Leaving the Pomona City Clerk’s office a few weeks back, I was surprised to see a copy of local boy Millard Sheets’ famous 1931 painting “Angels Flight” on a wall. It’s a crude version of the original, below, which is in the collection of LACMA. Here’s an appreciation from the LAObserved blog. There were student paintings hanging elsewhere on City Hall’s second floor and this might be part of that effort; an even cruder “Angels Flight” was among them.
New China, a longtime Chinese restaurant in Upland (2008 W. Foothill Blvd. at
Benson Central) closed earlier in 2016, several readers informed me sadly. I went by the other day to take photos. There’s no note of explanation, unless the for-sale sign counts.
I don’t know much about the place; I ate there once, pre-blog, and recall the interior being dim, with lots of dark wood paneling. My guess is that it’s been New China since the ’90s. But over the years people have told me the location was previously the Sagehen Cafe, and that the neon bird art outside (see below) is a holdover from those days.
I’ll have to rely on you folks to tell me more in the comments section.
In Sunday’s column, we take a first look at some political news from Rancho Cucamonga, which may need to be split into City Council districts in response to a legal challenge. Other local cities may face the same issue. Upland’s council is scheduled to hear about it March 28, I’ve just learned.
In Friday’s column, I write about catching my first Bruce Springsteen concert, during his stand this week at the Sports Arena. And then there’s the postscript, about the little boy who met him. Above, one of the moments discussed in which the Boss sang from a platform midway in the audience.
Saca’s Mediterranean Cuisine, 248 W. 2nd St. (at Harvard), Claremont; open daily
In business since 1992, Saca’s has always been a fast, affordable option in the Village. Many were the evenings that I stopped in for a falafel sandwich and spent under $4. Right across from City Hall and the library, it’s had location going for it too. It’s been the closest thing the Inland Valley has had to a Zankou, at least until Zaky got going.
Not everyone liked Saca’s. One Claremont friend refused to go there, and while I liked it okay, I’m not sure I’d have traveled for the privilege. In 2014, the founders retired and sold the small restaurant to a couple of neighbors, who are French. The interior was lightened, the menu updated and the hours expanded. Saca’s is now open for a late breakfast and on Sundays.
I’ve been in a couple of times since the handover and, in a possibly heretical comment, found the falafel improved; before the crust was crunchy to the point of seeming burnt, but no longer. Recently I went in for a Sunday lunch with three friends, none of whom had ever eaten there.
The menu has pita sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken and platters, and it’s friendly to vegetarians, vegans and people who want dairy-free and gluten-free items, all marked. Our table got a falafel salad ($6.29, above), falafel sandwich ($4.89), maza platter ($8.29) and lamb shawerma platter ($10.39).
Everybody liked their food. The most poetic said of his salad: “It was fantastic. It was light, delicious and invigorating.” The sandwich man said he was very happy with his order, above, although he admitted there might have been too much of it; not trusting Saca’s, he had spent $2 to add more of almost everything to his sandwich, which he then had to eat with a knife and fork.
The maza platter, above, had two falafels, hummus, two dolmas (grape leaves), a small salad, pickled turnips and two pitas. The friend who got that liked it, only being disappointed by her $3 side of rice, which didn’t have much taste.
My lamb platter was the most expensive thing I’ve ever ordered at Saca’s. It had small strips of lamb, rice, pickled turnips, hummus and two pitas. Somehow I was expecting more from this plate, but it was good enough. Oh, and we got pieces of baklava ($2) — the bakery case is right by where you place your order — and I got a Moroccan mint tea ($1.59). Invigorating!
Wednesday’s column revisits the matter of Frank Zappa’s apparent attendance at Claremont High in the early 1950s — with the discovery of a yearbook with his signature in it. Other pieces of Zappa information are also explored.
As is well documented, Frank Zappa lived in Ontario in the early 1960s, near the musicians’ store Ontario Music. But it was still cool to see these business cards unearthed by his son Dweezil recently and posted on Twitter.
Three vacant spaces in downtown Pomona were being prepped Friday for filming for an ABC pilot, “White Sheep.” Roving photographer Ren sent me these images. Above, the former Bunny Gunner storefront at 266 W. 2nd St. was transformed into Kim’s Academy Martial Arts. Below, a former Mexican restaurant (and prior to that, Chung King) at 280 W. 3rd St. was being turned into Land Lock Lobster. Crews were just getting started on a third storefront at 2nd and Parcels streets.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the family comedy “follows a teenager’s struggles to be the one nice guy in a family full of jerks.”
It’s impressive the amount of effort that can go into Hollywood productions. Thanks, Ren.
Remember the dispute between Ontario and Upland over a baseball field, not to mention a golf course? It continues. Upland isn’t satisfied with Ontario’s latest attempt to resolve the standoff. I’ve got more news from Ontario, as well as two Culture Corner items from Claremont, a plug for this blog and a Valley Vignette, in Sunday’s column.
In 1966, Nancy and Ronald Reagan campaigned for an hour at the L.A. County Fair. I have information and a photo from that, as well as other visits by her or them, in Friday’s column, followed by four Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.