A few of the cities oldies but goodies have great food and friendly service.
Downtown La Verne is not only the heart of the city, it is also home to a variety of shops and, most importantly, places to eat. Restaurants along D Street, between Bonita Avenue and Arrow Highway, offer a variety of cuisines and atmospheres at prices ranging from inexpensive to moderate so that everyone has a place to dine.
Aoki, which offers Japanese cuisine, is a great place to visit for lunch or on a break from work. Although the restaurant is small, a plentiful sushi bar accommodates customers interested only in seafood. Their spicy tuna rolls are a must. And their California rolls are a great choice for those eating sushi for the first time.
Another great option is the udon soup, which comes with seafood as well as chicken or beef. Their udon is a soup with thick noodles in a broth with seafood or the meat of your choice. Aoki also offers teriyaki beef and chicken, as well as Korean barbecue beef for those who prefer meat instead of seafood.
Combinations of two or three items are available. Options for the combos include teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken and tempura. All combos come with miso soup and salad. The teriyaki beef and tempura combo comes either with all vegetables or with vegetables and shrimp. The miso soup is also a great way to start the meal.
Prices are reasonable. A two-item lunch combination costs about $8. Dinner for the same combination costs about $11. Aoki offers Japanese cuisine at an affordable price, which is appealing to those who love sushi or just crave a different type of meal. Aoki is closed on Sunday but open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Caffé Allegro offers fine Italian dining right in the heart of La Verne. It’s a great date-night restaurant for dinner, or a quick Italian getaway for lunch. Good choices are available for both lunch and dinner, but the dinner menu offers more entrées.
The menu includes such appetizers as calamari and brucetta. The most popular items on the menu are fettuccini di spinaci al pollo e marsala and farfalle al gamberetti. The fettuccini di spinaci is a dish of spinach fettuccini covered in chicken marsala and mushroom cream sauce. The farfalle is a dish of bowtie pasta with shrimp, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus and garlic. Caffé Allegro also offers pizza, seafood, salads and various pastas to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Entrées are served artistically on square white plates and bowls. The Caffé is also well known for its delicious desserts, including its tiramisu. The restaurant is small, with an outside patio that gives you a sense that you’re dining somewhere in Italy. Service is fast and friendly. Prices are moderate. The most expensive item, a 16 oz. porterhouse steak, costs $18. Entrées range in price from $9 to $18.
Caffé Allegro has another location in downtown Upland, with the same cooks working at both locations. La Verne’s Caffé is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
T-Phillips Alehouse and Grill
T-Phillips isn’t just a local bar and hang-out, it is also a great place to enjoy some delicious food. The first things that grab your attention are the old pictures and signs hanging on the walls, the peanut shells crunching underfoot, and the variety of beers on tap. But the most unique thing about T-Phillips are the large mugs used to serve beer, soft drinks, iced tea and water.
Nachos are a popular appetizer with patrons, as are the calamari, spinach dip and mini-burgers. Pizza, hot dogs and chicken strips are offered on the children’s menu, while hamburgers and sandwiches top the entrées for everyone else. The turkey sandwich on croissant bread with fries makes a great meal. Desserts include peach cobbler, crème brulee and tiramisu.
The service is fast and friendly. Servers and bartenders treat you like they’ve seen you before or have known you forever. The only downside is the high prices. A normal size cheeseburger costs around $10; a sampler plate of appetizers costs $14.95. Thursday nights, T-Phillips comes alive as a popular hangout for the 21–and-over crowd. Students and locals take a break from the week to kick back and socialize.
T-Phillips is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.
If you’re in the mood for great Chinese food, head over to Phoenix Garden Mandarin and Szechwan Cuisine. The restaurant is located in the Old Town Square, next door to Coffeeberry. It’s small but has a comfortable atmosphere and friendly service. The restaurant offers a variety of pork, beef, seafood, fowl, vegetable and noodle dishes. Any of the a la carte items on the menu can be turned into a dinner for $3 more. The dinner includes the entrée, soup, egg rolls, fried shrimp and fried rice.
The Mongolian beef and mu shu pork are both great entrées. The Mongolian beef isn’t spicy but has its own tasty flavor. The mu shu pork is in what seem to be tortillas but a thinner version, and is served with a sauce that provides a unique flavor. The items on the menu are served family style so that everyone can get a taste.
The sweet and sour soup is a great way to start your meal. It’s a lot thicker than what you often find at other Chinese restaurants. The only disappointment is the fried rice that accompanies the dinner. Usually full of vegetables, egg and sometimes meat, Phoenix Garden’s is rather boring. To alleviate this, the restaurant serves a variety of fried rices, including the options of shrimp, chicken, beef, barbecue beef and vegetables that are prepared separately as a la carte items.
Gourmet dinners for two or more people are also a great way to go if you’re dining with a large group. There are three choices for these dinners: Phoenix Garden special dinner, which costs $16.95 per person; Mandarin dinner, which costs $13.95 per person, or the family dinner, which costs $11.95 per person.
Each starts off with a soup, followed by an appetizer and a choice of entrée for each person. The choices are predetermined by the restaurant and are listed on the menu. White chocolate-dipped fortune cookies are a tasty treat to conclude the dinner. Phoenix Garden is open Sunday to Thursday from
11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to
Warehouse Pizza is the “oldie but goodie” of the fab five. It has long been one of La Verne’s favorite places to grab a bite after a game or with a big group. When you walk in, head straight to the counter, where you will be greeted with a friendly face. The only menu is posted on the wall behind the counter.
Televisions around the restaurant are tuned to sports. Arcade games are available for kids. Adults will also find arcade-style gambling games along the counter. Tables are always grouped together, and you never have to worry about a server forgetting to refill your drink because you can do it yourself.
Warehouse is known for its pizza, which comes in different sizes and with a variety of toppings of your choice, depending on your appetite or the size of your group. Start your meal with the original house salad, which comes with lettuce topped with jack cheese, tomatoes and pepperoncinis and a choice of dressing. Sandwiches are also available. Each sandwich comes with a bag of chips. The turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich topped with Swiss cheese and shredded lettuce is a favorite. The spaghetti is surprisingly good. Shredded jack cheese covers a rich meat sauce. Garlic bread is served on the side.
Whether you’re with your family, team or friends, or even if you’re flying solo, Warehouse is a great place to eat. Warehouse is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.