Restaurant of the Week: Senor Baja

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Senor Baja, 405 E. Mission Blvd. (at Elm), Pomona; also in Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Chino, Chino Hills, San Dimas and elsewhere

Senor Baja, which took over several El Taco Nazo locations a couple of years ago, specializes in fish tacos. On Wednesdays, its fish tacos, normally $1.65, are only 99 cents. I went to the downtown Pomona location recently with a friend who raves about the tacos and the price.

This Senor Baja is in a converted Taco Bell, constituting a distinct improvement. I got three fish tacos and a horchata for precisely $5, a cheap dinner.

The tacos arrived fresh and hot. The fish was crisp, not soggy, and there was plenty of it. One taco had two pieces of fish stacked up. As my friend put it, “Sometimes when they feel like they’re not giving you enough they give you a second piece of fish.” There was probably more fish on that taco than on any three combined from Rubio’s. Even better, the tacos were delicious, perhaps the best fish tacos I’ve had.

This was my first Senor Baja visit. My friend has been to most of them in the area and says the Pomona location may be the most consistent. The seating is on 13 stools inside and at tables outside.

The menu has tacos, burritos, sopes and tortas, most of them fish-based. A shrimp cocktail, at $9, is the most expensive item. Here’s a link to a list of locations.

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Library book sale

The Friends of the Claremont Library will hold its semi-annual book sale at the Claremont Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The library is at 208 N. Harvard Ave.

Says book sale chairwoman Barbara Musselman in her email to me: “We would appreciate any mention that you might make in your wonderful newspaper column and on your blog!”

Flattery will get you everywhere, Friends of the Claremont Library.

(Except the newspaper, but that’s only because i forgot about your event until a few hours after deadline Thursday.)

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Photos added

As those who keep a sharp eye on the “Recent Comments” section below may know, a 2008 blog post here about a long-gone boarding school for girls in Pomona that had an emphasis on horseriding reliably gets a new comment every few weeks. It’s up to 29 comments, largely because if you Google the school’s name, that blog post is the No. 1 hit.

Someday I may have to write a column about the place. In the meantime, a former student emailed me three photos, which I’ve incorporated onto the blog post. Check it out here.

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Happy birthday, Bob Dylan

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Let me be among the multitudes wishing Bob Dylan well on his 70th birthday today. I heard my first Dylan song on the radio in 1979 (“Gotta Serve Somebody,” then brand new), having up to that point only encountered his name in print, which I had assumed was pronounced Dye-lan.

Anyway, at 15 I was immediately intrigued by his way with words and became more fascinated after reading about his stubborn determination to go his own way as an artist even when that proved unpopular. Not a bad role model. I went on to buy all his albums, see him in concert a dozen times (including last year in Ontario) and demonstrate my fannish devotion in many other ways.

Question: What’s your favorite Dylan song or album?

Mine would depend on my mood but I’ll go with “Most of the Time” and “Blood on the Tracks,” respectively.

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Where were you when the world ended?

Supposedly the world was going to end at 6 p.m. Saturday — 6 p.m. no matter what time zone you were in (saving a lot of bothersome math).

Given the impending demise of the planet, I realize I should have been, say, frantically reading “King Lear” while listening to Beethoven’s Ninth and eating mint-chip ice cream, but in reality I was on my computer reading about Looney Tunes and drying a load of laundry.

What were you doing when the world ended?

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Restaurant of the Week: Pho Ha

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Pho(to) above: John Valenzuela

Pho Ha, 9319 Foothill Blvd. (at Hellman), Rancho Cucamonga; also 695 Indian Hill Blvd. (at Keystone), Pomona

Pho Ha is reputed to be among the best Vietnamese restaurants locally, and none of my experiences there would refute that. The one in Rancho Cucamonga is in the Chuck E. Cheese center. At busy times it’s like a food hall, every table lined up in rows and occupied, a few diners standing and waiting for a seat, waiters scurrying.

They do a very good version of pho, the beef noodle soup that is a Vietnamese staple. There’s also an extensive menu of appetizers and entrees, which are what I usually opt for. I’ve never had a bad meal there.

The Pomona location is also good, albeit a notch below the Rancho Cucamonga location in ambience. At last count there are 128 reviews on Yelp.

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‘La Boheme’ ends Saturday

This clip will give you a fair idea of what you’ll get if you see the Repertory Opera Company’s production of “La Boheme.” I saw the May 7 show and was especially impressed by the two leads. Give ‘em a listen.

The production ends this Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee at First Christian Church, 1751 N. Park Ave., Pomona. Tickets are $30 and can be bought at the door or online.

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