This week’s restaurant: Flamingo Palms, 9223 Archibald Ave. (at 6th), Rancho Cucamonga.
Located in a nondescript business park next to a nail salon and employment center, this is a high-turnover space most recently home to a Mexican restaurant, Mi Casita. Recently a new banner went up over the entrance: “Cuban Food.”
A welcome change, since there’s no real Cuban restaurant in the Inland Valley outside of Norco’s Little Bit of Cuba. (Coco Palm in Pomona, from what I can tell, is kind of a hybrid. Some of us remember the late Mama Inez in downtown Pomona.)
The interior is improved: pale yellow walls with ironwork sculpture and deep brown trim. It’s pleasant but spartan. The stackable chairs are strictly hotel ballroom. Partitions and plants would help.
I know almost nothing about Cuban food, to be honest. The menu has stews, salads, sandwiches and seafood. Lots of chicken and pork. Some of the dishes (in the $10-$12 range) indicate more ambition than might otherwise be surmised from the menu’s rather homely appearance.
I stuck with one of the basics: a Cubano sandwich ($6.75) of ham, pork, cheese (or, as the menu put it, “chesses”) and pickles on a long roll, pressed and then sliced diagonally. Fried plantains were on the side. The result was as good as my memory of the Cubano I had once in Miami.
Service was friendly; it looks to be a family operation.
I hope Flamingo Palms lasts longer than recent occupants because it bears further investigation.