Home Kitchen stops cooking

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Home Kitchen at 309 E. Foothill in Pomona closed recently. I’d never been there but passed by frequently over the years. Then in January I noticed all the letters were gone from the face of the building. Yep, it’s closed.

“No lease,” explains a message on a whiteboard that directs diners to Ho’s Silver Spoon at 150 S. Grand Ave. in Glendora, which is owned by the same people.

Click on the thumbnail photo at right for a larger view of the message and full directions. What a public-spirited fellow I am. Ho’s gets decent reviews on Yelp.

Some of you may recall that circa 2000, the Pomona building had a Winchell’s on the other end where you could watch them make the donuts. It was an experiment and didn’t last long. Home Kitchen was in the other half of the building probably since the beginning. Nothing ever replaced Winchell’s. Now the entire building is vacant.

Incidentally, in the small patio area when I visited a week ago, the H from the Home Kitchen sign was lying face-down on a table, as if someone couldn’t be bothered to haul away the last letter.

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Ontario Music is back

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You may recall that Ontario Music closed in July 2010 after 50 years of instrument sales, repairs and music lessons. The good news is the store reopened on Jan. 2 under new ownership. The new name, as reader Dennis Sampson’s photo above illustrates, is Gard’s Ontario Music.

Gard’s is a longtime Glendora store that took over the Ontario location. Visit their website here. I’ll have more about Gard’s in my Sunday column.

When I wrote about Ontario Music’s closing on my blog, it drew more than 40 comments of condolence, which you can see here. (My column with all the details also garnered comment too but those have disappeared.)

I’m pleased to announce the store’s reopening here where its fans can welcome Ontario Music back.

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Restaurant of the Week: Seoul Garden

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Seoul Garden, 4200 Chino Hills Parkway No. 130 (at Pipeline), Chino Hills

Seoul Garden is in a sort of casual-restaurant row near Indian, Mexican and other ethnic eateries clustered in an outlying building in the Chino Hills Marketplace center. It’s small but makes good use of the limited space, with cheerful yellow walls, a few partitions and exotic decor.

A couple of us had lunch there recently. Seoul Garden has various lunch deals, some depending on the day of the week. I had the Korean BBQ lunch box ($8.45 on Mondays) and my lunch companion had beef bulgogi ($5.45). A Korean food first-timer, he found the bulgogi (chopped, marinated beef) tender and very tasty. “I’m going to drag some people here,” he vowed. My short rib lunch was also pretty good. Service was friendly.

As Korean food goes, not outstanding like Young Dong Tofu House elsewhere in town, but pleasant.

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‘An American Werewolf’ in La Verne

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Photo courtesy University of La Verne

Director John Landis spoke at a film class at the University of La Verne on Wednesday afternoon following a screening of his 1981 horror comedy “An American Werewolf in London.” Teacher Scott Essman has brought a parade of makeup artists, directors, actors and effects artists to his class this month, with Landis being the biggest surprise.

You can read all about it in my Friday newspaper column.

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Petrillo’s

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I had dinner Sunday with friends at Petrillo’s, the famed San Gabriel Valley pizza chain. Two of us had never been while the other two grew up eating there. We went to the original on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel. Motto: “Since 1954.”

The pizza was thick crust, cut into squares and generously topped. It was terrific. A medium fed four of us (we also shared a spaghetti) and two of us took slices home.

The ambience is old-school Italian pizza parlor, reminiscent of Casa Bianca Pizza in Eagle Rock. The pressed-tin ceiling adds character, as does the lovely neon sign glowing outside.

There are other Petrillo’s locations, including Glendora, and a couple of offshoots whose connection to the real thing I’m unclear on: Mama Petrillo’s, with a location in La Verne, and Petrillii’s, a takeout-only spot in Upland that may be a former Petrillo’s.

