Richie’s Diner, 8039 Monet Ave. (at Victoria Gardens Lane), Victoria Gardens, Rancho Cucamonga.
I’m familiar with the Richie’s in Victorville, an occasional lunch stop when I lived and worked there in the mid-1990s. That one, if memory serves, had a virtually all-white interior and was fairly utilitarian. The food was OK but nothing exciting. The VG one is more a modern take on a diner, outfitted in browns and gray, with comfortable booths and classier touches. It’s a little disconcerting to see a wall niche with bottles of wine not far from a lineup of classic bottled sodas and emblems of old-school gas station pumps, but it mostly works.
I ordered the California tuna melt ($8.95) on sourdough with slaw as my side and a Pepsi with vanilla flavoring ($2.19), which came in a metal cup. A tuna melt is my baseline sandwich. This one really was a melt — sometimes the cheese isn’t melted at all — and was one of the better examples I’ve had. It came with avocado, probably a treat for most people, but to be honest, I’ve never really liked avocado. The slaw was good too.
All in all, Richie’s beat expectations.