Wednesday’s column starts with a cute story about the late musician’s 2010 concert with Elton John in Ontario and continues with two cultural notes and a long item about the two mayoral farewell events last week.
Goodbye events took place last Thursday for the mayors of Upland and Chino. The former, for Ray Musser, was at the Carnegie Building. Above, he gets a plaque and is applauded by council members, with his wife, Fern, to the right.
Dennis Yates’ more formal event was at Chino’s Planes of Fame Museum, a unique setting. For the speeches, Yates was sat in a rocking chair, not his usual position of authority, as speakers praised and mocked.
Paul Avila had his last full Ontario City Council meeting last week, and naturally I was there. I write about it in Sunday’s column.
The Claremont Museum of Art, open from 2007 to 2009, is reopening Sunday in a new venue: the train depot. I write about the museum’s revival in Friday’s column.
Mustang Sally’s, 8411 Foothill Blvd. (at San Bernardino), Rancho Cucamonga; open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends
Mustang Sally’s was subject of a column of mine due to its location, in a small older building, probably originally a house, by the Pacific Electric Trail and overlooking Foothill Boulevard. At the time I hadn’t eaten there, but since then I’ve been in twice.
It’s a cute place, with decor that emphasizes Texas and the Southwest. I went in on a quiet Friday last month for lunch.
They have a steak special that day: a bone-in ribeye, salad and fries, normally $12, for $8. Too good to pass up. Did I want onion straws? Sure.
The salad, served in a metal bowl, could have been a meal in itself — but then there was the steak, said to be fresh from Hottinger’s, a well-regarded meat market in Chino. It was a decent steak, and excellent for the price; I took home half or more of everything. I can fault them only for bringing out the salad at the same time as the entree. It really was an embarrassing amount of food for eight bucks.
I returned earlier this month to try the Mexican food, ordering the Tasty Tacos ($7), three hard shell tacos with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a mix of beef and potatoes, a family recipe.
They were stuffed and the overflow from each created a sort of mini-taco salad on my plate. The tacos were tasty, just as advertised, and the avocado salsa was a solid accompaniment. I took a photo of the final taco so you could see what one actually looks like under all the cheese.
Service is casual but friendly. (It might have been the cook who was waiting on me during the slow period.)
There’s a neat patio out back with picnic tables and a bean-bag toss with a view of Foothill and the bike/walking trail. The food at Sally’s is good, the setting a little better.
A list of the top 40 prettiest high school campuses in California includes three in the Inland Valley. Also: an astrologer apologizes for a bad election prediction, my Culture Corner includes the local screening of a Beatles documentary, and an overseas encounter turns into a Valley Vignette. All this in Wednesday’s column.
In Sunday’s column, I take a look at the local election results and note the elements that jump out at me. As always, your own reactions are welcome.
Larry Wilmore’s talk Wednesday night at Claremont’s Bridges Auditorium had a different edge than most had expected when they got their (free) tickets. Rather than celebrate Clinton’s assured victory, he and the audience mourned Trump’s win. The comic, who was raised in Pomona, made some good points, and got off some good lines, as captured in Friday’s column.
Oggi’s, 1173 E. 19th Ave. (at Campus), Upland; open until 10 p.m. Sundays, 11 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, midnight Fridays and Saturdays
Founded in 1991, Oggi’s (pronounced “OH-jeez,” and meaning “today” in Italian) opened in Upland’s Colonies Crossroads Center earlier in 2016. There are currently 15 locations. Oggi’s is a pizzeria and sports bar with its own line of microbrews.
I had dinner there with a friend recently. There are a lot of screens (it was a Monday, so it was all football), and a large, well-lighted square bar. A radio station was broadcasting and occasionally offering a quiz for customers with prizes. So it was a little loud.
The menu is mostly pizza, pasta, wraps, salads and burgers. I got a medium pizza with anchovies (!) and mushrooms ($18), she got a calzone with pepperoni ($10), plus a side caesar ($3).
Our meals were unobjectionable but unmemorable. My pizza was average: bready and bland, a half-step up from Domino’s but nothing that would make me want to return. She found the ricotta in her calzone (alongside the standard mozzarella) unnecessary and fussy. The salad was better. Overall, her meal “was a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5,” she said. We each took some of our food home.
A friend later told me he’d been unimpressed on his visit: His wings were “ehh,” the sauce on his pizza unappealing.
Oggi’s had offered me a free meal if I made an appointment, which was unacceptable since I would have been identifying myself rather than eating anonymously, but I said I’d accept a gift card that could be presented at the end of the meal.
(That’s only the first or second time that possibility has come up, but it was nice to not be paying for one of these Restaurant of the Week meals entirely out of my own pocket.)
The service we got as average joes was substandard in one important aspect: friendly enough, competent, but no one ever asked if we wanted refills on our iced tea or Coke. We could have asked but preferred to see how it played out. We were there nearly two hours and no one offered. Hmph.
I can’t judge the microbrews, but if you’re into that sort of thing, and like sports, Oggi’s might be your thing. If you want to watch a game with friends and eat, this would be a better spot than many, but based on what we had, the food isn’t good enough to go there for on its own.
Did you read our profiles in which candidates were asked the last book they’d read? The answers were not encouraging. I comment on that, as well as present Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette, in Wednesday’s column.