Casablanca, 500 W. 1st St. (at Oberlin), Claremont
This week’s restaurant is Casablanca, the Mediterranean place, named for my favorite movie, that opened in the Claremont Packing House last summer. There seems to be a split opinion out there in the blogosphere at the M-M-M-My Pomona site, with comments varying wildly — even between the couple who moderates the blog.
Well, I liked my meal there. There’s an inviting atmosphere and a decor with a lot of dark wood, balanced by copious windows. The service was attentive. A friend and I shared a hummus appetizer that was superior. I had the chicken kabob and was pleased with it. My friend got the lamb shanks and if anything it was better than the kabob, very tender. Why, I could have led a sing-along of “La Marseillaise” but restrained myself.
This post is based on one visit, so your mileage may vary, as others’ has. The place was worth my dough. The owner himself came out to ask how things were as we left. A liquor license is pending, he said happily, but in the meantime, they do serve wine.
No matter to me. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
* Update April 2014: I returned to Casablanca for dinner and photos. My friend had a vegetarian kabab ($18, below) and I had a lamb kabab ($20, bottom). (We used a 2-for-1 coupon from a Clipper magazine, saving the $18.) We both liked our meals and the atmosphere. I’m a little surprised Casablanca has hung in there — they don’t seem as busy as back when they opened — but the dining room was mostly full on a Sunday night, and the food is still good.