Tasty Pot, 11540 4th St. (at Richmond Place), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
The influx of Asian Americans into Rancho Cucamonga continues to pay benefits, probably in somewhat invisible cultural ways, but visibly in more dining choices. A friend and I tried out the fairly new (open since May) Tasty Pot, a Taiwanese hot pot restaurant across from Ontario Mills.
Tasty Pot is a national chain, sort of, with 15 locations, most in California but with a few random states, like Ohio, having one lone locale. (Trivia note: There’s one in Ontario, Canada.) Ours is in the Signature Center, a few steps from a Panera and in what I believe used to be a bridal shop.
Inside, there’s a wall-length photo mural of what is presumably the Taipei skyline. The place was about two-thirds full when we arrived. We were the only white people, a good sign.
Soup is the thing to get. Each soup had around a dozen ingredients listed, many of them duplicated from one to the next. You could probably spend a lunch hour reading them all and trying to differentiate one from the next. They all appeared to have at least one type of seafood, if not several.
We just went with ones with appealing main ingredients: kimchi dumpling ($13, above) and lamb with noodle ($13, below), sharing them. We got the small size and mild spice level.
The pots arrived and were placed on a portable stovetop, burners turned on to keep the soup hot. A pitcher of broth would be brought by now and then for a refill.
We liked our soups, with the dumplings being a nice addition. The kitchen was generous with the ingredients, whether noodles, tofu, shrimp, cabbage, mussels, mushrooms or more.
One welcome touch was that our lunches came with complimentary iced tea. When have you ever seen that? We also got milk tea ($5-$5.50).
Neither of us is really a hot pot enthusiast, but sharing two made for a light, filling lunch.