Candidly candied

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After trying out Upland’s new Italian restaurant downtown, Aria, with his wife, reader Ken Brock sends along the above menu description of his item, the spinach salad. Matching the walnuts for candor, Brock reports: “I can tell you honestly that I’ve never had such a sincere and truthful salad.”

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Restaurant of the Week: Tijuana’s Tacos

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Tijuana’s Tacos, 485 W. Holt Ave. (at Wisconsin), Pomona

Holt through Ontario, Montclair and Pomona may have more taquerias than it does bus stops, muffler shops, 98-cent stores and streetwalkers — a bold claim, I know, but probably supported by the evidence. A dedicated eater could spend months sampling all the taco stands and ranking them for us. I don’t have the patience or the chops, but perhaps some foundation or other would sponsor a grant to an expert for such an undertaking. The results would certainly benefit mankind.

In the meantime, I can direct you to Tijuana’s Tacos. It opened in 2006 and I’ve been eating there most of that time. It was a surprise to find I’d never written it up here on my blog.

The storefront is broad but so shallow that when you step inside, you’re practically in the kitchen, and you’re almost guaranteed to be in at least one patron’s way. (Virtually the entirety of the interior can be seen in the photo below.) For seating, there are two dinky tables inside, a counter with five stools and two larger tables outside.

The menu has tacos, burritos, tortas and quesadillas, as well as the more unusual huaraches, vampiros and mulitas, with housemade guacamole a specialty. The women who work the register are bilingual, a helpful touch.

On my last visit I had al pastor tacos ($1.69 each), the marinated pork carved off a spit in Lebanese style, grilled until charred and crispy, served on doubled tortillas with onions, cilantro and guacamole, a piece of tinfoil on the side laden with grilled onions, peppers and nopales (cactus) for snacking or garnishing. They also hand you a small foam cup for beans or salsa from the bar.

You can see the menu here. Tijuana’s Tacos also has locations in Ontario (1702 S. Euclid), Fontana (9260 Sierra), Riverside and Moreno Valley. Those cities will have to pursue their own taqueria grant.

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Fox Theater, 1940 (or 1954)

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Reader Bob House directed me to the website What Was There, which presents vintage photos of cities, lets you scroll over them for a larger view and also connects them with Google Street View so you can see what the same scene looks like today. Only a handful of Inland Empire photos are there so far, but one was a gem: this picture of the Pomona Fox Theater with “Gone With the Wind” on the marquee.

The photo, from the L.A. Public Library archives, is said to date to 1940, which would be the original run of the movie. “Continuous shows daily from 1 p.m.,” the marquee declares. At four hours, “GWTW” is so long there were likely only two more screenings per day, at 5 and 9.

Reader Bill Ruh (see the comments section) says the car looks like a 1950 Studebaker to him, meaning the photo is likelier from the 1954 theatrical re-release.

One reason this photo (which I’d never seen before) jumped out at me was that Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen, died Monday at age 94.

Two firsts for the movie occurred at other theaters in the Fox chain. Its first public screening took place on Sept. 9, 1939 at the Fox in Riverside, and it premiered on Dec. 15, 1939 at the Fox in Atlanta, Ga.

Incidentally, the adjacent business in the above photo appears to be Seaboard Finance Co., with “loans” the likely word in the window.

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Daily Bulletin on Vacation

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As any good Daily Bulletin reader does when embarking on a vacation, I packed a copy of the newspaper and enlisted someone to take my photo in a picturesque spot. My visit to the St. Louis area to visit to my parents included a Cardinals game.

Above, I’m oblivious to the action on the field or to the city skyline because I’ve got a newspaper to read, darnit. At right, after the Cards’ 6-2 loss to the Indians, I commiserate with a bust of the late broadcaster Jack Buck outside the stadium. Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for the camerawork.

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