Restaurant Reviews Click on photos to see them full-size
DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Si, Como No! ? Si, Por Favor!!
by Bill Coburn
Si, Como No! translates into English, as “Sure, why not?” But you’ll probably only say that the first time you are asked if you want to eat there. Once you’ve eaten there, and you’re asked if you want to go again, you’re more likely going to respond “Si, por favor!” (While most Southern Californians know how that translates, I’ll tell those of you who’ve recently arrived from out of state, that means “Yes, Please!”)
Si, Como No (1057 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas, (909) 599-7353) is the result of a lot of hard work by Jessica and Tello (pronounced Tay-o, think Harry Belafonte and the Banana Boat song) Ramirez (daughter and father) and their staff. Shortly after Jessica graduated from USC in 1995 with a degree in Political Science, she and her dad were chatting about the idea of opening a Mexican restaurant. After all, if you have a degree in political science, and have spent four years studying politicians, isn’t it natural to segue into the restaurant business? Restaurateurs sling hash, politicians sling…well, this is a family paper. Anyway, once the talk got serious about opening a place, talk turned to what to name it, and at a dinner party with a bunch of friends, one of them, Allison, suggested Si, Como No!, and it was such an overwhelming favorite, that’s what Jessica and Tello selected.
They opened their first store in Ontario in 1996, and within three years they were doing so well they outgrew that location, and moved to larger quarters at 2407 S. Grove Ave. in Ontario. It was also about this time that they added fish tacos to their menu, a “niche” item that today has become their specialty.
In August of 2002, they found a second location at the corner of Lone Hill and Arrow Highway. That’s where I discovered them, and it is this location that is the subject of this spotlight. Si, Como No! was built on the idea of quality Mexican food at reasonable prices, with counter service, and fast food sensibilities. They’ve done a good job of it, as the food was excellent, the prices very good, the food was ready quite quickly, and I definitely was standing at a counter when I ordered.
One big difference between Si, Como No! and most fast food places, though, is how much of the food is prepared on the premises. Si, Como No! cooks all their own meats, prepares all their own sauces and salsas, cooks their own taco shells and hand rolls their taquitos fresh each day. They make their soups themselves. Their beans are cooked on the premises daily, and there is always a pot of rice on the stove, made fresh. Their tortillas are bought direct from the tortillerias, not frozen or mass produced.
I tried a green chicken enchilada, a red beef enchilada, a fish taco, and a crispy beef taco, with rice and beans. I enjoyed every bite. The fish taco was especially good, served in a warm, double corn tortilla with cabbage, a white sauce and salsa. I requested no pico de gallo, and added onions, and some of their home made hot salsa (they also carry mild salsa). The enchilada verde was filled with lots of chicken breast, and the sauce wasn’t overpowering. The red enchilada was filled with juicy, tender shredded beef, and the crispy taco was a lot to eat. Unlike most places, Si, Como No! includes sour cream on their crispy tacos, which are just $1.79 (soft tacos for $1.29). They also offer taco packages, $5.29 for 5 soft tacos and $4.69 for 3 crispy tacos.
Their combination plates are quite reasonably priced, most under $5.00, and even the three chicken (green) enchilada plate with rice and beans is just $5.29 (the same as the 3 beef (red) enchilada plate). They offer a chicken bowl, with shredded chicken served over Spanish rice and pinto beans, a carnitas chile verde bowl, tortas, quesadillas and tostadas.
While the Ontario store has served breakfast for some time, the San Dimas store has just added a breakfast menu, and is now opening at 9am daily, except for Sunday. The breakfast menu includes burritos (machaca, chorizo and bacon and egg) for $4.49, as well as combo plates (chorizo and eggs, machaca and eggs, chilaqueles and and huevos rancheros) for just $4.99. Combo plates come with rice, beans and tortillas, except the chilaqueles, which has corn tortillas scrambled in with the eggs, enchilada sauce and cheese.
Si, Como No! serves beer and wine at very good prices ($2.00 for domestic beers, $2.29 for the Mexican imports), and offers bottomless beverages, including horchata, orange whip and pina colada whip (those last three aren't bottomless). Si, Como No! also has a kids menu featuring combo plates, (one cheese enchilada, or one hard shell beef taco, or one beef taquito, or four chicken nuggets, or a cheese Quesadilla) served with a choice of beans and rice or French fries, for just $3.59. Breakfast items are served all day.
The San Dimas location is open from 9am to 9pm, Monday through Saturday. They are closed Sunday.
You can view Si, Como No!’s menu on the internet at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/sicomono. Their menu includes a “Party Menu” featuring enchiladas by the dozen for $15.99, taquitos by the dozen ($12.99), salsas, rice and beans, even carnitas by the pound.
All in all, I really enjoyed the food at Si, Como No!, and definitely recommend it.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurant’s menus, as well as downloadable coupons. He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that.
All menus (and prices) are subject to change without notice, menu items are subject to availability. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
When visiting these restaurants, be sure to mention that you saw them on San Gabriel Valley Menus.com, so that our clients know their advertising dollars are well spent!! Thanks.
Copyright 2003 - 2010 The Coburn Group
Contact Webmaster: Bill@SanGabrielValleyMenus.com