So my gal Aimee had heard about this place ROC…Their menus say ROC*, so “Rock Star?” But their Facebook says ROC Kitchen?? Or who knows. She decided we should go check it out. Now I will be completely honest, Chinese cuisine is one of the areas when I’m not quite as knowledgeable – in fact I would just say I’m not at all knowledgeable. While I like it – or at least I like what little of it I’m aware of – most the Chinese food I’m familiar with tends to be the Americanized stuff. So disclaimer, as far as how authentic it was, or how good it was compared to said “authentic Chinese” or any of those other claims people tend to make when talking about Chinese, I will not be making. What I will say is that I thought the items we had were pretty yummy. I could most likely be convinced to eat there again, BUT I will say, I feel like between the two of us, for what we got, spent kind of a lot of $$$, and I definitely had some other issues, that I will express after talking about the food.
Their claim to fame seems to be the Xiao Long Bao (which if you believe the menu, in English are otherwise known as Shanghai Soup Dumplings). We went with the pork. I’d never eaten these before so again, I reiterate, I may not be the best judge. I thought they were fun; the soup broth comes pouring out and they were pretty tasty.
We also had the Scallion Pancake with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce. We really liked this. It was crispy and savory, and the ginger soy went really well.
Aimee had heard good things about the Sauteed Shrimp with Shishito Peppers, which was pretty good flavor-wise, but the shrimp had a little bit of that rubbery, over-done quality. That’s an easy fix though.
When we looked over at another table, we noticed an awesome looking rice dish. So, of course we had to order it! ROC Fried Rice is made with real Dungeness Crab, Green Onion, Egg, and Vegetables. Aimee and I agreed this was delicious.
Here are some things I don’t understand. 1) They’re a fairly new restaurant, why on earth they don’t have a website is completely beyond me. If I’m opening a new restaurant, one of the things I’m sure I’m doing, is setting up a website. I mean it’s one thing if you’re this old taqueria or hole in the wall place that’s run by someone’s gran. But it’s my belief that any new business who can’t manage to set up a website is just exhibiting poor business sense. 2) They don’t have a website, but they do appear to have a Facebook. Okay I acknowledge that is a step in the right direction. But why the hell can’t they post their hours anywhere?! Seriously? That really grinds my gears. They also don’t have a sample menu posted anywhere. Frustrating. 3) According to this Grub Street LA post, they opened sometime in the vicinity of last october. But according to the menu we got, they are still in soft opening 4 months later. I don’t know what that means!! 4) They are over crowded. The tables have to be moved back and forth just to let guests sit down. The layout is terrible too. 5) There is no signage outside. How am I supposed to even know that this place is there, if there isn’t even a sign?
If ROC hasn’t figured out in several months all the kinks that most restaurants manage to work out in the their 1 week-ish of soft opening, I’m a little concerned they never will. Maybe they are just counting on their food to get them through, but frankly, despite my lack of Chinese food expertise, I can’t say they are THAT good. But like I said, good enough that I might be convinced to go back. Maybe…
2049 Sawtelle Blvd,
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
PS. Today is Oscar day!! So look forward to an awesome post about amazing food!