There’s a sequel to this restaurant in downtown Pomona named Aladdin Jr. 2, but this is the original, up on North Garey below Foothill Boulevard. It’s in a slightly blah shopping center that nevertheless boasts a couple of very good restaurants, notably Los Jarritos.
Aladdin Jr. has a big, landscaped patio for eating or hookah smoking. Inside, there are booths and tables in the dining room, which is decorated by murals that highlight the Disney version of a romanticized Middle East. Kitschy but cute. If memory serves, the staff used to wear vests and fezzes, but they no longer do.
Aladdin has a lunch buffet that’s popular, but on a recent mid-afternoon visit, two friends and I opted to order off the menu for fresher fare. A lamb shawarma sandwich ($6.50) was tender, flavorful and practically as big as a football. The lamb kabob ($14) and chicken kabob ($12, pictured) had generous portions of meat, plus rice and a small salad. Good stuff. The lamb guy took half of his order home.
Service, by a man I believe was the manager, was friendly and joshing. He kidded the ones in our party who arrived late (who deserved it, which I can say because it wasn’t me). Our only complaint were the persistent flies in the window. Maybe they liked the look of the sand in the murals.