Restaurant of the Week: Manila Sunset

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Manila Sunset, 11815 Foothill Blvd. (at Rochester), Rancho Cucamonga

One of a small chain of Filipino fast-casual restaurants, Manila Sunset is located in the Masi Plaza center. I’d been meaning to go for a long time but kept forgetting, as I don’t get to Far Rancho all that often. Then my friend Rose had lunch there and sent me a glowing report. Finally I made a point of going there with a friend on our way to “The Crucible” at Lewis Family Playhouse last week.

It’s a clean, bright place, done mostly in yellow, with murals and a large patio. You order at the counter, which can be intimidating, since the menu is full of unrecognizable items (if you’re unfamiliar with Filipino food, as I am) with names like Pancit Malabon and Tokwa’t Baboy. But the manager is very gregarious, explaining the menu and recommending items.

We had the pork BBQ skewers plate ($5.95), milkfish, which was one of the daily specials (price forgotten but around $7), an order of fresh lumpia ($3.95), which is sauteed vegetables in a crepe-like wrapper, and two unusual but delicious beverages, sago at Gulaman, which is an iced gelatin drink, and the iced melon drink ($2.75 each).

We liked our food and thought it was reasonably priced. The menu has a lot of fried items, and eating off foam containers isn’t really my thing, so Manila Sunset probably won’t be a regular stop. But I have nothing bad to say about the place. The numerous daily specials were on a separate board and may be unique to this location. It was neat to see how the menu doesn’t seem to be dumbed down.

The Rancho Cucamonga/Fontana area has a sizable Filipino population. Several other diners that evening were Filipino. Having a Filipino restaurant here is a boon for them and helps make Rancho Cucamonga just that much more cosmopolitan.

Did I really just use “Rancho Cucamonga” and “cosmopolitan” in the same sentence?

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  • ROSE LINCK

    Hi David! I agree with you about the styrofoam — not my thing either, but if it helps keep prices down right now I’m all for it. A must have is the Bibingka Galapong: Rice cake made from real “galapong,” eggs and milk, topped with white cheese. Served with fresh grated coconut.

  • Bob Terry

    The Commonwealth of Rancho Cucamonga has BANNED all styrofoam at all city owned locations, events and the like. I hope the “styro police” don’t take it out on a nice, family owned establishment.

    [Well, maybe it's not styrofoam per se but a biodegradable facsimile. -- DA]

  • deanna warner

    David,

    I love your column. As a native daughter of Upland (born at San Antonio Hosp 1940) I can relate to so many of your subjects.

    We used to take a Sunday ride to the country, which is now Chino. I have hundreds of stories.

    I was in the first graduating class of Upland High.

    I can remember standing on 25th Street looking out over the Armstrong Nursery property and seeing the ocean every day. On a clear day we could see Catalina Island.

    Thanks again
    Deanna Palmer Warner

    I also loved all the citrus groves. The first time I had to buy a orange at the grocery store, it tasted rotten, we were used to going out the back door and picking them right off the tree.

    I wrote to you about Manila Sunset. Thank you for your review. Hans is a great guy and works so hard.