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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Future of The New Diner 2

For the past eight years or so, I've had a blast trying different restaurants and writing reviews on The New Diner and The New Diner 2.  I started The New Diner as a way for me to learn how to use the new digital camera I got in 2005.   Then, I couldn't believe people actually read my reviews!

Now it's 2014 and I've decided it's time to close The New Diner 2.   Maybe not completely close it, but there won't be many reviews.  If I find a really good restaurant, I may comment on it but don't expect pictures, since my motto is there is no I in phone!

Thank you to all the loyal The New Diner and The New Diner 2 readers. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Intiraymi Restaurant

Intiraymi Restaurant
23545 Palomino Dr
Diamond Bar
909-861-1200

So Diamond Bar gets a Peruvian restaurant and I finally get a chance to try it.  Located in a strip mall behind a gas station and an overpriced Chinese restaurant-that I won't go to, Intiraymi Restaurant has been in Diamond Bar for about a year.  It is a good sized restaurant with seating for about 20-25 people, though the decor is very basic.  


Pescado Frito-fried fish-sea bass with steamed rice and salad, $11.95.  The fish was lightly battered and well fried but very bland.  The fish itself was moist and flavorful.  I would guess they use fresh, not frozen fish, but I could be mistaken.  The rice was fine.  The salad was standard.

Service was good.  The man who took my order, who I believe is the owner, was nice, friendly and helpful.  I got the order quickly, considering they had to fry the fish. 

I was disappointed with the fried fish.  Some of their other dishes look great and I may give them a try the next time I go to Intiraymi Restaurant.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ocie's Texas BBQ at The Crossing

Ocie's Texas BBQ at The Crossing
3245 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles
323-522-3488

The Crossing is actually an industrial park split into artist studios, the Atwater Village Performing Arts Center, and the dining options.

I really don't know how to describe dining options at The Crossing; a neighborhood meeting spot with a few dining options?  Two separate restaurants?  Anyways, The Crossing has Ocie's Texas BBQ, a pizza restaurant, and a coffee place.  There are plenty of tables inside and outside. 




Spare ribs plate, $12, with double mac and cheese.  Texas BBQ means mesquite wood is used to smoke the meats.  The smokers are right next to the patio, so they do smoke their meats.  But, they haven't perfected their meat.  The ribs were tough, chewy and needed to be in the smoker for another two hours, at least one more hour.  The rub is heavy on the paprika with slight hints of cumin.  I wasn't impressed.

The mac and cheese needed more cheese sauce, though the macaroni was well cooked.

Service left a lot to be desired.  While the server was friendly, she didn't come around often.  We lacked for refills and somebody at the table had to ask three times for coffee before finally getting it. 

I wouldn't come back to Ocie's Texas BBQ again.  Poor food and service.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nonno's Pizzeria

Nonno's Pizzeria
15870 Soquel Canyon Pkwy, Ste E,
Chino Hills
909-597-9977

So, I'm craving pizza tonight and I remember a friend mentioning that Nonno's Pizzeria in Chino Hills has been on her list of places to try.  So, a quick search to get directions and I'm off to most southern part of Chino Hills.

I arrive to an nearly empty parking with and Nonno's is another take out only pizza place, like Sal's Pizza. Funny, I passed by Nonno's other location in Upland on my way to Sal's and placed it on my list of places to look into. 


Silician pizza, with sausage and I asked for four sliced to be just cheese.  I liked the crust, with it's nice velvety inside texture and the firm outside.  The cheese was plentiful and the sauce was well balanced, though some my think it is on the bland side.  But, the sausage was bland and lacked flavor.  It was just unseasoned meat.  But, I really didn't like the amount of sausage on the pizza.  They also had a one sausage piece to slice ratio and that sucked.  It made this pizza a very bad value.  I mean I might as well go to Little Ceasar's and get their $8 pan pizza.  From a local pizzeria I'm expecting a lot more.

Service was ok.  I placed a phone order because I didn't want to wait around for the pizza.  The guy was friendly on the phone, but clueless when I asked for the four slices to be just cheese.  I mean it can't be that tough to leave four slices without any toppings!  I mean it won't cost anymore time or actually saves them money.  What would be the difference if I asked for half cheese and half sausage?  Four more slices would not have sausage!  So what's the big deal about having only four slices just cheese?

Overall the pizza was pretty good, not great, but the high price tag and the small amount of toppings on the pizza makes it a very bad value.  I won't be back to Nonno's. 

Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop

Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop
8017 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood
323-656-0606

A few blocks east of Carney's is Greenblatt's Deli.  I had planned to eat at Carney's but there was a long line at Carney's.  When I passed Greenblatt's on the way to Carney's, I realized it has been on my list of places to try.  So I came here.

Greenblatt's is a two story restaurant.  The ground floor has a small number of tables, the deli counter, and a huge retail store.  The upper floor has seating for about 40 people.  It was pretty busy when we arrived, all the tables were taken on the ground floor.  So, the bus boy said there was seating up stairs.  Notice, there was no host or hostess greeting people. Anyways, we were seated at the last empty table upstairs.


Pastrami sandwich, $12.95.  The menu at Greenblatt's said their pastrami was rated best pastrami.  Now The New Diner readers know I'm not a fan of Langers, what people says is the holy grail for pastrami; it's good pastrami but nothing great, certainly not the holy grail!  Personally, my holy grail for pastrami is Katz's in New York City!

