While we still have a Sizzler here in the city, we don't have the chains such as Outback Steakhouse, Chili's, Olive Garden, Applebee's, Red Lobster, etc. For those we need to go just outside the city limits. But what about when we want a similar dining experience here? Something beyond Food Truck Thursdays at Fairplex (although we do appreciate that and it's a place to get some great food).
Here are some of the places Mrs C and I like to go. Hopefully you'll add yours as well.
Sakura Ichi is a very nice place for Japanese food. A good bar menu, with happy hour specials makes this a great place for those occasions when we want "small plate" fare. Of course if you want Sushi or Tempura, you can certainly get full meals in a beautiful space.
The Drink at the Fox is also a great "small plate" place but they're not open all the time and you have to kind of stumble upon them.
Pho Vi Some good Vietnamese Pho at this place. Not something we crave, but decent on a cold day.
The Hamburger House is the new name for the oft renamed 2nd Street Bistro. While we haven't been there yet, it appears to have a good menu of "gourmet" burgers.
The Rookery is the new name for the previous Joey's BBQ. Under the same ownership and management, the menu has forgone BBQ for the gourmet burger route. The burgers are fresh and well done and the appetizers, which include fried pickles, onion rings, and grilled cheese, are worth the trip. Now if the room only looked a little less like a BBQ joint. This one does compare favorably with Eureka Burger, and with wait service is a step above the new Claremont Rounders.
Alladin, Jr. Not really a fan of middle eastern cuisine, but the place seems to have a loyal clientele.
A mention has to be made of Cassie's Soul Food, which isn't a sit-down restaurant but has some great take-out.
Fairplex AreaMcKinleys The restaurant in the Sheraton Fairplex offers up good solid food in a nice atmosphere. Again, you can get some great appetizers and "small plates" in the bar or have a very good/fresh salad in the main dining room. Not an everyday place, but certainly worth going to.
Finish Line This is a spot we recently rediscovered. While casual, it's a decent sit-down place with good food. We especially like their 1/2 price Mondays where any of their Main Entrees are 1/2 price. This means that you can get their NY Strip Steak dinner (Steak, mashed potatoes, vegies) for $7.50. While not the best steak dinner I've ever had, definitely the best one at $7.50. This is part of the off-track betting parlor that at night has a sports bar theme with lots of large televisions everywhere for those who like to keep an eye on the score. But they keep the sound down so it's not as intrusive as some similar places I've been in.
Pomona Valley Mining Company The old stand-by is good for an occasional dinner with an expansive view of the city. To be honest, I usually end up there for banquets rather than a regular evening meal, but their Sunday Brunch is a must at least once or twice a year.
I'm sure that I'm forgetting some, but these seem to be the main places to go for dinner. Do you have suggestions? I'd love to hear them.