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?