As mentioned in Sunday’s column, I was at Ontario International Airport’s old terminal last week, and I don’t believe I’d been there other than a couple of mid-’90s flights. Here are a few photos that may bring back memories — in which case, please share them.
Veteran travelers through Ontario International Airport may recall the stained-glass mural in the old terminal from 1978. Few have seen the mural since the new terminals opened in 1998, but it’s still there, and the artist, Mike Hill, now 78, returned for a rare visit. I was there too. That story is in Sunday’s column.
I pulled off an evening Metrolink trip on Monday when rides were free. That, plus a couple of short items, make up Friday’s column.
Bento Kuma, 8796 19th St. (at Carnelian), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily from noon to 7:45 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and to 8:45 p.m. Thursday to Sunday
A friend had been talking up Bento Kuma, a Chinese spot in Rancho Cucamonga that opened last November. He said it’s on his way home and that if he phones in an order when he leaves work, it’s ready for pickup when he arrives. And that he likes it, of course. He invited me and one of his work colleagues to lunch there. Thankfully he didn’t make us take it all to go to his house.
If you think about the name, it’s kind of funny: Bento boxes are Japanese, not Chinese. But they sell some lunch specials as bento boxes — not really in sectioned-off trays, but with a few courses in bowls on a tray.
I got the barbecue pork ($9.50), which came with rice, an egg roll, a cream cheese wonton, orange sections and edamame (which is Japanese). He got the same except with broccoli as well. The other guy got curry chicken ($9) a la carte.
He said the chicken was fresh and had plenty of curry. Our barbecue pork was fatty and not that appealing. The broccoli was said to be crisp.
“We are the only customers,” the invitee noted with accuracy. “In the evening there are definitely people here. People are lined up for takeout orders.”
Personally I see no reason to return, this being a neighborhood spot without a lot to recommend a drive here. But I’m glad he enjoys his takeout.
I pay a visit to the housing development rising on the site of the former Daily Bulletin offices and printing plant, put in a pitch to subscribe and comment a bit on the current state of our industry in my Wednesday column.
Alejandro Aranda has been wowing them on “American Idol” since March 6. He says he’s a dishwasher from Pomona, a description that, combined with his humble manner and way with an acoustic ballad, have made him a sensation. I delve into his recent past as an open mic and street performer in Pomona and Claremont in Sunday’s column. Photo from March 30 Pomona appearance by Liliana Pardo.
Nancy May’s ’50s Cafe marks dual anniversaries Saturday: 25 years since its founding as Nancy’s Cafe, and 10 years since its reopening under its current name. Both openings took place, improbably, on April 20, and with the same Nancy in charge. I pay tribute to a Rancho Cucamonga institution, and favorite lunch spot, in Friday’s column.
Creme Bakery, 116 Harvard Ave. (at 1st), Claremont; open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
Claremont’s had a good bakery going back decades: Hodges, Jensen’s and then Some Crust, perhaps the quintessential Claremont Village business, where you can get not only very good pastries, breakfast sliders and coffee but a sense of Claremont.
Now there’s a second bakery in the Village. Creme opened last September and has quickly established itself as a formidable presence one block east of Some Crust. A frequent customer of the latter, I’ve begun gravitating to Creme.
It’s the product of a retired Whole Foods executive and enthusiastic baker, Erica Hartig Dubreuil. You’ll know right away it’s a French bakery from the genteel atmosphere, the lovely displays and the emphasis on croissants, scones, tarts and baguettes.
The croissants are superb, the slight crust of the exterior yielding to a pliable interior.
The apple danish is lightly crunchy and chewy, with a generous amount of apple.
I’ve also had a cranberry orange scone, dense and sweet, the first item I tried, and a ginger scone. I wouldn’t mind working my way through all the offerings. The only item so far that I’ve been indifferent toward was the vegan blueberry muffin, which stuck to the paper. I do think Some Crust does vegan muffins better.
Morning buns, muffins, scones, cookies and more will face you when you enter. Creme has a few coffees, baguette sandwiches for lunch, a case of elegant tarts and more. Seating is at a long, L-shaped communal sofa with the occasional tiny table. You won’t stay for hours, or bring a group, but you can meet with or bring one or two people, or just sit and people watch or, as I do, read a newspaper.
Is the Claremont Village now popular enough for two bakeries? I hope so, because I love Some Crust, and I’m quickly coming to love Creme too.
I follow up on my recent column on the Cal Poly Pomona archives by exploring the end of the university’s football program. That’s the topic of Wednesday’s uncommonly sporty column, with an unrelated Valley Vignette. Incidentally, I don’t understand football and have never watched more than a few minutes of a game.
A friend recently showed me a stack of copies of a rare newspaper: the Pomona Clarion. Motto: “Serving Beautiful People.” It was published for the black community from 1969 to 1974 by Moody Law and his wife, Norma.
The paper was a sideline for both; he was a lab manager and she was in corrections. She died March 7 at age 81.
As Moody Law told the Daily Bulletin in 2008 about the Clarion: “I swept the floor, put together the ads, and delivered the paper with my kids and Norma.”
The Clarion apparently was not a moneymaker, as Law said he and his wife had to subsidize the operation. But he said: “We needed some way to get the story told from our point of view. It’s amazing. This stuff is now history.”
It’s even more a part of history a decade down the line. My friend is going to donate his Clarions, but he let me flip through them. There were success stories about black figures in the community, and stories, opinion pieces and satirical cartoons about local injustices, including a bar that refused to serve a black couple and a march against the Chino Valley Unified School District over a racial matter.
The ads were of interest too, often of long-gone stores and restaurants that catered to blacks. Here are a few. Note that the addresses of all three businesses is the 2400 block of North Towne, apparently the same center, or its predecessor, that now has a Walmart Neighborhood Market, Dino’s Burgers and more. Click on them, or the newspaper above, for a clearer view.
I wish I could try the soul food at Jennie’s Kitchen and check out the records at Dynamic Sound Center and Lord Esquire, while also surreptitiously ogling the latter’s “afro wigs” (in “8 colors”) and “oil on velvet” paintings.
Here’s the staff box from the same 1971 issue as pictured above. It must be said, it would be hard to invent a name with more gravitas than Moody Law.