Thursday, January 31, 2008

claremont after hours

Last night we were hunting for supper after 9pm, which is well past the roll-up-the-sidewalks hour in our frontier of the West Inland Empire. We'd eaten at Viva Madrid the night before (I had already disposed of all perishables from the fridge), and we weren't in the mood for the Press or KBBQ, so we ended up down at the Village Expansion.

We have been to Hip Kitty three times, one of which we actually got served, and I'm on record as thinking that place can't possibly make it. But it was open late, and cheese fondue sounded good, so we gave it a shot.

The first plate of words I have to eat is the business prospects of the place: As the song goes, that joint was jumpin'. And it was jumpin' with clientele that one doesn't usually see in Claremont -- longhairs, hipsters, Fred Sanford clones, all sorts of folks. It was a pretty good vibe overall. It was an open jam night (maybe they all are, I dunno), and even for non-jazz fans like us, it was entertaining watching the anthropology of each song and set. And the music seemed pretty good too.

Hip Kitty still doesn't seem like a bar run by experienced professionals, but our fondue was mighty tasty. They have four different choices of cheese fondue (as well as other fondues -- meat, chocolate, etc.), but we went with the classic -- gruyère, garlic, and brandy. (Yes, I know, it should be kirschwasser, but the brandy was just fine.) It was served with teacups full of breadcubes; apples & grapes; and broccoli florets & carrot fingers. The bread was the tastiest; I ended up just nibbling on the other things sans cheese.

K. had a Pomona Queen (three cheers for the Dale Brothers!), and I had a glass of Fat Cat pinot noir (eh, it was okay -- but it was several bucks less than the more enticing options). All told we spent about $35 before tip. They didn't charge us the "$10 per person entertainment fee" threatened by a sign, plus we got to snuggle up in a big round booth, like 1950s cool cats.

§ § §

Speaking of the New Mall, over at Claremont Insider, we learn that the Maui Wowie franchise is already for sale, for a mere $240k for everything. There goes the dead pool I was going to organize. I would have lost, anyway; my money was on Edible Arrangements, which, according to pal who lives in the nabe, is hanging in there just fine (to my complete mystification).


Mark said...

I am not that impressed with the shops at the new mall. The buildings do look great for what they are.
I also wish that the Claremont Museum had a bigger space. I know that it helps the museum to pay an entrance fee but so far the exhibits have been underwhelming and usually I am out of there in 5 minutes.
I hear there is a new exhibit openning, I will give it another try.

Anonymous said...

I was not impressed with the food selection at Hip Kitty. But I definitely like the vibe in the joint. I am also thankful to have a local jazz bar in the area, the drive to fullerton is a bit far late in the evening. Of course, I wish it was in Pomona.

meg said...

No, I'm not that impressed by Hip Kitty's menu either. I would even go so far as to suggest that ordering anything but fondue is an invitation to (although not a guarantee of) disaster.

And I'm completely with you about wishing it was in Pomona. Speaking of which, I need to post about my experience at dba256...

[posting from Uxbridge, UK]