Column: In RC public comment time, tedium has no prayer

About the only thing that happened at the June 19 Rancho Cucamonga City Council meeting, which I attended, was an amusing public comment period. I sat down this week to see if I could pull something out of that without naming and/or glorifying anyone involved, and what I came up with seemed to work. That got me started on an items column. I followed with an account of some concert patter by musician John York in Claremont, a correction of my premature report of the demise of two long-lived Pomona-area clubs and an Azusa angle to an Oakland tragedy. Read all that in Friday’s column.

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Restaurant of the Week: Omni Deli

Omni Deli, 402 S. Milliken Ave. (at Brickell), Ontario; open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, closed weekends

Located south of the 10 Freeway in a business park, Omni Deli opened in April. It’s open weekdays only, gearing itself toward nearby businesses, there being no residences nearby. A friend heard about it and suggested we meet up for lunch.

The area doesn’t have much ambiance; the business next door is named Cheap Fingerprints. But the deli is clean and new. Its walls are decorated with┬áB&W photos of generic people enjoying themselves generically, so bland as to be comical.

Omni sells 13 sandwiches, eight kinds of burgers, seven salads, five kinds of pizza, plus breakfast burritos and a half-dozen random entrees, among them hot dogs, buffalo wings, baked zitti and poke bowls. They’re eager to please.

A half-sub is $6, a large is $9. We got half-sandwiches. Above, the Godfather, with roast beef, mozzarella, garlic butter spread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and pepperocini on a roll. He liked the Boar’s Head meat and the toasted roll.

Meanwhile, I had the Italian, with capicola, salami, mortadella, provolone, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles. It was a good sandwich on a soft roll.

If you’re in a certain radius of Omni Deli and like deli sandwiches, you might want to give it a try. And they’re friendly: The woman behind the counter went table to table and offered free ice pops. Like I said, eager to please.

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Column: After 81 years, Mitchell’s Plumbing pulls the plug

An Upland institution is closing. Mitchell’s Plumbing was founded in 1938 and has been at 2nd and D streets downtown since 1942. But after the death of the third-generation owner, a year after his brother, there were no Mitchells involved in the business. So the family decided to shut it down. The last day is June 28. Sunday’s column tells the Mitchell’s story, as well as sharing one of my own anecdotes about the business.

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Restaurant of the Week: House of Fortune

House of Fortune, 13788 Roswell Ave. (at Schaefer), Chino; open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Chino Hills is where the Chinese food action is, but there’s spillover to neighboring Chino. House of Fortune, on the east side of the 71 Freeway, is near the Asian food hall Cravings. Also of note: House of Fortune is all vegetarian.

It says so right on the menu.

Actually, almost every dish qualifies as vegan.

I was there for lunch with three friends recently, the ones with whom I get together every quarter or so for a lunch for one of these Restaurant of the Week pieces. Our resident vegan chose the restaurant, saying she’d been here multiple times. The rest of us are omnivores.

We ordered a bunch of items to share. Above: lettuce wraps ($8.25). They did a good job of mimicking chicken. Below, clockwise from rear: crispy oyster mushrooms ($12), veggie meat pancakes ($9.25), veggie meat buns, or “Chinese tacos” ($3.50 each).

These were winners. The pancakes, which were sort of like quesadillas, were my favorite. The veggie buns, similar to ones I had at Lotus Cafe in Rancho Cucamonga except vegetarian, were tasty too. I liked the mushrooms, but they were a bit salty.

We also had clay pot eggplant tofu ($11, above), and veggie chicken fried rice ($9.25, not pictured), which I avoided, as I have an aversion to fried rice with peas and diced carrots. The tofu was OK but was my least favorite.

One of us said the mushrooms were “phenomenal” and the eggplant tofu “surprisingly good.”

Another said of the meal: “Jokey response could be: ‘It didn’t make me a vegan.'” (Since the comment is now on the blog, it’s gone from “could be” to “is.”) He added, more seriously: “Nice to cross the final frontier once in a while and taste the other side.” This is almost certainly the first Restaurant of the Week with a “Star Trek” reference.

So, overall, one of us was wowed, the rest of us were impressed. Let me add, the service was notably good for a Chinese restaurant; our bilingual, or perhaps multilingual, server spoke flawless English and was friendly to boot.

The New Diner blog gave House of Fortune a good writeup last year, btw.

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