.  Nice, friendly people working there.

I like Prime Pizza, but they were off their game the day I went.  The pizza was a bit too well done, but the pizza was good.  It could be great, but I won't rush back because it's so far away and it is expensive!

Hook Burger



Hook Burger
3453 E Foothill Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
626-351-0011

I've passed by Hook Burger a ton of times, but I never stopped in.  But, then I found out they had a veggie burger, and decided to give them a try.  Located near the Sierra Madre Gold Line Station, and next to a Pizza Rev, it is a medium sized restaurant.  You order and pick up your food at the counter.

Grilled black bean veggie patty, melted jack, avocado, tomato, green leaf, hot house cucumber and red onion, chipotle mayo, fresh baked whole wheat bun. $6.95.  This was a damn good burger!  Fresh toppings and the black bean patty was moist and flavorful!  Sometimes veggie patties crumble after one bite, but this one held firm!  A damn good example of a veggie patty, and a very good price too!


Fries- $2.50.  Lightly salted, with skin still on, these fries were plentiful and worth the price!  Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy inside. 

Service was good, but it took longer than I expected for my order to come up.  Now I didn't have a timer set, but it must have been at least 7 minutes and even then, my fries weren't ready.  A minute later my fries came.  It wasn't that busy.  Not sure why the long wait. 

I liked my first time eating at Hook Burger.  I would go back anytime, even if it is a chain!