A cat wandered into Magic Door Books last summer. At first she was merely a meow coming from the walls; she turned out to be living behind a bookcase. After emerging, she’s now a fixture at the store. Cats and bookstores, if you didn’t know, are a thing. I tell the story in Wednesday’s column.
Checking Twitter this morning, I had a notification from a man in the Netherlands thanking me for participating in a whiskey tasting, where, as the photo above shows, I was “special guest.” (But of course.)
Evidently Frans Muthert looked for that David Allen on Twitter to get his handle to include in the tweet and didn’t notice he’d found a different, transcontinental fellow. As the guest’s apparent employer, Springbank Whisky (“The official Twitter account of Scotland’s oldest family owned distillery”) replied, “I don’t think ‘our’ David is on Twitter.”
He should sign up. Everyone’s talking about him!
There was intrigue in and out of Tuesday’s Ontario City Council meeting as for various reasons people objected to the process of naming appointees to city panels and hinted at behind-the-scenes forces. I listen attentively and attempt to sort it out in Sunday’s column.
Friday’s column starts off with high school theater news, as ’80s-lovin’ students (who didn’t have to live through the decade) prepare to stage “Xanadu,” the stage version of the 1980 movie musical, in Claremont. After that: five Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
Imperial Sushi, 108 W. Holt Blvd. (at Euclid), Ontario; open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday
Downtown Ontario now has a sushi restaurant — but not a Japanese restaurant. That’s because Imperial Sushi, reflecting the demographic, is Mexican-run and Mexican-focused. They have sushi, but also tacos.
I was skeptical, but when a friend proposed meeting there for lunch, I was willing. Imperial Sushi is a couple of storefronts west of the downtown epicenter of Holt and Euclid, in a former mariscos spot.
There’s no sushi bar, just a kitchen, plus booths in the fairly large dining room. To start, a server brought out a cup of tortilla chips and, for dipping, a cup of ceviche. Right off the bat, this was going to be a different experience.
The menu has sushi rolls (but no nigiri or sashimi), plus ceviche, fish tacos and cooked seafood dishes. Just to further mix up the cultures, one of the latter includes fettucine.
We got a spicy tuna roll ($10), a crunchy roll ($11) and a guamuchilito roll ($12), pictured in that order below.
Overall, this is the brownest sushi I’ve ever seen. These and all other rolls use cream cheese. The spicy tuna was close to a Japanese restaurant version, except for the spicy orange sauce squirted on it; the others appeared to have added crunch through deep-frying rather than using tempura.
There was no wasabi, although we were given a small carafe of what the server called salsa soya, or soy sauce.
At another table, a man was matter-of-factly shaking Tapatio sauce on his roll.
“For a Mexican place i’d say the sushi’s not bad,” my friend observed. “For a sushi place it’s … adequate.” We didn’t finish our rolls and I doubt I’ll be back.
Imperial Sushi would be easy to mock, but let me say something in its defense. Americans are notorious for adapting foreign cuisines to their taste. This includes Mexican food, Chinese food and Japanese food. In Japan, they do not eat California rolls, obviously, nor do they serve the kind of party rolls many Americans love.
So, Mexican-Americans have adapted Japanese food to their taste too. Good for them. Imperial Sushi isn’t to my liking, but it’s a fascinating cross-pollination of two cultures, and I wish them well.
John Clifford finished his quest of dining at every restaurant (and restaurant-ish place) on Pomona’s Garey Avenue with this week’s post on his blog Eating Garey Avenue about Castaneda’s. He wasn’t especially impressed. Last week’s penultimate eatery was a Jack in the Box.
“It’s done, stick a fork in it. Yay, I’ve successfully eaten at all 56 currently open eateries on Garey Avenue…” he begins. He ends with a note that starts like this: “Thus ends the GREAT ADVENTURE. I hope that you’ve enjoyed following as I visited some good, some mediocre, some questionable, and some exciting spots along Pomona’s main north-south corridor.”
He may continue blogging, but about random restaurants around town about which he’s curious, or even about other matters. For now, he says, he’s going to take a well-deserved break from worrying each week about getting to the next restaurant up the street.
My column about our interview at Los Jarritos about his project can be read here. The photo above is from Los Jarritos as John prepares to take a photo of his food.
I attended Saturday’s event at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont to hear Jason Alexander be interviewed onstage for Pomona College’s Parents Weekend. He was pretty interesting, enough to merit a full column. Then again, I’m a “Seinfeld” fan. Above, Alexander and interviewer Carolyn Ratteray; photo by Jeff Hing/Pomona College.
To check out the sad state of the Pomona City Stable recently, the 1909 brick building that’s collapsing, I drove down White Avenue, parked along Second Street and strolled down the sidewalk on the east side of White under the railroad overpass for a better look at the structure on the opposite side of the street.
The east side is where I noticed this piece of concrete (below) that’s newer than the original 1960s sidewalk. It’s full of the kind of graffiti that gets drawn into wet cement, with “1982” written in one corner (partly visible in the photo).
The best readable graffiti (seen above): “The Go-Go’s forever.” Now that’s 1982!
Just under that: “I’m too hip.”
The 1909 Stable may or may not survive, but as far as history goes, at least there’s this fun 1982 sidewalk…
There are new signs (see headline pun), new landscaping and more at the Ontario Museum of History and Art, which remains little-known in the community. Will the changes make the museum more visible? They should. My Sunday column can’t hurt either.
At top, a student passes by at the perfect moment to add human scale to this photo, for which he has my thanks. Dig the high-style modern sign. Below, a view of the museum from Euclid Avenue, what was once the entrance when the building was City Hall, and showing the area now called the courtyard. At bottom, museum director John Worden with the new sign at Euclid and Transit, the Frankish Fountain behind him. The diamonds on the sign mirror a design on the building exterior.
Last year I wrote about the man who got the DiCenso family recipe for lasagna as a comfort to him as he lay dying of ALS. He died last week. Plus: more items from around the valley, all in Friday’s column.