Is It Any Good?

A Pan-Asian Place (covering Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India) in Century City.

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen on Urbanspoon
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen on Foodio54

It’s not often that the Company that runs the Cheesecake Factory opens a Pan-Asian place like Rocksugar. Of course, it could explain why its called Rocksugar in the first place.

You step inside, and immediately you leave the confines of the Century City Plaza and enter…enter…I don’t know? A Pier 1 Catalog? Commentators on Urbanspoon often suggested the word Vegas, and that kinda works. It does feel like a place that’s all artifice and no substance.

The substance is the food, and there…the stuff’s not bad. I mean, you’ll enjoy yourself and what you have. It comes out fast, and hot (and I mean HOT, right out of the oven), and the Waitstaff will take good care of you (there were some comments on Urbanspoon that suggest otherwise). It’s a full-on Southeast Asian restaurant. Rocksugar claims fidelity to “showcasing the signature cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India”.

Well, kinda. They know the terms, they know the ingredients, and they get the tastes…mostly right. Some of the stuff, while very delicious, still felt a little Americanized to me.  Rocksugar certainly qualifies for the When-In-Doubt-Go-For-The-Real-Thing Rule

Still, you can navigate quite nicely just having a bunch of small plates. If you order up a bunch of appetizers as your meal (this time following the Dim Sum Rule), you’ll leave full.

You’ll also leave just a bit lighter in the wallet. While the food is nice, all that decoratin’ don’t come cheap.

But overall, it’s where you should eat if you’re coming out of a Movie at the local AMC Cineplex, or spending the day shopping at the slightly overpriced (and very DB) mall. Should you go out of your way to eat there? Meh.

Still have no idea why it’s called Rocksugar.

 

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Abandon all wallets all ye who enter here. We went the appetizer route and left very happy, not stuffed.

They’ll start off with some Sesame Chips with a house-made Chutney that was very tasty. After that, came the Crispy Samosas. Again tasty, but when you boil down to it are basically Egg rolls, only you know…triangle shaped. The Glazed Pork Belly Buns were really nice, but they conspicuously missed the punch of the ones I had at the late, great Beacon in Culver City. Definitely get those. The Lacquered BBQ Ribs were the Americanized thing I spoke of earlier. Very tasty, very well prepared (meat falling off the bone tender), but the sauce was frankly something I could’ve gotten at Tony Roma’s. The Ginger Fried Rice was okay; the big ol’ fried egg on top made it better.

One of the best things on the menu is something a lot of Americans might skip, the Asparagus and Green Beans, sautéed with a spicy black bean sauce. It’s a simple Chinese preparation that went a long way with the table.

The best part is these plates are not huge, even the stuff that’s on the dinner menu. It’s not like going to Magganio’s of Italy, where you need a backhoe to finish your meal.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: This is more of a safety tip for Los Angeles, than for Rocksugar in particular. Unless its summer (and sometimes not even then), and if its nighttime…sit inside. When I went it was the first half of March, boiling hot in the day, and freezing at night…and you’re decently close to the Ocean (only a 20 minute drive Westward).

 

PARKING: Let’s be clear, you’re parking in the Century City Plaza Parking Lot, and its gonna be expensive. This is a place where I must stress to you to go see a movie before dining here. Trust me. When I put in my card on the way out (after it was validated from AMC) it flashed: $19.00 charge, $16.00 credit. $3.00, please.

 

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Rocksugar
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Century City, CA 90067

Tel: (310) 552-9988

Hours:
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30 am- 10:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 am- 11:00 pm