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Rock Sugar, my review

cross posted from yelp.com

I arrived about half an hour before my date, and slithered through the heavy crowd to find a spot at the bar. The bartenders were so slammed they didn't even look at me for ten minutes, and then served the people around me first, even though I'd gotten there before them. I was a little put off, but later when it cooled down, they were more than friendly and comped a drink for me, so it was clearly just a case of them being way too busy. I had a ginger martini, which tastes exactly like you're imagining it, and a rock sugar mojito which was, as far as I can tell, not much different than a plain old mojito.

When our table was finally ready, we noticed that all of the servers seemed like they'd been cloned from the same ambiguously European proto-clone. They were all dark haired with an impossible to place accent - and all looked vaguely similar. I have to admit, it was a bit un-nerving. But I'm a fan of mad science, and if they're using it to create Monstrous Servers from Beyond - I'm all for it. As long as they're prompt. Which they were.

We started with fried calamari (take that, damn giant squids!) and a very reasonably priced bottle of malbec red. The wine was tasty, too - a bit fruity but robust and well worth the price. We had pork vindaloo and thai noodles. Both were savory but not terribly spicy, and I expect vindaloo to be so spicy it insults your mother. (Not my mother.) It was still all good stuff, it just didn't have the kick that I like, but then I like it spicier than most people, and Rock Sugar is all about appealing to the masses.

Speaking of appealing to the masses, the place was incredibly crowded. The decor is all about massive high cielings, with lots of Asian-esque tchotchkes all over. The effect is appealing, but it does evoke a sort of Disney-does-Thailand feeling; sanitized and made pretty for the masses. Again with the masses.

To sum up, good food that wasn't quite as spicy as I prefer, friendly, frighteningly similar servers, and sanitized Asian-esque decor that's very impressive in a Las Vegas sort of way. Crowds. And it wasn't as expensive as you might think.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
You should come up to the east bay some time. We have all these little hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurants that open up and only stay in business for a year or so before getting replaced by some other Thai restaurant which will likewise only be in business for about a year. Anyway, most of them make tasty food that's way too spicy for me. So it'd probably be just right for you!
Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Oh there's definitely spicy food to be had down here, there's some GREAT thai in my neighborhood. This place was just aimed for the mass-market, so it erred on the side of bland, rather than spicy. It was still very flavorful, it just didn't have a lot of heat.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Huh, I thought the vast majority of the Asian population in SoCal was Chinese and Vietnamese. Figured you wouldn't have enough Thai folks to have good Thai food :) Shows what I know!
Jul. 3rd, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
There's not a lot of good vietnamese on the West Side, most of that is over by Koreatown and Hollywood. Not that you can't find it at all, it's just not as common. But Thai? All over the place!
Jul. 3rd, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
You have a Koreatown? What the hell! WE don't have a Koreatown! We just have our Koreans hanging around Japantown.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, K-Town is one of the bigger neighborhoods, too. It's not even particularly close to Little Tokyo. LA has one of everything, basically - you might not have noticed, but it's about a zillion times bigger than SF. 14 million people in the LA metro area.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, but you guys also have nasty smog and shitty weather. Neener neener neener!
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
The weather's perfect, don't be absurd. And ain't no smog on the West side, that's for the valley suckers.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Oh I beg to differ.

It's way too hot down there. Used to be I loved the 80+ degree days.... nowadays if it gets over 72, I get REALLY unhappy.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


monkey pirate
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