Monday, December 12, 2011

Chow Time: Magic Lamp Inn

What do you get when you cross a Swiss Chalet with the Arabian Nights?  An automatic tax shelter for all of that precious, precious gold?  No, you get The Magic Lamp Inn in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Open Sesame.

The Magic Lamp started its life as Lucy & John's Cafe in the 1940's along famed Route 66.  In 1955, the restaurant changed hands and after a drawing was held among employees to determine a new name, it became the "Magic Lamp Inn."  Apparently, the exotic new name did not dictate a drastic change to a heavily, lamb-based menu.  The Magic Lamp is a steak house.  It is the kind of steak house that peaked in the 1960's and, thankfully, has never felt the need to update its appearance, menu or presentation.  There is no "plating" here.  There are no micro-greens.  There is only an ironic fanciness - like money clips and floor-length fur coats.  One of my least-favorite words in the world is "classy"  but one is hard pressed to find a more fitting description for this wacky tacky eatery.  If Helen Roper finally broke Stanley down and got him to take her somewhere nice for their anniversary, odds are it would have been the Magic Lamp Inn. 

The stained glass, gold-embossed menu covers, and printed china all speak to the romantic and mystical aspects of granted wishes and arid, desert nights.  How then, do you explain this???

The interior of the restaurant is clad in wood paneling, shingles, and gabled rooflines.
Maybe this is what Aladdin wished for with one of his wishes - an alpine retreat.
We don't ask questions and we don't need answers.
We simply bask in the strangeness of it all.

My photography "skills" are woefully lacking and make it nearly impossible to present appetizing views of the food but it was actually pretty tasty.  I'm not sure if the waiter noticed, but I made every person at our table phrase their order beginning with the words, "I wish to have the..."

It was Erika's birthday, so she got her favorite,
Mid-East delicacy - cheesecake!

One of the signature desserts is the Chocolate Tulip Cake,
a chocolate tulip filled with chocolate mousse and garnished
 with whipped cream and berries.  Desserts are not included
in Mr. Tiny's current diet but the gang seemed to enjoy it.
It too had that 60's/70's "class" factor.

The circular cocktail lounge surrounds an oversized fire pit.  Classy.

The booths are upholstered in brass button-tufted, oxblood leather.  Classy.

These kooks in the parking lot.  Not classy.

If you ever find yourself driving down Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga, be proactive; make your own wish come true and visit the Magic Lamp Inn - magic carpet not required.

Because we went for lunch, we missed the most exciting
 part of the whole restaurant - the flaming magic lamp.

The Magic Lamp Inn
8189 Foothill Blvd
Rancho Cucamonga, CA


Mr. Tiny


  1. I've past this spot so many times and always wanted to check it out now I must!!

  2. This is pretty darn cool. Another placed added to the must-go list!

  3. It looks great! If I ever get that far west of Carthage MO, I'll be sure to look for it!