Brunch at the Pacific Palms Resort in the San Gabriel Valley

December 07, 2009 by Don Simkovich

A Sunday brunch worth exploring in the Los Angeles area is found at the Pacific Palms Resort, a half-hour drive east of downtown Los Angeles and about two miles north of the 60 Freeway off Azusa Avenue.

Brunch Servings

I was fortunate to be a guest at an office party which included the Sunday champagne buffet offering. The experience is normally $42 per person and included seafood, Mexican food and Chinese Dim Sum along with appetizers like Portabella Mushrooms that my wife said tasted like a finely cooked steak, a glazed pecan salad, and a variety of cheeses.

We parked at the top parking lot above the driving range and entered past the shops and glass interior elevator.

We settled in to the banquet room and then walked through one set of doors on to a wide, outdoor balcony where Dim Sum was served near a choice of Mexican food.

The Dim Sum tastes, such as the small pork buns, were satisfying even for western tastes while retaining the appeal for the many Chinese guests gathered.

The Mexican options were carnitas (pork), carne asada (steak), fluffy rice and creamy refried beans.

The balcony itself had views of the cloud-shrouded San Gabriel Mountains about 10 miles to the north of Azusa, portions of one of the two golf courses and landscaped fountains.

There were blended, non-alcoholic ice drinks available at the west end of the balcony like Pina Colada, Boba Milk Tea and Mixed Fruit. In the main dining room of the Cima Restaurant, entrees were eggs benedict, French Toast, sausage, crab legs, shrimp and more. Desserts were flavorful with a mousse-type pumpkin pie taste.

A Unique Location
The Pacific Palms Resort faces a marketing challenge based on its location in the Puente Hills area where most people in the Los Angeles area don’t associate with a resort. My wife and I first went to a function there in the late ’90s when it was the Industry Hills Sheraton.

Azusa Avenue off the 60 freeway to the south runs through a light industrial area before reaching the resort and the avenue has several stoplights as it winds north to the 10 freeway.

The husband of a couple at the brunch today who is a long-time professor at a local university and a long-time resident of Pasadena (only 20 minutes away without traffic) told me that he never knew the place existed.

Los Angeles Getaway for Resident and Visitors

Yet the advantages of the Pacific Palms Resort are several: the mountaintop setting is wonderfully landscaped and offers the feeling of a “getaway” even though it is less than an hour drive for residents in either central Los Angeles County or northern Orange County.

It offers gorgeous views of the San Gabriel Mountains and there’s plenty of mall shopping in the area.

The Web site claims it offers “Los Angeles’ only full-service, destination golf resort – awarded 4 stars by Golf Digest” with two championship courses with driving range and practice areas.

The resort currently offers several packages including a Stay and Play Golf Package for $ 99 per person, per night.

Plenty of meeting rooms exist for business travelers and it is centrally located to the regions’ airports: LAX, Ontario, Long Beach and John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

Many Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley residents may be surprised that a getaway exists in their own backyard.

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