I knew there were towns named Pomona elsewhere in the world, but I had no idea how many until recently: 25, including ours. I’ve got a list, as well as restaurant and cultural news, in Sunday’s column.
Friday’s column is about newspaper typographical errors, namely, the ones collected in a quaint 1960s paperback. I think the column gets funnier as it goes along as the typos begin piling up in your brain. Hope you enjoy it.
Insider fact: I wrote this column in the summer — of 2012. It’s been languishing ever since. I thought it would be a good perennial that could run during a vacation, but when vacations and holidays came, I had other material that was more timely to use. No harm keeping a column in your vest pocket. You never know when you might need one. Also, it took me a while to figure out a good photo to go with it.
Last week, with another vacation looming, I took another pass through the column to tweak the wording here and there, then took the paperback out to a row of newspaper racks in Claremont for a photo idea I’d come up with. I held the book to obscure the LA Times, not that it really mattered, since the Daily Bulletin in the rack is lost in the glare. And thus was a column born, more than a year after its conception!
85 Degrees C Bakery, 12959 Peyton Drive (at Beverly Glen), Chino Hills
Sometimes called the Starbucks of Taiwan, 85 Degrees Celsius has been sprouting in Southern California’s Asian enclaves, with locations to date in Irvine, Hacienda Heights and West Covina. A Chino Hills outpost opened in July. It’s the largest at 5,000 square feet and took over the defunct City Broiler.
It’s been radically transformed, with lots of windows and lots of seating, as well as a shady, pleasant rear patio. I met a friend for lunch who had previously shown me the one in West Covina, so I knew what to expect.
Breads and pastries, both savory and sweet, are displayed in clear plastic cases, from which you pluck whatever you want with tongs and place them on a cafeteria tray. If you’ve been to a panaderia, you’ll recognize the concept. When you pay, each item is put into a clear bag. They also sell coffees, smoothies and other beverages.
So it’s basically a bread buffet, a carbohydrate cafeteria. Three pieces will generally fill you up. We had a pork sung bun, wheat germ mushroom, garlic cheese, and ham and onion roll, with red bean bread and mocha bread for dessert. Each was from $1.10 to $2. I also had a taro slush drink ($3.75). So, two of us had a satisfying lunch for $13, and I saved the mocha bread for breakfast the next morning. It was too bready for me, and the pork sung bun, essentially a bun dusted with powdery pork, was too dry for my taste. The rest were delicious, and I liked my drink too.
Definitely worth a visit: The items are different and really good (people rave about the sea salt coffee too), and as there will be more 85 Degrees locations, you may as well try one now so you can brag to your friends when one pops up in, say, Rancho Cucamonga that you already know all about it.
Wednesday’s column is a farewell to my car, which I drove for 12 years before recently upgrading.
Do you have, or have you had, loyal feelings to a particular car? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
The so-called Rally Bear who briefly, and unauthorizedly, entertained the crowd at the Dodger-Cards game Monday night was — local angle alert! — Mark Monninger of Rancho Cucamonga, a former Tremor for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. LA Weekly talks to him about his stunt and posts a funny video of his antics. (That second split looks like it hurt.)
Monninger is banned from the stadium for six months, which I guess means he can’t attend baseball games this winter. Gosh!
Straight answers? That’s because the talk is by Susan Straight. That and three Culture Corner items, plus my weekly plug for this blog, make up Sunday’s column.
I took a short vacation last month to Portland, Ore., which is the subject of Friday’s column. If you’ve been there, your reactions will be especially appreciated.
Fun fact: I left for Portland one month ago today, wrote the column a week or so after my return, and it’s languished ever since, as pressing business kept intruding.
Tacos Baja Ensenada, 853 E. Route 66 (at Elwood), Glendora
Probably the most highly regarded fish tacos in L.A., Tacos Baja has locations in East L.A. and Whittier. But, improbably, there’s also one in Glendora.
I knew it was there but had never seen it. When I tracked it down, it turns out I’ve driven past it for years, noticed only the “Tacos” sign on what seems to be an old Streamline Moderne building and didn’t realize it was Tacos Baja Ensenada. I was happy to find it. Parking is a challenge; there’s a lot behind, but it’s small.
Tacos Baja is known for 99-cent fish tacos on Wednesdays. I went on a Sunday, guessing the location would be less busy. It was my lucky day, because on a temporary basis, they’d lowered the Sunday price to 99 cents.
The decor is much like a Rubio’s, only smaller. I ordered two fish tacos and a shrimp taco ($2.09) at the counter, plus a Jamaica drink. Essentially all they have is fish and shrimp tacos and burritos, plus ceviche, shrimp cocktails and fish soups.
I haven’t been to the other locations and thus can’t compare them, but these tacos were really good, as expected, with cabbage, cream and onions and crunchy fish or shrimp. A refrigerated case holds bottled sodas, including Mexican Cokes, which I didn’t see until after I’d ordered. Next time. Families were enjoying lunch and an American football game on the TV. I’m sure I’ll return.
It doesn’t hurt at all that Donut Man is a block away. I stopped there for dessert before heading home.
With Pomona hosting a community read around the memoir “Farewell to Manzanar,” the two first events focused on Manzanar and other World War II-era internment camps for Japanese-Americans. I attended both and write about them in Wednesday’s somewhat somber column.
Above, Jim Nakano, wearing his camp identification number, and Joyce Okazaki speak at the Pomona Public Library. A video of Okazaki talking about Ansel Adams taking her and her sister’s photos at Manzanar can be viewed here.