Three Anas, 8980 Benson Ave. (at Arrow Highway), Montclair
Located in a small, nondescript industrial park, Three Anas doesn’t promise much. But then you step inside, notice the two colorful murals and learn you order at your table, not the counter. There are other homey touches: a Wall of Fame by the door in which regular customers’ photos are posted and a stack of magazines for solo customers’ reading pleasure.
Our server cheerfully explained the origin of the Three Anas name: That’s what their father called Ana, Julianna and Joanna, the three sisters who own the restaurant. It will mark five years in business on Oct. 1.
Our table ordered steak picado ($7.50), which was pleasingly dry, not soupy; the special burrito ($4.50) with potatoes, carne asada, onions and peppers; and the chile relleno and chicken enchilada plate ($7), served wet with green sauce, plus rice and beans. They were all solid, satisfying versions. Three Anas “rivals Mi Pueblita,” one of our group said admiringly, referring to the popular Upland restaurant.
You have to like a restaurant run by three sisters, especially when the experience delivers so much more than the location promised. A hidden gem.