Restaurant of the Week: Dragon Loco

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Dragon Loco, 2509 S. Euclid Ave. (at Walnut), Ontario

Dragon Loco bills itself as Chinese-Mexican fusion, its logo featuring a dragon wearing a sombrero. It’s right off the 60 Freeway in a semi-populated strip mall where you might expect Chinese or Mexican fast food (in fact, a Del Taco is at the edge of the parking lot), but it’s not where you would expect a concept as odd as a fusion of both.

The menu does feature standard Chinese fast food in one-, two- and three-item combos, besides the goofy fusion items. Visit the restaurant’s website here.

Owner Mario Luna had phoned me a couple of times and tweeted me once to invite me down, which almost never happens (for the sake of independence, I prefer that it doesn’t, actually); when I finally showed up unannounced for lunch, he recognized me right off, which also almost never happens. And so, anonymity gone, I could do little but let him bring me items, which I sampled.

I tried the chorizo wontons ($1), chicken teriyaki quesadilla ($6, pictured above), kung pao taco ($2), asada fried rice ($6, pictured below) and a horchata frappe ($3, pictured at right). Just typing those names makes me smile.

The asada fried rice was the best of the lot, to my taste buds, and the horchata frappe hit the spot on a steamy day. The rest was more like stunt food. The wontons and taco had two sauces laid over them in squiggles, which made them overdressed, not better.

People on Yelp seem to love the place, with the overall rating 4 stars out of 5. I enjoyed meeting Luna, who likes my work, but Americanized Chinese food inside tortillas didn’t appeal to me. Luna compares his fusion offerings to those of L.A. food trucks. As a concept, yes, but Dragon Loco doesn’t use the higher-end ingredients that the trucks do.

Luna has big dreams for the place, which is open until 3 a.m. on weekends. I applaud his ambition and wish him well.

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  • Dee

    Americanized Chinese food inside tortillas didn’t appeal to you? You should meet my husband (or maybe not *-*). He puts EVERYTHING into a tortilla, Chinese food, mac & cheese, spaghetti, meatloaf…it doesn’t matter. It’s a major source of friction around here.

    [Take him to Dragon Loco (or drop him off) and let us know what he thinks. Meatloaf in a tortilla? You're right, maybe I don't want to meet him. -- DA]

  • Scott in the RC

    Next time an owner invites you to their food establishment, you may want to wear your Grand Marshal news reporter disguise! They’ll never recognize you!!

  • David

    Have you been to the two Donahoo’s Golden Chicken locations in the area; Pomona and Ontario? If so, how do you like it?

    [I have, and it's outstanding. Pomona may have dipped a notch, but it's still very good, and fast. Ontario, at least in the past, made everything to order, which meant good quality but a long wait. -- DA]

  • http://empoprise-ie.blogspot.com/ John E. Bredehoft

    I want to try the orange chicken burrito you mentioned in today’s column. The chicken teriyaki quesadilla sounds worth it also.

    [If you do, let us know what you think. -- DA]

  • Jeff

    Wow, This Guy!!!! David after working for daily bulletin for decades you haven’t gone nowhere. This Kid is the future, he is bring something different and new, not like the antique places you like and over done…. We seen it ate it, been their. I visited Dragon Loco After your review. Let me Say you are totally wrong, the ingredients are fresh and great. What do you now about ingredients you are just a run down columnist that just writes about the past and places from the past. I admire this kid he has something going on and it will catch on. you are a ungrateful person for him trying to contact you, WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE NEW YORK TIMES!!!! Come on man…… BE THANKFUL PEOPLE STILL READ THE NEWSPAPER AND KNOW WHO YOU ARE……… YELP, AND ALLEN BORGEN, LOVE THIS PLACE….. AGAIN WHAT DO YOU KNOW, RUN DOWN COLUMNIST.

    [Thanks for your opinion, Jeff. Glad you enjoyed your food. I did wish them well, remember, and I reserved my commentary on the food to my lower-profile blog while giving them a nice spread in print. But regarding your comment that my criticism showed that I was "ungrateful": Surely you don't think I should give somebody a good review simply because they contacted me? That doesn't seem fair to readers, does it, to purposely steer them wrong? Being "grateful" in exchange for favors isn't ethical behavior. -- RC (rundown columnist)]

  • http://www.chinobandido.com/ Bill Thiel

    It’s no Chino Bandido!!

    I went once hoping for same experience I had at the Chino Bandido in Phoenix, AZ. Too much noodle & Rice in the Burrito; I haven’t been back.