On the same journey up treacherous highway 74 we stopped for lunch at Paradise Cafe.
This funky little cafe sits back from the road on the corner where one can turn left to drive 2 more hour to San Diego or, continuing straight onward and seriously upward, one ends up in the aforementioned Idyllwild in about 20 minutes. Other than the turn there is nothing else around. ( I actually thought the name of the place was Lost Paradise Cafe because it is to my eye out there all alone.)
The first image ( flag not half mast but attached to a telephone pole ) may suggest to you greasy fries and shoe leather steak. I suppose, if that were the case, the trekkers on the Pacific Crest Trail that crosses 74 about 1/2 mile from the cafe would still come. As it is, though, the food is super.
The trekkers, many of whom leave entries in a tattered guest book, descend on the Paradise for outstanding meals. The burgers are significant and the San Jose Burger with onions, chilis, cheese, and about 7 other ingredients I cant remember, appears to be the one most trekked for. Have to say Tomato Basil Soup was super too.