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If you're hungry, buy the bait
Posted by on
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA -- For well over a year, my wife and I had been watching the construction of the new Bass Pro Shop "Disneyland" off the 15 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga. As an avid fisherman, I was interested in having an upscale outdoors retailer in the area. We got there around 6:00pm on a Monday evening and took one of the tables in the bar area. The waiter was excellent. We order clams on the half-shell for an appetizer, mahi-mahi and their "signature" grouper dish. The oysters were served without ice and room temperature. The mahi-mahi was uncooked (they just pour hot sauce on the top) and the accompanying baked potato looked like it was a weekend left-over. The BEST was the signature grouper which was still so frozen that it could only be cut with a knife and then you could hear it sawing through the ice crystals.

We contacted the manager (who was preoccupied chatting up the female staff) and he said he wanted to take our food back to the kitchen to "show the cooking staff what they're doing wrong." He said we would not be charged for the uneaten food and asked whether WE wanted him to comp our drinks. Since we had finished the two beers and two margaritas, we declined his offer. Tab for 4 drinks and oyster bait? $48.00. They gave us a card allowing us a free entre after we bought ten and we tore it up and left the pieces on our cash when we paid the bill.

The physical store itself is very impressive but the sales staff is indifferent and the fly fishing selection is limited and over-priced. Serious fishermen will do better at specialty shops, Wal-Mart and on-line. I've heard the same thing from serious hunters. I have seen lots of positive reviews in the local papers and on-line outdoors sites, but they are basically product placement "pay-for-play."

The store was apparently the beneficiary of some huge local government subsidies and tax breaks to guarantee its costs of construction. That may explain the "not ready for prime time" approach because nothing there seems to reflect any real sense of business or marketing.
A true disappointment!!!
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CaptJeff on 10/18/2007:
My wife and I had our first experience with Isla Morada for lunch. The restaurant is very impressive, with its aquarium and fishing decor. The food, however, left a lot to be desired. My talapia was luke warm when it arrived and the waiter was eager to take care of matters. To his credit, he inquired about our meal almost immediately after the first bite. About 10 minutes later, my wife was almost done with her dish, I received a completely new entree, not just a warmed up version. The veggies were overcooked and the rice was over salted. We managed to enjoy the meal despite these shortcomings, but when the bill came, they charged us for a dinner entree, not the lunch, which we ordered and were served. Again, the error was corrected without a hassle. I think once the wait staff is a little better trained and they get settled in, this will be a very nice experience. We'll go back for lunch again, but for a dinner ambiance, I'll choose King's Fish House over this one any day.
Food - 7.5
Service - 6.5 (I'm sure this will improve)
Ambiance - 8.5 (for lunch or a quick dinner)
Anonymous on 10/18/2007:
Thanks for the good post and discussion, reviews like this can keep the rest of us from So Cal from wasting our time and gas. (VH)
Anonymous on 10/18/2007:
I like "The Red Hill" in Rancho Kookamunga(yes I know its not spelled right)Its a tiny little coffee shop on Foothill

There is a BBQ place right behind it with the same name.

daddyduck on 11/06/2007:
Well, why am I not surprised. I wrote a scathing encounter on the new shop in Mesa, Arizona. Reflects about everything you experienced. This group found the formula to rip off the cities for taxes and then stuff the customers with raw fish right behind them. I am surprised they aren't selling tickets to gazeboos out back of the restaurant, as well. Never go to this place again!
meder on 04/14/2008:
just recently tried the islamorada fish co. in pearland, was overpriced and of very poor quality..margarita was good and so was the bread...everything else sucked
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Restaurant - Has anyone eaten there?
Posted by on
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- To the person who asked about the name. Goofy. Islamadora is an island on the Florida Keys. ( Who was your Geography teacher, especially if you are a scuba diver!!!! I was hoping the fish would be as good as it is on the keys ( of course it isn't as fresh as right off the docks but hey this is AA after all) I wanted to go here on my birthday. Of course it is a new restaurant and the Bass Pro shop is huge!!! A very hip, new thing in the valley so I can see it being very busy. Perhaps it will get better. Maybe they were slammed. I used to be a waitress so I am forgiving of these things. I always wait until the hoopla dies down with a new place and am always willing to give a restaurant a second chance. Everyone can have an off night. Getting raw chicken is unacceptable no matter what the situation. Yes, you should have given it back or ordered something else! You are the customer.

CURIOUS???? Has anyone had a good experience here? I am dying to go but I won't drive that far if everyone thinks it stinks? I would love to hear about any good experiences at this restaurant.
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Anonymous on 07/02/2007:
I think they were not well advised to choose that name. The percentage of the public who would know what it refers to is miniscule, but the percentage who will *think* it means something else will be huge.
Starlord on 07/03/2007:
Sorry, I don't SCUBA dive. I get around on one of those scooters, and they don't run very well in salt water. I had never heard of this island, but then I am a product of the Indianapolis Public School system. Another brilliant mind shot to hell.I live about 65 miles south of Phoenix, and we have a couple of places in Phoenix where we eat on the few times we have to go there for something. It sounds like a pretty pricey place, but the next time we go to Phoenix, we will check it out.
1teacher on 07/03/2007:
OOps sorry the words got messed up when my message was sent.,A line of text got left out, I see (In regards to the scuba thing and people should know it because of that) The restaurant wasn't named Islamadora just by the Bass Pro Shop. It is actually another Islamadora restaurant- the original being in the Islamadora keys.( A lot of people do know about it since it is a very popular restaurant with foodies, critics, and it is excellent!!!!( At least there it is- not so sure here in the desert) Also, Islamadora has several translations. Lots of people in Az speak Spanish so will recognize one of the translations right away as meaning, "PURPLE ISland"( Even though this isn't the original intent of the Islands name being NAtive American in history instead)OK, let me know if anyone goes and see how the fish is So I won't waste my time if it stinks!Thanks for the positive non-offensive, replies.
Anonymous on 07/03/2007:
See, 1teacher, you got me all excited thinking I could go to a restaurant by diving!! I'd like to hear about it, as well.

1teacher on 07/03/2007:
EMT you are a riot! Funny.I am still LOL!But then I remembered there actually is a restaurant you can do both at, if you are a certified diver. At Epcot Center( Leave it to Disney to think up a gig like this one) you can Scuba in the, "Living Seas" gigantic, fish infested tanks, wave and make faces at people eating dinner, be part of the show, and afterwards just eat at their FAb restaurant. ( Which has the best seafood ever! It is Disney, pricey though) OK problem solved-hahahahahahah!
Starlord on 07/04/2007:
I apologize to anyone who was offended because I made sport with the name of this restaurant. It has been brought to my attention that Islamadora is the name of one of the Key Islands off Florida. I am 60 years old, and every time I haved seen a sign saying Bass Pro Shop, it has not been a restaurant, but a bait shop. Gee, this is Arizona, and the county I live in is predominantly Hispanic, which means-----I don't know what that means. I have received several emails taking me to task for trying to get a few smiles. I don't know how a person can be a beach bunny and a wannabe duchess at the same time, but that is the impression I get. If the person who delights in bugging me were to read more of my posts, she might be surprised to find I am a pretty good guy, except when the paqin I live with makes me sarcastic and nasty, like when someone keeps sending me emails telling me how rotten I am when they sure as heck don't know me. I'm sorry, friends.
Anonymous on 07/04/2007:
I just want to SCUBA and eat!!

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