Restaurant of the Week: Flamingo Palms

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Flamingo Palms, 11400 4th St. (at Pittsburgh), Rancho Cucamonga

Cuban restaurants have come and gone out here like the tide against the Havana shoreline, but Flamingo Palms seems to be succeeding. After a few years in Rancho Cucamonga in a charmless Archibald Avenue business park, the restaurant moved in April to a higher-profile location across from Ontario Mills, in a space that briefly housed a Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe.

I had dinner there with a friend recently. The interior has a modern ambience, with walls my friend described as “faux wood, faux terracotta and faux brick,” adorned with some not-bad art and two flat-screen TVs.

Having had a filling lunch, I opted for a light entree, the Flamingo salad ($9), with grilled shrimp and blood orange vinaigrette. Delicious, and with seven large shrimp, they didn’t skimp on the shrimp.

My friend had the arroz con pollo ($15), which he was warned would take 40 minutes. It arrived in a cavernous bowl (he took home half) and had rice, two pieces of chicken on the bone and plantains. He pronounced it excellent and said with satisfaction: “They took their time. They didn’t rush it.”

We also split an order of crispy plantain chips, called mariquitas ($5), which didn’t do anything for either of us.

Service was attentive, with both our server and the table busser inquiring how we were doing. You won’t think you’re in Cuba, but the music is unobtrusive, the food pretty good and the experience unhurried.

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  • Andy

    Excellent in its new location now. Thanks for the heads up DA.

  • RichP

    My only experience with this restaurant was seeing their flyer posted on a signpost, way out in Diamond Bar, visible at the stoplight on the SB 57 exit to Sunset Crossing (to 60 EB).

    I did eat once at the short-lived Cuban on the Run in Montclair. It was pretty good, and good value. My wife went crazy because food critic Allan Borgen and Jodie were there for their TV show, and we appeared on Ch. 24. (My opinion: so what?)

    Is this run by the same people?

    PS: In high school days, many years ago and many miles east, I ran against a Cuban immigrant who later was the world’s #1 in the marathon: Alberto Salazar.

    [I’m not aware of any connection with Cuban on the Run. There have been other Cuban restaurants out here, Mama Inez in Pomona being the one I remember. I wonder if the one you saw advertised wasn’t Coco Palm in Pomona. — DA]

  • Wendy Leung

    Their yucca is yumma.

  • Bob Terry

    DA, i think you scored big time with that $9 shrimp salad. 40 minutes…2 pieces of chicken and rice for $15…that must be some magic chicken. Hopefully the business travelers will help keep them in business.

  • RichP:

    I’ve seen their concert-style fliers far and wide, too, when they were at their old location.

    I stopped in a while back for some papas rellenas, which didn’t beat my favorite (Porto’s Bakery), but would definitely do in a pinch.

  • Dave

    When you say that ” you won’t think you’re in Cuba” must mean that you have had similar meals in Cuba correct?

    • davidallen909

      No, it meant I never forgot I was in Rancho Cucamonga.