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Claremont COURIER/September 2016


What is Claremonts favorite...

server? pizza?

find out

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

New business
Whisper House
Address: 502 W. First St., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-7733

Second place: Meat Cellar

A whisper campaign has begun and now the results
are in. The Whisper House is Claremonts favorite new
Opened in the summer of 2015 by owner Andrew
Segal, this bar and restaurant specializes in handcrafted cocktails reminiscent of the Prohibition era.
For one example, the Bourbon Daisylikely named
after Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgeralds 1925
novel The Great Gatsbyis a symphony of bourbon, almond syrup, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur
and peach bitters.
The menu is varied, but the general culinary theme is
elevated comfort food. For example, appetizers include
fried mac & cheese and chicken and waffle sliders.
Featured entrees range from bacon-wrapped meatloaf
to mahi mahi.
After 9 p.m., Whisper House takes on the ambience
of a speakeasy, not too far a stretch considering Claremont was a dry town until the 1960s. Located in the
Packing House in the former Hip Kitty site, the establishment is just a hop, skip and a jump from the
Laemmles theater, Flappers Comedy Club and a slew
of galleries and shops.
According to our voters, its just the spot for a roaring good time.

Claremont picks the Best of the Best

From time to time, the COURIER likes to take
the temperature of the city. After all, we are a newspaper dedicated to informing and entertaining the
residents in the City of Trees.
If you want to understand someone, it helps to
know what they like. Where does the average
Claremonter like to grab a bite to eat? What professionals do they trust? Where do they spend their
free time?
Thats where our semi-annual Best of the Best
publication comes in. Some weeks ago, we created a poll with a range of categories, asking for readers to weigh in on their favorites. Some of you
mailed the printed version of the poll, which appeared in the pages of the COURIER, to our office.

Others visited to take

the poll online. We thank you for your enthusiastic participation.
Here are the results. Some answers came as little surprise, such as Claremonts favorite park.
Other answers, like the citys favorite new business,
surprised us. All of the answers you provided to our
poll are printed here, with the exception of a few
questions that yielded little to no response.
We hope our readers interest may be piqued to
try something new on the advice of their neighbors.
And as for the business owners and entrepreneurs
who nabbed a first or second place, we extend our
congratulations. After all, its no small feat to be
Best of the Best in a town like Claremont.

Place to dine
on a budget
Sacas Mediterranean
Address: 248 W. Second St, Claremont
Phone: (909) 624-3340

Second place: Village Grille

COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Best place for a first date

Viva Madrid

Address: 225 Yale Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 624-5500

Viva Madrid is located down the arcade on

Yale Avenue between Second Street and Bonita
Avenue. As their website states, Viva has been
serving up authentic Spanish flavors and experiences since 1998.
Aside from the tasty, small dishes, one of the
nicest things about Viva Madrid is that the
kitchen serves late, giving plenty of time to
visit our second-place best first date finisher
Laemmle Theater before dinner.
Closing time varies, but generally they stay
open until at least 10:30 or 11 p.m. They open
at 5 p.m. every day, with the exception of a few
major holidays.
The menu includes tapas like Pollo Barbacoa, Empanada de Pollo, Lomo de Cerdo en
Salsa Tomate and Pan con Tomate, which all
make for a great shareable meal. Vivas Paella
Mixta is made with saffron rice, shrimp, squid,
mussels, scallops, halibut, chorizo, chicken, red
and green bell peppers and onions...all made
from scratch to order.
Viva, which also took first place in our
Place for Romance section, provides another
bonus to a first datethe low, warm lighting
brings out the best in everyone. Salud!

Business lunch

Address: 310 Yale Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 624-2779

Second place: Bardot

Photo courtesy of Viva Madrid

COURIER photo/Collette Weinberger

Walters has been a Claremont standby for

decades. Owned by longtime Claremonters Nangy
and Fahima Ghafarshad, Walters is a family affair
with their children Asya and Dawoud managing
day-to-day operations.
There is ample seating both indoors and out.
Business diners can request a quiet booth inside or
a private table in the cottage. The restaurant offers
eclectic fare including Mexican omelets, spicy
chicken pasta, lamb stew and traditional Afghan
dishes. There are plenty of meat and vegetarian options available for diners of any diet.
Coming in a close second for best business lunch
spot is Bardot, located on Bonita and Harvard Avenues just around the corner from Walters. Bardot
offers contemporary California cuisine with a
French flair, which can be attributed to the owners
Alain Fournier and Phillippe Catherine. The outdoor patio is shaded and the interior offers an elegant dining experience, reminiscent of 1940s
Hollywood glamour.
Bardot is located at 206 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont. (909) 6212255.

