Harry’s Pacific Grill Pre-Opener

The open-air Victoria Gardens Mall in Rancho Cucamonga is quickly shaping up to be a Mecca of cosmopolitan and sophisticated dining. Joining the ranks of elegant eateries is Harry’s Pacific Grill, located just on the outskirts of the mall proper. On December 9, the restaurant held a pre-opener cocktail and IE Weekly was graciously invited to check out the new digs.

From a visual design perspective, Harry’s is nothing short of pure class. From the first steps inside to sitting down at your table, every moment is a feast for the senses. The waiting area expands outside where guests can gather around an open fireplace. The bar is alive with drinkers mingling or catching the game on mounted wide screen televisions. The dining room is lit by hanging pin lights that reflect off of the finished tabletops, casting some of the most flattering lighting to be found in any restaurant. It’s easy to imagine many impressed first-dates taking place here.

The décor is an interesting pastiche of nouveau and retro swank, with fluorescent lighting illuminating the bar and earth tones striping the seats and dripping off the walls and pillars. Hanging lamps do a decent job of mimicking paper lanterns for that Eastern touch Harry’s Pacific Grill tries to infuse everything with. Of particular note is that every table in the dining room is a booth. Couples and groups of four will fit comfortably, but larger parties may have trouble sitting together. While there are larger booths toward the rear of the building that could potentially accommodate seven people, these tables were not completed at the time of my visit.

As with most pre-openers, Harry’s did not provide full-service, but rather gave their guests the opportunity to sample the main parts of entrées and a few appetizers that were being considered for the menu. Harry’s Pacific Grill offers a little bit of everything, including nachos, burgers, shrimp and steaks. Seafood lovers will not be disappointed by the selection of fish as most of the popular choices (salmon, halibut, albacore) make an appearance here.

Alcohol enthusiasts will also enjoy their time at the full-bar with a solid list of martinis and signature cocktails. I tried the Japanese Cherry Blossom (made with vanilla vodka, sake, pomegranate liquor and cranberry juice), which was fruity and smooth. If my drink is representative of all of Harry’s cocktails, these bartenders know how to pour a stiff one.

For those who know of the sister location and Temecula and the great food it serves, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Harry’s in Rancho will be no different. Service was attentive and knowledgeable. Food presentation was mouthwatering. The environment inspired relaxation and comfort. All the ingredients to make for a memorable dining experience. Look for our full review in the coming weeks.

Harry’s Pacific Grill, 8009 Day Creek Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, (909) 463-1400, Now Open to the Public, Mon.–Thurs. 4pm–10pm; Fri. 4pm–11pm; Sat. 10am–2pm lunch, 4pm–10pm dinner; Sun. brunch 11am–3pm, 4pm–10pm dinner