So, I had to order the pastrami.  Sliced thin, the pastrami was flavorful and tasty, but a bit dry.  There was a good amount of pastrami on the sandwich, well worth the $12.95 price tag.  What made up for it was the great rye bread!  The crust was tough but chewy and the bread was just fantastic!   I got a side of fresh fruit and everything was good, expect for the very sour orange slice.

Service is below average.  While the server was nice, he wasn't around that often.  It took a long time to even place our order, get refills, he forgot to bring the extra napkins we asked for. To cut him some slack, I think it's how the restaurant assigns servers.  It seems our server had a couple tables upstairs but had all the tables downstairs.  I also didn't like the no host policy.  If the busboy didn't happen to walk by, I may still be standing there waiting for a table!

I wouldn't go back to Greenblatt's.  The pastrami sandwich was fine, but nothing great and service left a lot to be desired.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sal's Pizza


Sal's Pizza
6773 Carnelian St
Alta Loma
909-989-5547

I have reviewed other pizza places with the name Sal's somewhere in the business name; Two Sal's in Montebello-which is now closed, and Sal's Pizza and Bagelry in La Verne.  Now, you're reading  another pizza place with Sal's in it's name; Sal's Pizza.  I found out about Sal's Pizza from a comment by Mr. T, no not that Mr. T of A-Team fame, to David Allen's review of Red Devil Pizza in La Verne.  You can read my review of Red Devil Pizza.  On a side note, Who knew that La Verne had so many pizza places?  Some very good- Pizza Barn, some pretty good- Red Devil, and some very overrated- Warehouse Pizza and Sal's Pizza and Bagelry.  Anyways, I invited David Allen, who had never been to Sal's Pizza in Alta Loma, and we had a nice chat about the dining scene in the Pomona Valley.  David has posted his review of Sal's Pizza.

Sal's Pizza is a small take out and delivery place.  There is no place to sit down and eat at Sal's.  So, David and I, went to the Del Taco in the same shopping center, ordered a soda and feasted on Sal's pizza!  The menu states Sal's has been serving Rancho Cucamunga and Upland since 1979, and I understand they moved to this location in Alta Loma about ten years ago. 


Medium Sal's Special pizza, $16.25, pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, green peppers, onions, mushrooms.  The crust was very good, nice and firm on the outside and chewy inside, and held up to the large amount of toppings on the pizza.  The sauce was mild and added to the pizza but did not overpower it.  The meat toppings were great, though I didn't taste much bacon-must have been bacon bits, but good quality.  The veggie toppings were fresh and plentiful! 

Service was good.  The guy, I think he is the owner, who took the order was nice and friendly.  The pizza came out quickly and hot.  They included a coupon with the pizza, $2 off on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, and $3 off on Wednesday.  Nice touch, because I'll use it again.

I enjoyed the pizza from Sal's Pizza and would go  back more frequently, if I lived close by.  I had a very enjoyable dinner with David Allen, but sadly the BBQ place at Vineyard and Football, which he thought was ran by the owners of the now closed Red Hill BBQ, is closed!

Polka Polish Restaurant


Polka Polish Restaurant
4112 Verdugo Rd
Los Angeles
323-255-7887

I love Polka Polish Restaurant but I recently heard Polka has undergone an ownership change.  What happened was the nice couple that owned Polka moved back to Poland and a family member took over.  So, Polka is still in the same family, though you won't see that couple who was on the Food Network show with that loudmouth jerk yelling at everybody.

I've had two entrees at Polka; klopsy and cutlet schabowy, but never the pierogies, so I went back to try the pierogies.  The dark cluttered decor has changed.  They painted the walls and declutter so it looks bigger, and it brighter.

The menu items are basically the same, but the actual menus are new.  You still get soup and salad with each entree.  The salads have gotten a little smaller, but I didn't go to Polka for the salad. 

Pierogi, $17.99, sauerkraut & stewed mushrooms and potatoes & cheese with carrots and corn.  The other times I've had pierogies were from the frozen section of the market.  So, I was really looking forward to getting real pierogies from Polka.  I was not disappointed!  Each pierogi was stuffed to the gills and huge. 


Potatoes & cheese-The potatoes were cooked perfectly, almost like mashed potatoes but a bit firmer.  The cheese was mixed in well with the potatoes and made for a great blend of flavors.  The dough was cooked perfectly and the caramelized onions just added another flavor to this great dish.

Sauerkraut & stewed mushrooms- They say the Germans know how to make sauerkraut, well the Polish do a damn good job!  The sauerkraut was tangy, but not overpowering.  The mushrooms were cut into smaller pieces and well cooked.  I really liked both pierogi and would have a hard time choosing which one is my favorite.

Service is friendly, but below average.  The new owners are friendly, but they are overwhelmed.  There were only two people serving and the entire restaurant was full.  Drink refills only came when asked.  The couple at the table next to us was seated after us, but got their soup before us.  But, that's ok, because we got our entrees before them!  They really need to staff the dinner rush with three servers, or at least a busboy.

Despite the below average service, the food at Polka is great.  I would go back anytime, and I may even order some pierogies to go the next time I'm there!