I was attending an event at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario last weekend. Because I was going to be chowing with people who (a) I didn't know well, and (b) had control of the car, and I knew my time and my options were going to be limited, I didn't put out a request for recommendations, although I did ask for recs on the Chains Board, if that became an issue.
We ended up snacking during the day and only had dinner (four of them) in restaurants.
1) We had a full evening free the first night so the driver suggested going to Claremont. Apparently she'd been eyeing Tutti Mangia on another occasion when it was closed and wanted to go back to check it out. I thought the food was very good, which it should be at those prices. I had the pork belly appetizer and the salad with grilled vegetables. The latter for my taste could have used a higher ratio of grilled veggies to greens, but the greens themselves were excellent so I still enjoyed it. The pork belly was delicious, and I especially appreciated the dollop of lentils underneath, which cut the richness of the dish and made it a little more savory and hearty.
2) After stopping into Target on the way to the arena the next morning we spotted Green Mango Thai Bistro and headed back there on our dinner break. I read the review on the wall and picked the recommended Dancing Crispy Duck while my friend chose the Green Mango steak supreme. We did not specify spiciness, but the spicy green mango sauce had a nice kick to it. The duck wasn't particularly spicy, but it was flavorful and a generous portion, and what's not to like about crispy roast duck? My favorite thing was actually the whole young coconut juice, which was a whole coconut with a flap opened at the top. In addition to the juice I scraped some of the soft coconut meat out (I probably should have taken it with us and finished it off, but it didn't occur to me). Overall, it was a good meal, and given the quality of the preps, I suspect you could have really good meal there if you ordered more adventurously and asked them to turn up the heat.
3, 4) It seemed everyone was heading over to the mall for the Market Broiler (one of six locations), so we succumbed to peer pressure. For someone who rarely ventures to the suburbs for chow, it's almost impossible to categorize a place that has both a kids menu and a decent selection of wines by the glass. It wasn't amazing, but it was respectable, the prices were reasonable, the wine pours were generous, there was something for everyone, and it was five minutes from the arena, which made it a good choice in this instance. If I were really into fish, I probably would have been more enthusiastic. If I'm going to nitpick, I would have liked more vegetable options among their sides.
So all in all, I was reasonably pleased with my chow-venture into the land of the mall.
102 Harvard Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
4557 Mills Cir, Ontario, CA 91764
Green Mango Thai Bistro
11226 4th St, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730