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Fat feline

There’s a fat cat around Claremont, and I don’t mean a rich guy. According to the Courier’s Police Blotter, a dentist’s office last month phoned police after a patient brought in a large wild cat, described as possibly a leopard.

“Police checked out the situation,” the Courier reported, “and discovered the animal was just a large house cat.”

A large house cat that could use a lap band.

Side issue: Who brings a cat of any size with them to the dentist?

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Restaurant of the Week: Zeke’s

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Zeke’s Eatin’ Place, 1855 E. 4th St. (at Vineyard), Ontario

Zeke’s has been a block or so from our newsroom during my entire Bulletin tenure, but it took me a while to get there, the name Zeke’s Eatin’ Place being kind of an eye-roller. I had a decent breakfast there a few years ago, which raised my opinion of the restaurant, and promptly forgot the whole thing.

For a recent breakfast meeting with three Ontario cops, they picked Zeke’s, a longtime favorite of the department, at least its older members. I was happy to give the place a try in the company of some admirers.

It’s breakfast and lunch only, closing at 3 p.m., and the motif is Wild West, with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood portraits, lots of wood and the deepest booths I’ve ever seen, able to fit six, or maybe eight. The menu has a hokey story about a fictional miner named Zeke, which is sort of charming, actually. Imagine, a diner with a concept that’s more 1850s than 1950s.

Biscuits and gravy are a specialty, but that’s not my thing. I had two eggs, sausage links and home fries ($6.15); others had the breakfast sandwich ($5.79), chicken fried steak and home fries ($7.35) and, for the cop with a cast-iron stomach, the chili cheese onion omelet ($8.09).

Everybody pronounced themselves pleased, although I would warn you away from the sausages, dinky things that looked fresh from the supermarket freezer. Zeke’s is known for its wagon wheel-size pancakes. As stated here about Guasti Homestyle Cafe, I’m not a “big breakfast” guy, but if you are, Zeke’s portions should satisfy you. Besides, it’s a homey place.

The cops told me Zeke’s has been around since the early 1980s, beginning in the shopping plaza at 4th and Grove before moving a few blocks east to 4th and Vineyard in the 1990s.

Lunchtime sandwich offerings on the menu made me think I should hit them up, so I’ve since returned for a meatloaf sandwich. It was only okay, but the fries were above average, and the service was friendly. The waitress even called me sweetheart a few times. You gotta love that. Zeke’s isn’t spectacular, but it’s a nice regular-folks place.

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Panda fans

Had dinner with a friend at Panda Express (hey, it wasn’t my idea) in Rancho Cucamonga at Vineyard and Foothill, in the Albertsons center. We’ve been there before (also not my choice). It’s a surprisingly popular place, one where people drift in and out all evening.

This time, on a warm January evening, the front door was propped open and the line of 10 or so people actually stretched out to the sidewalk.

A line out the door? At a Panda Express? Those two-item combos really pack ‘em in.

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A new mystery tower

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Photo: Will Plunkett

“At the intersection Base Line and Milliken in RC, there’s some construction going up, mainly a strange metal tower-thing,” reports reader Will Plunkett. His next trip past, he shot a photo, lamenting that scaffolding had obscured what he called its “Martian Chronicles-style architecture.”

Other readers have likewise asked about this tower cater-corner from Rancho Cucamonga’s Central Park. Pat Longuevan has asked what the heck it is, while Diane Martin jokes, “I hope it’s not another electronic billboard.”

I can tell you exactly what it is: a cell phone tower that will be disguised as a clocktower. I wrote about it last August.

More fun, though, would be if you took guesses as to what it might be, the sillier or more cynical the better. (Diane Martin, above, had the right spirit.)

Longtime readers may recall a similar guessing game a decade ago in my column regarding the tile-clad cell tower rising across from Montclair Plaza. I dubbed it the Montclair Mystery Tower. Plunkett suggests we open the floor for ideas about the RC Mystery Tower, and I agree.

What do you think it is?

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