With Meg out of town, I was sort of at loose ends this weekend. Fortunately, our buddy Rod decided to drop by and hang out Saturday night.
Rod was kind of curious about real estate in Lincoln Park, so we strolled down Jefferson and Lincoln avenues, admiring the park that gives the place its name, and checking out the 'For Sale' signs. Meg and I had looked at most of the places for sale, but I was still surprised that I could keep up a running commentary about price cuts and the condition of garages, kitchens, and bedrooms.
I was reminded, seeing all this through Rod's eyes, of how nice a neighborhood this is. Who knows what we'll discover after we've been here a few months or a few years instead of a few weeks, but I'm enjoying it all for now.
Afterwards, we headed downtown lookin' for some Saturday night food. I love Pomona's downtown -- it's got the cool old Fox Theater and just feels a bit more urban and vertical than some of the other local towns. I can only presume that the rent is still reasonable in downtown -- there were three record stores, a number of galleries, and all sorts of other places that I would presume (in my profound ignorance) couldn't make it if they were paying a mint.
[On the other hand, I guess I can't imagine how some of the boutiques in Claremont's village area make it, and still manage to pay high rents. So who knows?]
We wound up at the 2nd Street Bistro, almost by default. Pomona's downtown can be kind of quiet at night, in the absence of shows at the Glass House.
2nd Street Bistro is a pleasant place, with a good atmosphere and reasonable service. The food is a mixture of French and Italian offerings; it's good, without being remarkable.
Rod and I both tried out the Cavatappi Gratinee. The roasted tomato sauce was rich and pretty delicious, although the cheese melted on top was a bit ropier than I'd hoped, and the overall affect didn't quite live up to my expectations based on the description on the menu.
Rod had one of the three wines available by the glass (white, red, or rose), and I had a Moretti beer, which was about the most interesting one available. All of LA seems to suffer from a lack of imagination about beers -- most restaurants have a few mediocre yellow beers available, with some token dark beer (often Newcastle) thrown in for good measure. The current rage for Belgian beers seems to be providing a few more options, but I have to admit that I'm not wild about those malty brews.
Despite my grumpy ranting about beers, I enjoyed the meal. 2nd Street Bistro is actually pretty solid, and I'd put it up against the similarly priced options in the area any day. It's not as fancy as Tutti Mangia or Cafe Allegro, nor is the food as interesting, but it isn't intended to be, and it's certainly cheaper.