Restaurant of the Week: Angelo’s Burgers

Angelo’s Burgers, 902 W. Mission (at White), Pomona; open daily, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; cash only

I was surprised recently to learn that I had never written a Restaurant of the Week about Angelo’s. Not that it’s such a culinary landmark, but I’ve eaten there once or twice over the years, and it’s been in business since 1983. In the neighborhood recently for an interview at the police station, I stopped first at Angelo’s for lunch.

The sign would seem to predate Angelo’s, but what was it? Darin Kuna tells me the restaurant was a Taco Lita in the 1960s.

There’s a drive-thru, and the pickup window is, a bit comically, on the passenger side. But that’s due to the configuration of the lot; otherwise, people would be placing their orders out on Mission Boulevard.

Anyway, Angelo’s has burgers, some Mexican fare and dinner plates under $10.

I got the burger special ($6.49): a quarter-pound hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion and Thousand Island dressing on a sesame bun, plus fries and soda. While the burger was nothing special, it was grilled and not bad at all. The fries were fat and soft, that interim size between regular and steak fries. There were probably a hundred of them, far more than I was interested in.

People on Yelp recommend the pastrami burger, chili cheese fries and chicken tenders.

The walls and support pillars held the de rigeur old timey tin signs with vintage advertisements, propaganda posters, Marilyn images and nickel Pepsi ads, plus license plates from various states lined up and wrapping around the walls near the ceiling. The restrooms are rare local examples of pay toilets, with tokens from the counter, no doubt to deter the homeless.

A notable feature of Angelo’s is that the site was the original 1888 home of Pomona College, as marked by a plaque on a stone at the corner. Imagine, Pomona College was once actually in Pomona. I ate at Angelo’s with the then-president of Pomona College in 2013 to mark the college’s 125th anniversary. The plaque, from 1937, is historic in its own right. Note: The college did not have a drive-thru.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • SAWZ

    “Taco Lita” brings back memories. We lived in Ontario in the early 60’s and got food regularly from the “Taco Lita” at Holt and San Antonio. A complete dinner plate–taco, enchilada, rice and beans set us back sixty-five cents–a lot then.

    • davidallen909

      That’s nice to hear that 65 cents was a lot at the time. People often quote old prices in amazement, as if 65 cents then were the same as 65 cents today.

  • Mark Dixon

    The west end of the building was Taco Lita, the east end was a Foster’s Freeze ice cream stand, and there was an open breezeway in between with parking on the south and west sides. Lita Burgers were the best with amazing sauce! Also, on the southeast corner across the street was a Hull House restaurant.

    • davidallen909

      Oh, thanks for the description, Mark. That building must have been seriously remodeled over the years.