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Best happy hour

Casa 425

Best bartender

Address: 425 W. First St., Claremont

Phone: (866) 450-0425

Address: 206 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 621-2255

Second place: Bardot

Second place: Walters

(Bill raked in the most votes.)

COURIER photos/StevenFelschundneff

COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

The Casa 425 patio lounge offers nightly happy hour specials on wine, cocktails and
food, including fresh-made tacos every Tuesday and live music on Wednesdays.

Spot for a group party

Address: 310 Yale Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 624-2779

Second place: Espiaus

Bardot is clearly a town favorite, winning first or second

in six different categories in Claremons Picks
Since its opening in 2014, the restaurant has become a hot
spot for regulars to sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine or
the restaurants signature drink, The BardotBombay dry
gin infused with black tea, lemon, simple syrup, soda and a
grapefruit twist. Pair the Bardot with a braised short rib or
duck taco (an orange-marinated duck confit with salsa quemada, onions, cilantro and orange zest on a corn tortilla) and
youre all set.
The best part is that Bardot offers a generous happy hour
every day from 3 to 6 p.m. And dont miss Taco Tuesday;
the $5 margaritas and $2 tacos at the bar cant be beat. Taco
Tuesday runs 3 to 8 p.m. each week.

Claremont Craft Ales
Address: 1420 N. Claremont Blvd. #204c
Phone: (909) 625-5350

One of the coolest things about Claremonts only

brewery is that they like kids and they like pets. Bring
both types of little ones and enjoy a beer at CCA soon.


locations: Foothill and Yale, Claremont

Second place: Last Drop Caf

Local band
The Ravelers

Second place:
Claremont Voodoo Society

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Best burger

Best wait staff

Eureka! Burger

Eureka! Burger

Address: 580 W. First St., Claremont

Phone: (909) 445-8875

Second place: Tutti Mangia

Second place: Back Abbey

Since moving to the Packing House in Claremont in
the spring of 2011, its rare youll see the outdoor
patio at Eureka empty, even on a hot day. Between
their cold beer on tap and about a dozen burgers to
choose from, Eureka has secured top billing in the favorite burger category. And what could be better than
that? Wed say first place in the best wait staff category runs a close second.
Stop at Eureka and try the bison burger served with
bacon-infused jalapeo jam, charbroiled tri-color peppers, red onion and smoked mozzarella. If youre feeling artsy, give the blues burger a try with its melted
blue cheese, herb-sauted wild mushrooms, grilled
onions and chipotle ketchup. Like a more classic hamburger? Try the cowboy burger with shoestring onion
rings, bacon, cheddar and beer barbeque sauce. Any
way you look at it, Eurekas got you covered.

COURIER photos/
Steven Felschundneff
The jalapeno egg
burger at Eureka
Burger in Claremont
is made with fried
egg, melted cheddar
cheese, crispy bacon,
spicy chipotle sauce
and garnished with
jalapeo peppers.

Best french fries

Back Abbey
Address: 128 N. Oberlin Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-2642

Second place: Eureka

The menu calls them Pomme frites, but locals apparently call them
heaven. Taking top spot in French fries, Claremonts Back Abbey offers
fresh Kennebec potatoes fried once in duck fat and once in canola oil, then
served with horseradish chive sauce, rmoulade and ketchup for dipping. If
you havent yet, go immediately.



Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Best pizza
Pizza N Such

Address: 273 W. Second St., Claremont

Phone: (909) 624-7214

Second place: ZPizza

Pizza N Such took honors, by a landslide, in the best pizza category. Longtime owners Mike and
Sue Verbalalong with their daughter Laurahave certainly found the magic recipe to keep Claremonters coming back.
Not only is their pizza rated the best, the independent restaurant took first in best place to have dinner with the kids category, narrowly edging out the Village Grille. Maybe its because kids like pizza
or maybe its the relaxed family atmosphere and young wait staff who kindly bring crayons to the table
so the little ones can draw while they wait for their pie. Either way, our hats are off to the Verbals.
Heres hoping we can enjoy another 37 years of fresh, delicious food at Pizza N Such.

