Everyone loved visiting the Macias household. Antonio and Sara’s hospitality was matched only by their elaborate Mexican dinners. After years of wildly successful dinners and parties, the duo decided to spread the good word and start their own restaurant. In 1974, they opened the first Mi Ranchito in Ontario, California, packing the tiny space with six tables and stocking the kitchen with fresh produce, meat, and seafood.
Decades later, and Antonio and Sara’s small eatery has replicated itself into three locations across California. Their children and grandchildren join them in the kitchens, where they fold fresh ingredients and handcrafted sauces into traditional enchiladas, chili rellenos, and tacos. Meanwhile, bartenders blend top tequilas into a variety of innovative margaritas and specialty drinks. In the dining rooms, hand-painted murals of tropical birds, colorful Mexican artwork, and the party-hat wearing condors who serve the food create a festive atmosphere. The restaurant's uncompromisingly fresh and delicious cooking, innovative drinks, and welcoming environment have been lauded by a slew of press publications and won the restaurant the award for Best Mexican Food from Inland Empire Magazine.
Two things can be found around Aroma Grill's lacquered tables: plates of flavorful Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine, and delighted diners ready to enjoy a meal together. From specialty dishes baked inside the tandoor oven to simple, savory street food, the kitchen crafts a menu of rich dishes that showcase the famous aromas and flavors of Indian cooking. The restaurant also breaks out chafing dishes to present lunch buffets and banquet spreads or to serve as shields during food fights.
Margarita Rocks is part nightclub, part restaurant, and doesn’t skimp on either end of the equation. Cooks prepare shrimp tacos, pizzas topped with carne asada, and other savory snacks, and bartenders pour made-from-scratch micheladas, margaritas, and other cold drinks until 2 a.m. Although Margarita Rocks is known for live music and raucous good times, the spot is also kid friendly, welcoming families with children until 8 p.m.
Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.
Best known as a leading cast member on the iconic variety show In Living Color, Tommy Davidson stands out with his elastic delivery and swift acting chops, which have landed him eclectic roles in a variety of films, including Booty Call, Spike Lee's Bamboozled, and Black Dynamite. The improv theater in Ontario is a stop on the comedy trail for all legendary laugh-inducing artists, and its tasty menu and full-service bar fuel audience belly laughs and set the tone for a night of high spirits. Arrive an hour early to guarantee seats and avoid having to sit on someone's shoulders.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.