Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights' freshly made delectable desserts have garnered this ice creamery several accolades: MyFOXla voted Frostbites the best ice-cream parlor, while The Tonight Show granted it a custom-made jingle. Loosen up with the 16 flavors of sorbet chill (starting at $2.59), made with authentic italian ice, or dive taste buds into creamy chocolate frozen custard (starting at $2.79), made from natural ingredients such as egg yolk. Commitment-phobic customers can combine the two with the sorbet cream (starting at $2.89), where fruity flavors such as watermelon, coconut, and orange merge with rich vanilla custard. Those in the mood for pancake-esque desserts can fill up with a sweet crêpe ($3.29) hot off the griddle and topped with a choice of sauces (each $.69) and accoutrements (each $.89). Buck traditional notions of French cuisine with a sandwich crêpe (starting at $3.99), stuffed with a choice of meat, cheese, condiments, and fresh vegetables.
Densely packed conversations flutter across long, communal tables packed even more densely with hearty courses of sourdough bread and blue cheese, homemade soups, and oxtail stew. Platters of rustic, European-inspired cooking pass from person to person. All the while, the house wine keeps flowing. This is a typical scene at Centro Basco—a historic restaurant and inn devoted to capturing the vivacious and independent spirit of the Basque region. A fiercely autonomous region of Spain along its mountainous border with France, Basque Country has its own distinct climate, its own language (one of the few in the world with no known relationship to any other language), and its own unique approach to food.
"Opened in 1940, along with a boarding house for shepherds, this sprawling restaurant is one of the last remnants of the local Basque population who once herded sheep in what is now fully suburbanized Chino," notes Gayot. The Berterretches—a family with strong genealogical ties to the Basque countryside—assumed ownership in the 1970s, and they continue to embrace the region's culture today. Their cozy, lodge-like eatery features large dining rooms devoted to spirited family-style feasts complete with special menus, as well as a separate area for guests looking to enjoy a more private meal.
Myriad cultural influences appear throughout the menu. Dishes such as the oven-roasted lamb with a kick of garlic and the grilled calamari steak with tomato-pepper sauce clearly embrace the restaurant's distinctively Basque roots. At the same time, French and Italian entrees—including chicken cordon bleu and veal parmesan—lend a pan-European vibe to the selection.
Voted best French restaurant by IE Weekly, Christophe's serves up a variety of Francophone fixin's, eponymously prepared by Chef Christophe Jardillier, who honed his culinary chops on cutting boards throughout France. The sleek dining room, dominated by leather and mahogany hues, creates a swank backdrop for house specialties such as the beef bourguignon, a hearty dish composed of beef, mushrooms, and vegetables in a rich red-wine sauce ($21.95). After dinner, sashay toward the lounge for cocktails and live music on Wednesdays through Saturdays, courtesy of jazz musicians, enthusiastic karaokists, and sassy rapping grandmas.
For more than a millennium, Cafe Sevilla has stood as one of Spain's great historic cities. In 1987, Spanish-born entrepreneurs Rogelio and Janet Huidobro opened the Cafe Sevilla tapas bar as a tribute to the longstanding cultural and culinary traditions of their homeland. Since then, the authentic Spanish eatery has expanded to three locations, each with a nightclub where live musicians take the stage every night in a celebration of Latin, Arabic, and gypsy music.
Cafe Sevilla's executive chef constantly experiments with his cooking, devising adventurous new dishes while highlighting cuisine from the varied regions of Spain. His menus encompass more than 40 tapas plates hailing from regions throughout Spain, such as skewers, ceviche, imported Iberian ham, and paella valenciana, a saffron-infused bomba-rice dish loaded with shellfish, Spanish sausage, and vegetables. Despite the ingenuity that suffuses the menu, one thing has remained constant: the sangria recipe, which is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago. On Saturday nights, there's an extra garnish for the cuisine: a three-course dinner is underscored by performances of flamenco, an Andalusian dance form that expresses love, pain, and passion through elaborate movement. Engaging the audience in a full sensory experience, the dancers—many of whom were trained in Spain and now run their own dance studios—are dressed in colorful, traditional garb and are chased off the stage by stampeding bulls at the end of each set.
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).
The name seems a little vague at first glance. But catch a whiff of the aromas coming from the kitchen of Euro Cafe, and you may start to tease apart the main national cuisines at work: sweet red pepper sauce and roasted Black Angus beef from Portugal, espresso and chicken fettuccine from Italy. The former influence predominates, popping up in the wine list, the linguiça sausage in an omelet, and the marinated pork loin in a sandwich. The family of owners also celebrate their mother country by preparing a daily Portuguese special and taking turns working on the basement's tunnel to Lisbon.
Although it holds down the corner of a shopping-center plaza, Euro Cafe goes out of its way to feel like a cozy neighborhood spot tucked away on some quaint side street, from the house-baked pastries to the tables scattered on the sidewalk to the live music. The approach has won some ardent fans during its decade in business. "I could go on and on about Euro Cafe," raved a reviewer for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin after a "luscious" lunch in 2010. "But it would be better if you swing by and see for yourself."