Breakfast menu
Village Grille

Address: 148 Yale Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 626-8813

Second place: La Pain Quotidien

COURIER photo/Jonathan Gibby

Dinner with the kids

Pizza N Such

Second place: Village Grille

If youre looking for a good

old-fashioned breakfast, the
Village Grille is your place.
Since 1949, the Grille has been
frying eggs and flipping flap
jacks for Claremonters at the
corner of Yale and Bonita.
Theres usually not a waitexcept Sundays during the
Farmers Marketbut the
ample counter seating is perfect
for a quick plate of eggs and
COURIER photo/Peter Weinberger
toast before you head to work.

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Senior living

Mom-and-pop shop

Pilgrim Place

Wolfes Market

Address: 625 Mayflower Rd., Claremont

Phone: (909) 399-5500

Address: 160 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont

Phone: (909) 626-8508

Second place: Mt. San Antonio Gardens

COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

Former chair of the Pilgrim Place Festival Bob Wallace chats with
a friend at a previous PilgrimPlace Festival. This year will mark the
68th festival and chair Tom Duggan is busy organizing activities for
the fundraiser, which will take place Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It may come as no surprise to many residents that Pilgrim Place was

voted Claremonts favorite senior living facility. Pilgrim Place has been
intertwined with the community for generations, and is the preferred retirement community for men and women who have given their lives to
religious and nonprofit servitude.
In addition to the tailor-made cottages dispersed throughout the
grounds, Pilgrim Place has top-notch heath services, including rehab facilities and hospice care. Pilgrims have gained a stellar reputation in
Claremont for being heavily involved in community affairs, from sitting
in on council and commission meetings to protesting wars during a weekly vigil on Arrow and Indian Hill.
Coming in second place is Mt. San Antonio Gardens, another institution that has provided premium care for its elderly residents for over 50
years. The comfortable lifestyle at the Gardens encourages independence,
intellectual expression and stress-free living. The Gardens is located at
900 Harrison Ave. in Pomona. (909) 624-5061.

Second place: Heirloom

Claremonts oldest grocery store is
coming up on 99 years of age. Wolfes
has weathered everything from the Great
Depression to the Great Recession with
aplomb, and has kept its doors open despite the recent entrance of two nearby
markets to the Foothill Boulevard scene.
For those who love the idea of a family-run business, the term mom and pop
doesnt get more relative. John D. Wolfe
first opened the business as J.D. Wolfe &
Co. in 1917. J.D. handed the store down
to his son, who handed it down to his son,
Ed Wolfe, who handed it down to his
soncurrent owner Tom Wolfe.
Popular features of the market include
home delivery, gourmet specialty foods
like Dr. Bobs ice cream, a comprehensive meat and deli department and a

COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff

kitchenaptly titled The Kitchenturning out tasty sandwiches, desserts, salads,

BBQ sides and meals.
More recently, Mr. Wolfe has launched
an arm of the market called Ultimate Nutrition. Those looking for healthy, lowcarb sustenance can get Shakeology
smoothies as well as meals freshly prepared for maximum nutrition with minimal sugar, carbs and fat. Mom and pop
never looked this fit!

Shoes That Fit
Address: 1420 N. Claremont Blvd.,
Phone: (909) 482-0500

Suite 204A, Claremont

Second place: Claremont Educational Foundation

Shoes That Fit has been a top charity in
Claremont since it was founded in 1992.
The premise is simple, but game-changing: give a child in need new shoes so
they can have the confidence to succeed
in their pursuits.
The nonprofit matches sponsors with
schools that have a list of children in

need, according to Shoes That Fits website. The group then buys as many shoes
as the children in need require.
The Claremont-based business has
grown nationwide, with over 1.5 million
pairs of shoes delivered to needy children
across the United States.

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

COURIER photos/Steven Felschundneff

Claremont park
Memorial Park

840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont

Place to fly drones

The Wilderness Park

Fun and free activity

Monday Night Concerts in the Park

Memorial Park, Claremont

Second place: Friday Nights Live

Monday Night Concerts in the Park, sponsored by the city of Claremont and the Claremont Kiwanis Club, draws thousands of people
each week to Memorial Park. The concert series
features diverse music, from country-western to

rock n roll. The Kiwanis Club fires up the grill

every Monday offering burgers, hot dogs and
quesadillas as well as snacks like ice cream, popcorn, nachos, candy and drinks. Proceeds from
the concessions assist in funding the bands.

