Established in 1962, this quaint, '50's-style diner still doesn't take checks or credit cards, but a time-tested menu of buttermilk pancakes, gooey tuna melts, and piping-hot coffee draws a steady stream of devoted patrons. "It's very homey, very comfortable," says one regular. "It's like the Cheers of diners," says another. The long-lasting success story of Roberta's Village Inn—where chefs whip up from-scratch desserts daily—almost went unwritten. As Inland Valley Daily Bulletin writer David Allen notes, Roberta Virgin, the restaurant's namesake, was on the verge of throwing in the towel after her first day of waitressing in 1977. But her mother, a fellow waitress there, convinced her to stay, launching Roberta's 32-year career and ascension to the ranks of manager, owner, and finally Omelet Queen. Though Roberta transferred the reins to her longtime chef Francisco "Pancho" Ramirez, with whom she shares a "mother-son bond," her name remains on the forest-green awning. Francisco preserved the restaurant's moniker in tribute to his old boss, also leaving untouched the recipe for the famous pot roast she used to serve every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening.
Named 2009 Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, Klatch Coffee's casual coffeterias celebrate some of the world's highest quality coffee, carefully sourced to international farmers under direct trade ethics. Roasted in small batches for maximum freshness and minimum inter-bean squabbling, Klatch's java pleases patrons with a drip coffee of the day ($1.95–$2.20), as well as designer drinks such as the Mexican mocha ($3.40–$4.30), infused with spicy Ibarra chocolate. Discerning slurpers can also sate barking bellies with a hammy, cheesy eggel sandwich ($3.99) from the breakfast menu, or train teeth on heartier lunch fare such as a cranberry walnut salad ($3.75) or turkey pesto panini ($5.95).
Dave Reinitz packed up all his belongings into a motor home, left New York, and began driving across the country because he was bored. When the engine finally blew, he was in Los Angeles, and decided that was where he would stay. As if by providence, Dave immediately took to his newfound city's comedy scene. Eventually, he partnered up with comedian Barbara Holliday for his life's next great adventure—Flappers Comedy Club.
Today, Barbara, whose credits include Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Friends, co-manages the multipurpose club she owns with Dave. A breeding ground for new talent, the venue plays host to standup comics and variety acts, and gives up-and-comers a hand with comedy classes called Flappers University. Many local and rising comedians have tested their standup material at Flappers, and the stage has supported the seasoned weight of stars such as Dave Attell and Jason Alexander. Before, during, or after shows, patrons can fuel their giggle fits with grub from the club's onsite restaurant, including Cajun-spiced burgers, seared ahi, and brick-oven pizzas.
Eddie's Pizzeria & Eatery answers an ancient culinary dilemma: do we go out for pizza or stay in for Mom's meatloaf? Serving New World fare, the restaurant satisfies cravings in a single sweep. Even its pizzas champion this culinary marriage—New York–style pies arrive speckled with traditional toppings as well as premium options, such as rosemary ham. Yet, despite such culinary fusion, the pies never lose sight of their roots. Margherita pizza recalls the dish’s Italian heritage, whereas a 10-inch gourmet Bada Bing represents pizza’s modern stomping grounds with sausage, gorgonzola, and a mini “I Heart NY” shirt.
The menu also explores a large landscape of pasta entrees, from four-cheese ravioli to penne sautéed with mushrooms in a tomato-cream sauce. Meatier plates continue to span continents, with chicken parmesan prepped near st. louis ribs and handcrafted Angus burgers. As patrons strip tangy wings bare, they can watch the venue's eight televisions, two of which boast 70-inch HD screens.
The morning meal at Kickback Jack's will leave you doing jumping Jills. Sample a plate of original flapjacks ($5.99) or remix a classic fix with a pile of mocha silk flapjacks creamily caulked with chocolate mousse and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream ($6.99). Hearty, geometrically undefined skillets boast a bounty of fresh ingredients with combos such as the Bahama Mama, fully loaded with smoked chicken-apple sausage fried to perfection with onions, fire-grilled corn, red peppers, mushrooms, avocados, and cheese served atop baja chipotle sauce ($11.99).
At La Piccoletta, chef Roger Llanes choreographs seasonal, local ingredients into an ever-changing menu of authentic Italian cuisine presented in a cozy dining room convincingly disguised as a village trattoria. Tuesday–Saturday, dinner guests can begin Mediterranean excursions with an opening salvo of Piccoletta meatballs made from beef, veal, pork, and italian herbs or caprese salad, in which vine-ripened tomato harmonizes with fresh mozzarella as a balsamic reduction plays rhythm guitar. Hearty pasta dishes, such as the egg-ribbon pasta with meat ragù or the sweet italian sausage and broccoli rabe over noodles, sate carb cravers.