Past Stories

Kimchi Obsessed? Burrito Crazed?

Cart envy? I’m not talking about Mario-Kart for the Wii, and I’m not talking Go-Kart racing off the 60 freeway. No, I’m discussing the phenomenon that plagues us Inland folk when the subject of food trucks and cart cookin...


What’s in a Name?

I’ve got no serious beef with chain bar/restaurants like BJ’s and the like; they generally offer a pleasant place to watch a game while gulping down a drink and an appetizer or two, usually with a “zany” dipping sauce o...


Beware of Burgers

You’re not supposed to be able to mess up a burger. Really, you’re not. Steven’s Place—a divey, diner-y burger joint in Corona—proves that belief wrong. Dead wrong. And that makes me a bit sad and disappointed. Trul...



Quality vs. Quantity

In the book A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain, the noted chef eats bird nest soup, which contains, amazingly enough, birds’ nests. On his show Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern travels the globe searching out strange and se...


This Ain’t No Buffet

When I was growing up, casino food had a certain bletch factor, a stale buffet and smoke-filled diner ambiance that suggested overly-fried meats, portly men from the Midwest smoking cigars and mushy apples. Or at least that’s...


Trippin’ on the Fu Man Choo Choo

Since it would be much too easy to make an Orient Express joke about a Chinese restaurant housed inside real train cars on real tracks, I opted for the much cleverer headline above. Still, there’s something appropriate about ...



Middle of the Road

Where’s the beef? Well . . . it’s here at Bravo Burgers . . .  but that’s it. That’s all you get. Just the beef. No sizzle. No flash. No pizzazz. No “x factor” to the food or dining experience…


Smells Like Weiner Nirvana

The Chicago dog—the hot dog specifically—is a much-mythologized piece of Americana; a slightly mysterious meat product that reminds us of the Windy City as much as Al Capone, shady politics and Da Bears. It is normally serv...


Papi Knows Best

Not to go all Minutemen on anyone, but at times it seems as if there are too many Mexican restaurants in California these days. They’re everywhere; on every street, on every corner, so ubiquitous we hardly notice the latest p...



Using Their Noodle

Let’s be clear about something: I still think the best damn bowl of phở is to be had in San Bernardino. It’s a place called Phở Ha on Mill Street, just shy of Waterman Avenue. And I know it’s good…


Stone Cold Swagger

Sigmund Freud famously—and apocryphally—once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” and to that I’d like to add that sometimes a deli is just a deli, no, not the latest foodista nook serving deconstructed sobrassa...


Rootin’ for the Dogs

Way back in January, Every Day with Rachael Ray boldly predicted that hot dogs would be the next lowbrow fare to hit the gourmet bandwagon, nipping at the heels of the recent $10 gourmet burger and pie explosion. True to…



Palm Springs, Eat Your Heart Out

Is Palm Desert even in the Inland Empire? I wondered as I schlepped myself out toward the desert. On the drive back toward Riverside that seemingly pressing question hardly mattered—I had just eaten at a fantastic restaurant;...


Can’t Top the Stop

Pity the poor taco-truck taco. For years, this Mexican quick bite simply didn’t get any respect; relegated to the culinary ghetto, it never got an even break. Afforded the same consideration and regard as those bacon-wrapped ...


Bacon Nation

If Riverside had reason to rejoice over swine, let it be over The Salted Pig. Ronald Fierro’s new enterprise features the talents of tag-team duo Brein and Roryann Clements, the husband and wife responsible for turning Restau...



Some Good Habits

No habit jokes here-oh no. No, “You’ll make a habit out of habit Burger,” or “even Charlie Sheen would kick the habit for Habit Burger,” or even, “nuns lose their habits for Habit Burger.” No, that would be lame. ...


Belly of the Feast

A revolution has been breaking out lately, and I’m not talking about the outbreak of democratic change sweeping across the Middle East, from Egypt to Tunisia and points in between. No, I’m talking about some new and interes...


A Meaty Situation

Chef Michael Vaughn is known at the La Quinta Resort for his restaurant transformation of Twenty6. Vaughn not only updated the restaurant’s décor, he also upgraded its recipes using modern techniques. At Twenty6, the chef ha...



A Touch of Class

I don’t get my hair cut at cosmetology schools, my cavities filled at dentist schools or my brain surgery done at the Barbizon School of Scary Invasive Surgery. The consequences of an oopsy moment are too grim, too obvious an...


It Takes a Village

The taco was said to be the original Mexican light lunch. While many restaurants have gone far and wide to innovate and perfect the taco—from new cooking methods and old family recipes to romantic ambience and candle-lit tabl...


Retro Refreshment

Subtle, Jimmy’s Diner is not. This burger joint in Corona makes it pretty obvious that its creators are going whole hog with ’50s retro ambience. With vinyl records decorating each booth, an old-school Pepsi-Cola clock prov...



Extra! Extra! Eat All About It

Telling the world that The Press in Claremont serves up tasty, interesting and varied food is no great revelation. Telling people that The Press is a legendary lunch spot in the area, that it has a fun and lively bar…


Best in the West

Many a lunch hour would I sit around the cubicle and reminisce about a bowl of spiced chili verde and sopapillas drizzled in honey from Anita’s in Fullerton, which used to be the only game in town when it came…


A Cellar’s Market

To some degree I believe in the “cheap wine, expensive beer” motto. I tend to spend more on beer than wine when I’m at a bar or restaurant. I always thought that wine is one of those things best enjoyed…



As Good As It Gets

How appropriate that this family-owned and -operated hole-in-the-wall that caters to a predominantly Mexican clientele would be located on Hole Avenue in a simple, yet colorful storefront hemmed in by a check cashing store on o...


Vintage Model

I’d always wanted to go to Peggy Sue’s. You know, the Barstow (Yermo to be technical) place on the way home from Vegas, the one you start seeing signs for right after Baker; Peggy Sue’s ’50s diner. I imagined it…


Dressed for Success

The island-themed retailer, Tommy Bahama’s is known for the most part for its resort-style clothing. But in Palm Desert, the retailer is also a restaurant and bar serving up some of the wildest concoctions of rum-infused cock...



Mountains of Meatness

A hot dog at a burger joint? Now, that might seem as strange as ordering a salad at Peter Luger’s, but when the hot dog in question is wrapped in bacon, served up with grilled bell peppers and topped with…