Hiking or biking trail

Wilderness Park Loop

Top of Mills Avenue in Claremont

Second place: Thompson Creek Trail

COURIER photo/Peter Weinberger

This ever-popular five-mile winding trail for hiking

and mountain biking provides moderate elevation and
dramatic views, making it one of the most popular spots
in Claremont for outdoor enthusiasts. The Claremont
Hills Wilderness Park is located at the base of the San
Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest.

Street for an
evening stroll
Yale Avenue
Second place: Harvard Avenue

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016



Health-conscious menu

Aruffos Italian Cuisine

Dr. Grubbs

Address: 126 Yale Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 624-9624

Address: 373 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont

Phone: (909) 621-6200

Second place: Tutti Mangia

Mexican food
Casa Moreno
Address: 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont
Phone: (909) 447-5000

Second place: Pattys

Ice cream/yogurt
Bert & Rockys Creamery
Address: 242 Yale Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-1852

Second place: Yogurtland

Second place: The Spot Cafe

Dr. Grubbs is the seasoned Claremonters
go-to spot for healthy food thats as inexpensive as it is delicious. The fast-casual restaurant just moved into a new location two doors
down in a space previously occupied by Salad
Dr. Grubbs offers a three-step system that
guarantees a delicious and nutritious meal.
First, you pick a protein, such as herbed
chicken, blackened tofu and flat-iron steak;
second, you pick a side, with choices including
broccoli crowns, bow-tie pasta salad and herb
basmati rice pilaf; third, you pick a sauce,
which runs the gamut from peanut and soy
sauces to sun-dried tomato pesto and lemon
thyme vinaigrette. Bon appetit!

Coming up in second place on our list is The

Spot, a newer health food joint that serves delicious fare for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike.
The menus is full of gluten-free bowls,
wraps and pizzas for the health-conscious
Claremonter, including the vegan avocado
wrap, hummus quinoa bowl and the spicy
chipotle chicken pizza. The Spot also offers
one-day, two-day and three-day juice cleanse
programs and a monthly meal plancomplete
with a free health assessment, a custom nutrition plan with a life coach and a work-out in
their training facility at School House Fitness.
The Spot is located at 435 W. Foothill Blvd.,
right next to Trader Joes.

Kazama Sushi
Address: 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont
Phone: (909) 450-2505

Second place: Hayato Sushi and Grill

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016


Fine dining
Tutti Mangia
Address: 102 Harvard Ave.,
Phone: (909) 625-4669


Second place: Bardot

Tastiest steak
Tutti Mangia
Second place: Bardot
COURIERphoto/Steven Felschundneff

Tutti Mangia describes itself as an upmarket Italian eatery

that serves steaks, seafood & more classic fare in a dimly lit,
romantic space. Our readers agree as Tuttis took first in
three major categoriesfine dining, tastiest steak and the best
place to celebrate an anniversary. A second local favorite,
Bardot, narrowly took second in each of those categories.
Tutti Mangias menu offers a variety of dishes including
tagliatelle polpettini (veal, beef and pork mini-meatballs),
vitello alla piccata (thinly-pounded veal in a lemon-butter caperberry wine sauce) and tonno (wasabi-sesame-crusted
seared ahi tuna). Their chefs Tutti flair on standard dishes
like risotto, pasta primavera and petite-cut sterling filet
mignon puts them above the rest.

Place for an anniversary

Tutti Mangia
Second place: Bardot

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016


Grocery store Claremont hidden treasure

Trader Joes

Address: 475 W. Foothill Blvd.,

Phone: (909) 625-8784

Vom Foss


Second place: Wolfes Market

Trader Joes, which opened in Claremont near the

Old School House in 2008, is known for its healthy
food at reasonable prices.
With fresh produce, a selection of flowers and herbs
and that famous Two-Buck Chucka popular
Charles Shaw wine that runs less than $3it provides
a one-stop shop for many Claremonters.
The grocery stores design features some playful
nods to the community. These include check-out stands
named after the mascots of each of the local elementary
schools as well as a mural of notable Claremont buildings like Bridges Auditorium set against the San
Gabriel Mountains.
Heres a tip. Visit and check out
their recipe link before your next shopping trip. You can
pick up items for TJ recipes like a Hearty Harvest Salad, with faro, apple-smoked bacon, butternut squash,
salad greens and crumbled goat cheese. Yum!

