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.
Sabor A Mi isn't for everyone. If you aren't a fan of tender meat bundled in homemade tortillas and seasoned with smoked chilies, it's probably best to avoid this cornerstone of La Verne's culinary scene. Then again, that probably doesn't apply to a whole lot of people. So much is apparent from the steady stream of regulars that filters into the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an extensive selection of Mexican fare. Sabor A Mi has taken care to replicate the experience of an authentic Mexican restaurant, right down to the bottles of Jarritos soda and creamy horchata to the vast array of Mexican and domestic beer.
Thai food is celebrated for its complex, layered flavors, and Bangkok Blue Thai Cuisine's food is no exception. Its chefs stir-fry chicken with garlic and chilies for an intense yet pleasant burn, and add a touch of sweetness to deep-fried squid with their housemade sweet chili sauce. Many of their dishes use flavorful broths or curries, such as their intensely flavored hot-and-sour soup or massaman curry, a Southern Thai specialty.
The desserts also employ many flavors. Chefs toss sticky rice with sweet coconut milk and tangy slices of mango, and buy bananas shots of rum to create drunken banana flambes.
The Pacific Ocean separates Pasadena from Nepal, but Himalayan Cafe makes the distance seem smaller. Its authentic combination of Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan dishes include saut?ed veggies served along homemade paneer cheese, lamb, chicken, and shrimp baked in a tandoor oven, and six varieties of naan, a flatbread served plain or stuffed with fixings. Sweet treats include Nepalese-style rice pudding topped with cardamom and nuts and lassi, a yogurt drink made with rosewater. Beer and wine is also served.
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).