Restaurant of the Week: Warehouse Pizza

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Warehouse Pizza, 2340 D St. (at Bonita), La Verne

Anchoring a prime corner in downtown La Verne, Warehouse practically anchors the entire downtown. Its website says it’s been there 23 years, but that seems to refer only to the current owners. A University of La Verne alumnus friend says he was eating at Warehouse as early as 1971.

Either way, it’s an expansive place — could it have been a former citrus warehouse? — with a large, open interior and exposed industrial ceiling. Equally large is the patio, only a portion of which could fit into the above photo. Warehouse is a favorite of ULV students and professors, as well as Bonita High students, sports teams and families.

The menu has a dozen sandwiches and three salads, plus beer and wine, but the pizza is the main reason anyone goes (the beer may be second). A 14-inch mushroom ($13.95), pictured, comes loaded, the sauce tomatoey, the crust chewy, but crispy at the edge.

For its size, La Verne has a lot of homegrown pizza parlors (Red Devil, Sal’s, Pizza Barn, Pizza N Stuff and maybe one or two I’ve forgotten), with Warehouse perhaps the best, and certainly the most fondly regarded.

Two ULV alums are said to have opened Warehouse knockoffs in Hawaii and Colorado, duplicating the interior to the last neon beer sign, hanging ladder and miniature gas pump. The original is a classic college-town pizza parlor. Long may it bake.

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Reading log: March 2010

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Books bought this month: “Kolchak: The Night Stalker Casebook,” Joe Gentile, ed.; “Vineland,” Thomas Pynchon; “Supreme Courtship,” Christopher Buckley.

Books read this month: “The Lottery and Other Stories,” Shirley Jackson; “What Mad Universe,” Fredric Brown; “The Quick Red Fox,” John D. MacDonald; “Dark Carnival,” Ray Bradbury.

Four books read in March: one science fiction, one mystery and two creepy fantasy. The latter includes my first Bradbury book of the year (after, er, 24 last year — did I overdo it?). I’ve already devoted a post to the not only out of print but barely in print to begin with “Dark Carnival”; it’s pretty good, but anyone but a completist can stick to “The October Country,” which reprints the best of its stories, and not miss out. More on “October Country” next month.

Incidentally, here’s a portion of a comment Doug Evans left on that “Dark Carnival” post:

“Here’s what you should now do in your spare time: become a wiki editor and update the ‘Dark Carnival’ page, providing info on which stories from that collection can now be found in which of Bradbury’s later collections, minus the four that have never been collected elsewhere. Think of the service you’d be doing humankind! Or at least the Bradbury completist like yourself.”

Humankind, look upon the updated Wikipedia page for “Dark Carnival” and tremble. (I added paragraphs two through four. It took way longer than you’d think.)

And now, back to the countdown.

Jackson’s “The Lottery and Other Stories,” bought used in January, was astonishingly good. Nearly everyone has read the story “The Lottery” in school, right? If not, do so immediately; it’s an American classic. The rest of the stories are of the same caliber. Some are straight fiction, some have an element of unreality, but most are unsettling. Women’s concerns drive several pieces. A favorite involves a wife who travels into NYC for a tooth extraction and finds more than her tooth liberated.
Continue reading

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Dancing with the Sparks

Not one but two Pomona women were the focus of Sandy Banks’ LA Times column Tuesday about auditions for the Ole Skool Crew, the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks’ over-40 cheerleading squad.

Arlene Medina, 63, “dances nonstop at Pomona’s concerts in the park” — surely this can’t mean the community band, can it? — and Elaine Gallegos, 47, is a meter reader who grew up dancing to Motown tunes.

The tryouts were previewed in our paper Sunday by my colleague (and RC Now blogger) Wendy Leung.

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‘City Lights’

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This 1931 Charlie Chaplin classic is the first film in the “Down With Depression” series at the Ontario City Library, 215 E. C St., screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. I’ll be there to introduce the film. You can read more about the series in last Sunday’s column.

Read about “City Lights” on Wikipedia here and Roger Ebert’s essay on the movie here. Spoiler alerts apply in both cases, of course.

Ebert concludes, for those of you uncertain about silent films:

“Most of Chaplin’s films are available on video. Children who see them at a certain age don’t notice they’re ‘silent’ but notice only that every frame speaks clearly to them, without all those mysterious words that clutter other films. Then children grow up, and forget this wisdom, but the films wait patiently and are willing to teach us again.”

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Earthquake!

According to Caltech, some 20 million people felt Sunday’s 3:20 p.m. earthquake, at 7.2 magnitude the biggest quake here since the Landers in 1992. Where were you Sunday and what did you see or feel, if anything?

I was on my computer at home and it felt as though something — a bull, say — had butted against the house. Then it seemed like a giant was gently twisting the house back and forth, as if rocking it to sleep. I was surprised how long the sensation lasted. I got up and walked into the living room to make sure nothing important was teetering.

Then it was all over, except for a hanging light fixture swaying slowly for several more seconds.

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Restaurant of the Week: Kazama

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Kazama Sushi, 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd. (at 2nd), Claremont

Sometimes these writeups are based on a single meal. Kazama, however, is a place I’ve eaten at a half-dozen times since it relocated to Claremont’s Village expansion in 2007 after a couple of years in Rancho Cucamonga. I like it. It’s easy to get to for me, it’s near the Laemmle theater complex, the food’s good and the experience is quiet and professional.

A friend took me to lunch there Saturday for a belated birthday get-together. I got the tekka don ($16.50), a bowl of tuna sashimi on sushi rice. Check out the presentation! That’s a piece of sashimi curled into the shape of a rose. Very nice. And yes, the dish tasted good too.

My friend had the weekend lunch special ($12.50) which had a little of everything: tuna and salmon sushi, California rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, chicken teriyaki, salad, miso soup and fruit. She liked it. We also split an order of gyoza ($4.95).

Kazama is small, about six tables, plus a long, curving sushi bar with 20 seats. Decor is understated. Some grumble that the prices are too high, and they may be, although an extra couple of bucks for a nice experience in the high-rent district doesn’t bother me.

There’s a second Japanese restaurant less than two blocks north and there’s nothing wrong with it either, but I give the edge to Kazama.

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