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Rock Sugar: Pan Asian Review (no pics

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Rock Sugar: Pan Asian Review (no pics

DrBruin | Feb 27, 2010 08:32 AM

My wife took me there the other day for my birthday prior to heading off for a day of pampering. We get to the Westfield mall where it's located and make it just in time for our noon reservations through OpenTable.

The place is just about half full. We were seated promptly (which, makes sense because we had reservations) and, well, it was pretty much empty. The decor in the restaurant is pretty awesome. Anyhow, onto the menu and the food.

The food appears to be a mish-mosh of "pan-asian" dishes, covering vietnamese to chinese to korean to indian and more. We decided to go for the pre-fixe lunch. I'd like to say while the sheer variety of menu options are appealing, I knew this place couldn't bang out authentic dishes from all of these cultures. Additionally, the prices of some of these dishes were ridiculously expensive, which I'm guessing is necessary if they are going to be able to pay off the cost of the decorations.

Now, onto the food.... we ordered the green papaya and mango salad, the caramel chicken, and the indian cauliflower. Portions weren't overwhelming but they were adequate.

The salad was crunchy and refreshing but way overdressed. We could have swam in the pool of dressing at the bottom of the dish.

The caramel chicken was a gloppy, salt bomb. There were big chunks of white meat chicken mixed with an abundance of onions in a thick teriyaki meets kung pao chicken glaze. It had a mild heat to the dish, but I couldn't get over the saltiness.

The Indian cauliflower was okay, if not a touch bland. It looked like blanched or steamed cauliflower in a curry with peas. I wish they would've just called this aloo matar but I think they want to cater to a clientele that doesn't venture to ethnic restaurants.

They serve black sesame rice crackers and 2 dipping sauces (the equivalent of chips and salsa). One was tomato flavored and the other I think was sambal or sriracha. When I asked one of the servers, he said it's called "spicy." Um, okay. I couldn't tell if the rice crackers were crunchy or stale.. I'm leaning towards stale.

The cost of the pre-fixe lunch was 13 a head.

I have since found out this is a Cheesecake Factory enterprise. No wonder why they're sticking with the let's try to offer "something for everyone on our menu" business model. I'd settle for a more focused menu, less salt, and about 20% cheaper. I think it would even be more interesting if they changed their menu every few weeks to represent a different cuisine and did it well.

I will not be returning to this restaurant even though the decor was stunning (probably too busy for some), the food just wasn't tasty enough and the value wasn't there.

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Rock Sugar
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067

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