Address: 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont

Phone: (909) 399-0256

Second place: Cheese Cave

Since October 2013, Claremont has enjoyed its very own location of the Germanbased specialty shop Vom Fass.
With a varied selection of fine oils, vinegars, spirits and spices, it has everything a
Claremont foodie needs to add flavor to their
latest dish. The shop, owned by Kim Peeples
and Denise Solis, encourages the sampling of
its wares ranging from aged whiskey to infused vinegars and oils. For those with a touch
of La Belle poque flair, the shop even carries
Fall is upon us and Vom Fass Claremont
has taken note with several seasonal offerings. Were told the pumpkin seed oil pairs
beautifully with apple balsamic vinegar for an
autumnal taste.
You are invited to help the shop celebrate
its third birthday on Saturday, October 29
from noon to 4 p.m. The Vom Fass staff will
have new product releases and will share free
food samples from noon to 4 p.m. and cocktail samples beginning at 2 p.m.


Address: 1798 N. Garey Ave.,

Phone: (909) 865-9500


Second place: Kaiser

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is a
437-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital utilized by many Claremonters. PVHMC also
opened a health care facility right up the block
where they offer family medicine, urgent care,
digital imaging and physical therapy, among
other services. The urgent care is located at 1601
Monte Vista Ave., #190, Claremont. Phone:(909)

Fitness Center
The Claremont Club
Address: 1777 Monte Vista Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-6791

Second place tie: Pedal Spin and

Claremont Yoga

Financial planner
Fukagawa Stark & Associates
Address: 246 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont
Phone: (909) 624-3949

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016


Local organization
Claremont Heritage
Address: 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont
Phone: (909) 621-0848

Second place: Kiwanis Club of Claremont

Claremont Heritage has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve the
history and the character of Claremont. Their mission, according to their
website, is to advance, preserve and celebrate the historic, architectural,
natural and cultural resources of our community through collaboration,
education and advocacy.
Claremont Heritage, which operates out of the historic Garner House
in the heart of Memorial Park, has become an authority on city preservation, routinely working in tandem with the city when it comes to keeping Claremont the way it is. They have worked to preserve a number of
classic buildings in the city, offered tours and lectures for Claremonters
of all ages and provided historical records of many classic structures in
the city.
Coming in a close second is the Kiwanis Club of Claremont. The Kiwanis Club has been involved with many different events and the Route
66 fundraiser, which just took place last Saturday. The money goes back
into the community, funding different charities such as Shoes That Fit
and the Claremont Educational Foundation. The Kiwanis club meets
every Thursday at 12:10 p.m. at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church.

Womens clothing
Address: 132 Yale Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-5651

Second place: Chicos

Mens clothing
Xerxes for Gents
Address: 319 Yale Ave.,
Phone: (909) 482-1111


Second place: DeeLux

Claremont COURIER/Claremont PIcks 2016

Dry Cleaners
Address: 108 Harvard Ave.,
Phone: (909) 626-3967


Second place: Towne Cleaners


Bike shop
Coates Cyclery
Address: 760 E. Foothill Blvd., Pomona
Phone: (909) 624-0612

Second place: Jax

COURIER photo/Collette Weinberger

Art gallery
Square i
Address: 110 Harvard Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 625-2533

Second place: Bunny Gunner

Ryan Zimmerman
Address: 500 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont
Phone: (909) 447-7707

Second place: Geoff Hamill

Home dcor
Jacquelines Home Decor
Address: 116 Harvard Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 660-9733

Second-place tie: Barbara Cheatleys

and The Ivy House
[Editors noteFull disclosure: The Ivy House is owned by editor
Kathryn Dunns sister. But fair is fair and she got the votes.
Congratulations, sister! KD]

Pet Groomer
Hair of the Dog
1420 N. Claremont Blvd., 107a
Phone: (909) 626-5066

Second place: Personal Preference

Hair Salon
Kut Haus
Address: 123 Yale Ave., Claremont
Phone: (909) 621-4906

Second place: Maxx Salon

Located a stones throw from Claremont, Coates

Cyclery is the largest independent bicycle shop in
the Inland Empire. But it isnt just the wide selection offered at Coates that makes this shop so wellknown. Coates owner Corey McCroskey has a
reputation for being one of the most generous business owners around, as he regularly donates bicycles to Claremont nonprofits for fundraising.

Established in 1934, Coates has a long history

of offering great customer service and repair for
any make of bicycle. The shop is over 6000 square
feet and offers hundreds of BMX, mountain and
road bikes for riders of any skill level.
And as their website states, Customer satisfaction is always at the top of our list, along with topquality bicycles and accessories. Happy riding!