Restaurant of the Week: Korean BBQ

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Korean BBQ, 4232 Holt Blvd. (at Amherst), Montclair

In the Inland Valley, where Korean restaurants are rare, Korean BBQ is the venerable granddaddy of them all. It’s located in a strip mall next to a laundromat along Holt Boulevard. Yes, it’s an unpromising location, but Korean BBQ has been there since sometime around 1990, so it must work for them. It used to have a giant yellow pole sign out front until a makeover to the center required a more modest sign.

My friends Meg and K. (of the M-M-M-My Pomona blog) highly recommend the place, and since they used to live in L.A.’s Koreatown neighborhood, their advice was heeded. The three of us met for dinner there on a recent Sunday.

The interior is dated, especially the paneling, but it’s clean and pleasant enough, and Korean restaurants generally are utilitarian. The staff brought out the usual array appetizers in small dishes: kimchi, fish cake, bean sprouts, etc.

We ordered short ribs ($25) and beef ($18) off the barbecue menu, plus a bowl of bibimbap (forgot the price, sorry) to share. The barbecue items are cooked on a grill in the middle of your table. The staff fires up the grill, puts the meat on and returns to turn it or serve pieces that are done.

Korean barbecue is even rarer than Korean restaurants out here; I’ve tried two Korean places in Rancho Cucamonga and one in Chino Hills, and none of them had tabletop barbecue. The food in Montclair didn’t impress me as much as my one previous experience with Korean barbecue, at the highly regarded Park’s in L.A. — the meat wasn’t of as high a quality — but I liked the meal, the staff was nice and Montclair is a lot closer than Wilshire Boulevard.

The restaurant gets 4 stars on Yelp, where they have the name as Arirang. The menu and sign say Korean BBQ (as did the old sign), but the strip mall’s name is Arirang Plaza, and for all I know that’s the restaurant’s secret name.

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Up all night

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Can’t sleep and need an art fix? Through Nov. 6, the Pomona College Museum of Art is open 24/7. As the L.A. Times’ Christopher Knight put it: “Like 7-Eleven and the drive-through at Del Taco, the Pomona College Museum of Art never closes.”

It’s part of a pretty cool exhibit titled “It Happened at Pomona,” one of the many Pacific Standard Time exhibits celebrating the Los Angeles art scene from 1945 to 1980. (I hope to write more about the initiative in the near future.)

More about the Claremont exhibit is here, with a calendar of events.

Below is alumni Chris Burden’s cube sculpture, which is installed outside the museum.

Being an early-to-bed type, I visited the museum at 6:45 p.m. on a Wednesday with friends. If you visit the museum in the middle of the night, you can always mull over the show afterward at Norms, Claremont’s 24-hour diner.

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Arrows on Arrow

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It took only seven months, but Rancho Cucamonga recently replaced the directional sign that had no directional arrows at Archibald and Arrow. The previous version can be seen here. The sign was taken down within days of my February blog post and went back up again in late September. I hope no motorists have been driving aimlessly all this time.

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Jurassic Yard


Driving in northwest Ontario recently, I was surprised to spot these two Tyrannosaurus rex sculptures in a backyard amid jungle-like foliage at the street corner. After shooting this photo while at a stop sign (at Grove and 9th), I drove on, nervously.

Note the barbed wire. Presumably the homeowner put it there to keep the dinosaurs in.

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Upland Winchell’s sign is now art


Remember the old Winchell’s Donuts at 887 W. Foothill Blvd. in Upland? What a great sign, and the building was great too. I’m not a big doughnut guy, but I went there a couple of times just for the ambience (and a chocolate raised).

It closed in 2004 (the building is now Cherry on Top Frozen Yogurt), but the sign was saved. It’s now owned by the Museum of Neon Art and is on public display through January on Santa Monica Boulevard at Martel Avenue in West Hollywood. How about that! See my Friday column for more.

Below is the scene from across Santa Monica Boulevard, and below that is a portion of the interpretive panel alongside the sign so we know why we’re supposed to be impressed.

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Jessica Alba at the L.A. County Fair

A reader phoned to tell me to check out the Pop Sugar celebrity website, and lo and behold, there’s a 40-photo slideshow of actress and Pomona native Jessica Alba with her family at the L.A. County Fair on Saturday.

Says the website: “Honor (their 3-year-old daughter) took a spin on the merry-go-round with Jess, made friends with a boa constrictor at the petting zoo, and finally capped off her afternoon of fun with a princess costume party. Jessica snapped photos throughout the day and relaxed later in the evening by sharing an ice-cold beer with her husband.”

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