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.
Boomers Coffeehouse in Upland is closing Saturday after 20 years of operation downtown, first in the Second Avenue Mall, and since 2006 in the Metrolink depot at 220 E. A St. Friday’s column — read it here — is about the coffeehouse’s demise. And feel free to leave a comment about the business too. A news story about the decision to evict Boomers can be read here.
Above and below are owners Lance and Gale Bennett, photographed by yours truly after our interview. I turned in the above photo to run with my column but I liked the one below too.
My friends and I have been fascinated with the fellow we call the Dancing Man ever since seeing the grayhaired Energizer Bunny dancing nonstop in the balcony at the LCD Soundsystem concert at the Fox Theater in Pomona in June 2010 and then, a month later, spotting him shaking his moneymaker at the Swell Season/She and Him/Bird and the Bee concert at the Hollywood Bowl. One friend has spotted him on three other occasions in L.A. since then, always at concerts, always dancing.
Watching “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” the LCD Soundsystem documentary, at the Claremont Laemmle 5 on Wednesday night, a friend and I were delighted to see the man onscreen for two seconds, dancing away. A half-dozen people in the row behind us gave a gasp of recognition, as if they too had seen him before. (My friend, by the way, was the same guy who told the Dancing Man to sit down at the Fox. He feels bad about it.)
I had to find out more. Turning to Google, I made the hail-Mary move of searching for “LCD Soundsystem dancing man.” Because the Internet is amazing, the second result was the above video, titled “Old guy dancing before LCD Soundsystem show at MSG.” It is, without a doubt, the Dancing Man!
The YouTube viewer comments:
“I remember this guy, and everyone loved him. let him rock, let him be.”
“i love this guy! ive seen him at the xx, local natives, and almost acoustic christmas this year. gotta give him props for having awesome taste in music and some pretty badass dance moves.”
“I FREAKIN LOVED THAT GUY!”
If anyone can identify him or put me in touch with him, I’d love to interview him. I don’t care if he lives in Santa Monica or San Bernardino, he’s a legend who deserves a newspaper column.
While shopping at the Cost Plus in her new town of Oxnard, my former colleague Wendy Leung was unexpectedly reminded of the city in which she lived before relocating: She found hand cream, shower gel and shower lotion marketed as the “Pomona Travel Collection.”
“All the toiletries I need for a visit to my former hometown,” Leung remarks wistfully.
According to the tag, the items are “inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean” — oh, the old Roman goddess angle — and are “available in four scents: Sicilian Orange, Turkish Pomegranate, Grecian Fig and Spanish Almond.”
What, nothing that smells like antique stores, salsa or Donahoo’s chicken?
Wednesday’s column begins with an item about the Comedy Central show “Workaholics,” which is about three friends who work for the fictional telemarketing firm TelAmeriCorp in Rancho Cucamonga. Here’s the show’s official site. As a reader points out, Cucamonga references aren’t just in Looney Tunes and Jack Benny. Read the column here.
On Route 66 in Glendora the other day, I was delighted to find a hair salon named The Hairplex, an evident play on the name of Fairplex, the L.A. County Fair facility. I wonder if the salon sells anything on a stick.
After my column about the 1975 prank involving Frank Zappa’s image popping up on Bridges Auditorium in Claremont, reader Pat Kelley sent the above image from his 1972 Glendora High yearbook.
“Someone painted him on our gym wall in the dead of night sometime during our senior year,” said Kelley, who graduated in 1972. “They did a pretty good job of it, so it was left up for the entire year.”
Something tells me Zappa wasn’t much of a fitness buff or school-spirit kind of guy. But it is a good likeness.
Kelley adds impishly: “I’m wondering if your ‘vandal’ friend Cameron Munter had anything to do with this. I’m just curious because back then, Claremont and Glendora were big rivals.” Munter hinted during his commencement speech in May at Pomona College that he and his friends had perpetrated the Claremont prank.
Sunday’s column (read it here) begins with the unexpected fame of the Arby’s across from Ontario Mills, which was featured in several of the chain’s commercials. Yet that wasn’t enough to spare it from closing.
Below is a commercial featuring Kathy Griffin evidently filmed at least in part at the Ontario Arby’s. See three other commercials here, here and (most curiously) here.