Restaurant of the Week: Sabor Mexicano

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Sabor Mexicano, 180 E. 6th St. (at Garey), Pomona

Sabor is across Garey from City Hall and the Library and ensconced behind a vacuum cleaner repair shop. But — capsule review — it doesn’t suck.

I’d been to Sabor Mexicano (“Flavors of Mexico”) a couple of times five years ago for dinner before council meetings, but the kitchen tended to take longer than I had. It’s not a taqueria, it’s a real sitdown restaurant. Casting about for a place to meet a friend recently, I remembered Sabor and that it served food from a couple of regions of Mexico poorly represented in restaurants.

Imagine my delight in rediscovering that one of them is Mexico City, which I visited early in 2011 on vacation. When I inquired in print after my return about Distrito Federal-style food locally, nobody mentioned Sabor.

The menu has sections for the DF and Oaxaca, as well as offering tortas, mariscos, jugos and licuados. (A mural outside the restaurant depicts a map of Mexico with Oaxaca pinpointed.)

The DF section (comida estilo Distrito Federal) has alambres, quesadillas, huaraches, gorditas, sopes, pambasos and cemotas poblanas, plus tacos and burritos. Admittedly, I didn’t know what some of these were, and many seemed like variations of the same item, but at least it was something.

I went with a quesadilla with squash blossoms (top right), which was familiar. The quesadilla was long, more of an oval than the circular U.S. version, and the squash blossoms were much like mushrooms. (I had a burrito with squash blossoms on the street in the DF, and a homemade quesadilla at my friends’ apartment; this was a melding of the two and pleasingly reminiscent of each.)

My friend had a huarache with cactus and beans (bottom right), holding the cheese and onions. A huarache is a sandal-shaped thick piece of fried masa with toppings. She pronounced it “quite tasty.” For beverages, she had a horchata and I had a watermelon drink. Our items were $5 to $6; exact prices forgotten.

Service was friendly and bilingual. Windows surround the restaurant on two sides and let in plenty of afternoon sunlight. A telenovela played on the TV. Life could be worse.

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Column: In RC, completed trail also has sailboats

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Friday’s column (read it here) is about Wednesday’s dedication ceremony in Rancho Cucamonga for the completion of the Pacific Electric Trail. That was accomplished in part thanks to the new bridge over Foothill Boulevard, replacing the narrow, 1929 bridge that was removed last year.

The rendering above is what one side of the bridge will look like in a far future era when we’re all using jetpacks. Note the cutouts of the states through which Route 66 passes, a nice touch.

In the photo below, I’m on the dirt embankment on the south side of Foothill after crossing the bridge, looking at the Illinois-themed imagery imprinted on the abutment. I’m writing down “windmill, hills, oak tree.” Photographer Thomas Cordova snapped the picture because it looked like I was conducting an interview with empty air. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image of…nothing.

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‘Phantom of the Opera’ at Chaffey High

Chaffey High School in Ontario has been performing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” musical in a production that its theater department is calling “lavish” and which, based on the video, seems really to be lavish.

The show ends Sunday. Remaining performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission: $13. A heckuva lot cheaper than Broadway. Performances are in Gardiner Spring Auditorium, 211 W. 5th St.

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A very news media Christmas

Saturday brings the Pomona Christmas Parade, which will wind through downtown from 10 a.m. to noon. Now, you might be going to see boxer Sugar Shane Mosley, the grand marshal, or to see the marching bands, drill teams, community floats or veterans. (You probably aren’t going to see the politicians, but as in any self-respecting parade, they’ll be there.)

But don’t forget that yours truly and KPCC-FM “Morning Edition” host Steve Julian, who is a Pomona native, will be there too. We’re set to share a ride in a vehicle with a sign that will brand us as “news media.” Don’t hold that against us! Come out and wave to us. We’ll wave back.

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Column: Funny how the funny pages are back

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Wednesday’s column (read it here) is my third annual look at some of the new book collections of classic newspaper comic strips. My feeling is, what better place to highlight such collections than in a newspaper? If anyone’s going to care, it ought to be us. Anyway, this is the first year I’ve thought to include a photo. The book that’s open, which reprints “Captain Easy,” is 11-by-15, so use that as a scale to judge the others.

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Vintage Christmas

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Probably hard to tell at this size, but this Claremont banner reproduces a Christmas-themed citrus crate label that reads “College Heights Orange Association.” This would date to Claremont’s citrus past. A nice touch. Seen at the Metrolink station.

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