Tried & Tested

Resort check: RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

1 Dec 2008 by intern22

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: RockSugar opened this summer and is located in the Century Park leisure complex and shopping mall on Santa Monica Boulevard, Westfield. The restaurant is part of the Cheesecake Factory group, founded by RockSugar owner David Overton’s parents in Detroit in the late 1940s and which was then relocated to LA in the early ’70s.

After passing the Asian statuettes on the outside and going through the large red doors, you have the feeling of entering a temple or religious sanctum. The entrance is lined with Asian artefacts, Buddha statues and ornate serpent carvings.

This feeling quickly dissipates as you catch sight of the well-stocked bar and are greeted by the aromas of the kitchen. The restaurant is sizeable, at 700sqm, but we chose to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant LA evening.

THE FOOD: RockSugar takes its strongest influences from Southeast Asian cuisine, with elements from Northeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Thai curries, Vietnamese spring rolls, Singaporean seafood laksa and chicken tikka will make you feel that you are being taken on a frontier-crossing culinary adventure. However, RockSugar gives these traditional dishes a different twist, for example by using low-carb ingredients.

DRINKS: Beers such as Sapporo, Tiger, Singha and a selection of reasonably priced sakes, as well as non-alcohol options such as young coconut water and passion-fruit lassi.

SERVICE: Exemplary service, attentive and informative. When one waiter learned that our group had just arrived that evening from Singapore, he fetched the executive chef, Singaporean Mohan Ismail, to come out personally and welcome us – a nice touch.

PRICES: Appetisers from US$10, mains from US$15 to US$40 and side dishes averaging US$10.

VERDICT: If you’re not a culinary purist and simply looking for a great selection of food with a fabulous ambience, give this a try.

CONTACT: WestField Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067, US, tel 1 310 552 9988, Lunch is from 1130 to 1700 daily; dinner from 1700 to 2200 Sunday-Thursday and from 1700 to 2300 Friday-Saturday.

Kenny Coyle

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