Restaurant of the Week: Red Devil Pizza

Red Devil Pizza, 1465 Foothill Blvd. (at Wheeler), La Verne

Red Devil is in the CVS Center near the old Vons, placing it across the street from the new Vons. Red Devil is a longtime La Verne favorite.

The interior is nicer than expected, with vintage-style Italian posters and such decorating the walls. Also, a “GoodFellas” poster autographed by Henry Hill. Although there’s a counter for takeout orders and paying, they have waitress service. A couple of gents near me were chowing down silently on large bowls of pasta.

Pasta dinners range from spaghetti ($9) to seafood linguine ($17); they also have sandwiches, beer and bottled wine up to $25. And, of course, pizza. I got one of the $8.50 lunch specials, a mini pizza with one topping (mushrooms) and a salad and soda or beer (iced tea, in my case).

The salad was iceberg but it was large, almost entree-sized, with cheese, olives and tomatoes. Not bad. The pizza was also large at 10 inches (2 inches larger than most mini pizzas), chewy and tasty. I took home three of the eight slices. It was a good deal for the price.

La Verne’s a good pizza town. Still gotta go back to Sal’s for a Sal’s Special, as some of you recommended.

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Restaurant of the Week: Sal’s Pizza and Bagelry


Sal’s Pizza and The Bagelry, 2095 Foothill Blvd. (at D), La Verne

I’ve passed this combo restaurant on Foothill at D Street probably hundreds of times, but for whatever reason it never occurred to me until a couple of weeks ago that I ought to actually eat there sometime.

I had been inside once. Circa 1998, for a feature story, a photographer and I spent a day driving around the Inland Valley to check out banks that had been converted into other commercial uses. I don’t have access to that story, but the La Verne building had been some sort of a bank — anyone remember which one? — and the main entrance was then The Bagelry. Sometime in the past few years, Sal’s Pizza was added.

(The sign out front advertises the building’s two less-visible businesses, Taco Factory and Juice Stop. Because of the strange spacing, I always read the sign in jest as Taco Juice/Factory Stop.)

Anyway. The restaurant seats 87, plus another 20 or so on the patio, so it’s quite large. It’s pleasant enough, tiled everywhere. A lot of restaurants would envy the generous patio. Speaking of generous, the sprawling menu has bagels, bagel sandwiches, salads, sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, pizza and pasta, and there’s an espresso bar.

I had the Route 66, a sandwich of turkey, swiss, tomato, onion and pickle, and got it on a plain bagel, toasted ($5.95-ish), and an iced tea ($2-ish). I didn’t expect great things, and didn’t receive them, but the sandwich was acceptable. There were several customers, including a young guy on a laptop at the espresso bar and an older couple in a booth, each reading a paperback as they ate silently.

Anyone tried the pizza?

* Update, March 2014: I came back for the pizza: the Sal’s Special (small $14.45), which has sausage, bacon, green and red peppers, pepperoni, onions and mushrooms. The thing was a beast: the toppings generous, the crust bready but crisp on the bottom. The large chunks of sausage were especially notable. I ate half and got two light meals out of the other half. Sal’s would not be my go-to pizzeria, but I would go back. (By the way, Taco Factory and Juice Stop are both gone.)


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Restaurant of the Week: The Tenderloin

The Tenderloin, 2080 Foothill Blvd. (at B), La Verne

In an L-shaped shopping center, the Tenderloin, at the northern end, is easily visible to motorists. I’ve seen it for years and wondered if it was a bar, a restaurant or what. The unfortunate connotation with San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin District made me wonder about the place.

As it happens, it’s a steakhouse. I dropped in for lunch Saturday.

The interior is decorated in Old West style, with several large paintings of Western scenes, and Tiffany-style light fixtures. The lighting is on the dim side. The menu prices are on the moderate side.

I had a steak sandwich with fries ($10.79) plus a side salad. The sandwich came with grilled onions, lettuce and tomatoes, on sourdough bread. It was messy but pretty good. The fries and salad were OK.

Service was indifferent. My waitress wore a quilted winter coat over her uniform. Management ought to turn up the thermostat. She also left me without utensils or napkins, which I had to fetch from another table.

The Tenderloin attracts an older crowd. A father had three young boys at the booth next to mine, but everyone else was in their 50s or older. On the other side of me, a couple in their 70s may have run out of things to say to each other. They read paperbacks silently during their lunch.

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