Pomona Valley Mining Co
1777 Gillette Rd
Pomona, CA 91768
The Pomona Valley Mining Co has been around since at least the 1970's, overlooking Pomona and the 10 freeway. It's outlasted it's other hill top restaurant, Castaways, which is now Coco Palm. There may have been another restaurant between Castaways and Coco Palm. If you remember the name, email me.
David Allen wrote about Cask N Cleaver's 50th anniversary, and mentioned they still have a self service salad bar; something which gained popularity in the 1970's, but that fad slowly went out with bell bottoms and shag carpets!! I got to wondering what restaurants still have a self service salad bar and remembered the Pomona Valley Mining Co. I was surprised David hasn't written about it in his blog. Then I checked the Dining in Pomona blog, and since he expanded his dining adventures from Garey Ave, he may have reviewed Pomona Valley Mining Co. But, to my surprise also didn't have a review. Dining in Pomona's review has been posted!
I decided to invite both David and Dining in Pomona for a dinner at Pomona Valley Mining Co. We agreed on a day, and luckily David drove his own car and not his rental truck!
The decor of Pomona Valley Mining Co hasn't changed since the 1970's. It's suppose to look like a mining shaft, and the mining equipment is suppose to be from the actual nearby mines. The dining area is mostly along the top to bottom glass wall, that gives you a great view of Pomona, the 10 freeway and elephant hill! Above the dining area is the salad bar, sorry I forgot to take a picture.
Shrimp and scallop scampi, $26, with salad bar and rice pilaf. The salad bar comes with all entrees ordered. The salad bar itself is $18. The salad bar is fresh, with lettuce and other veggies, but nothing outstanding and not many choices. They did have three different soups available too. I got the corn chowder, which was too sweet for my tastes.
The rice pilaf was ok, a bit bland, needed more seasoning. What they call scampi, I call a cream sauce. I have never seen such a white cream sauce on seafood. The shrimp were pretty good, medium size, and well cooked. The scallops, I bet are frozen and were too chewy and mushy for my tastes. Overall this dish was ok.
Service was good. Our server came around often, she could have refilled drinks both water and other drinks, more often, but I thought she was good overall.
I should add one thing. I always find it weird when a hostess of an nearly empty restaurant asks if I made reservations! I mean, the night we were there if you added up all the people that were there for the 2 hours or so we were there, only about 70% of the dining area would be filled.
Pomona Valley Mining Co is a place you have to try at least once, even if the food is just average.