Runway Playa Vista
Los Angeles, CA | MAP
WHAT TO EAT: Three Cup Chicken and Scallion Pancake
EATER TIP: Family style is the way to go!!
The term "soft opening" can refer to many things in life (let your imagination go wild) but in the restaurant world it pretty much means "grand opening rehearsal for only a select few".
Recently during a rare itinerary-less weekend, I went to check out the new upscale retail center Runway in Playa Vista. My date, Stacy, had been in the area just a few days before and dined at a Baja style restaurant. Though I loves me some Baja, my friend Nidhi had recommended a neighboring spot called ROC by simply saying "they have awesome pancakes and dumplings".
The restaurant name "ROC" stands for Republic of China.
In a nondescript corner building, wrapped with floor-to-ceiling windows and not much else, was the Chinese/Taiwanese spot called ROC. How did I know it was ROC? I had to go in and ask, because there was no signage anywhere. It was almost as if the restaurant wanted to be discovered (oh, how fitting for LA).
Upon entering, the first sight you see are large glass panes, like the ones around a hockey rink. Behind them is a troupe of chefs on display, dancing between one another amongst hot woks and steam clouds abound.
At the time of my dining, the modern interior was bleak and lifeless, absent of even a millisecond of attempted decor. But, as a minimalist, that was much adored.
After waiting about 15 minutes, we were seated amongst a packed floor of curious eaters.
Check out some of the dishes I got to savor below:
About a month or so later, my friend Jason (@danger_puppies) was visiting from San Francisco and we planned to literally stuff each others faces during dinner. Unfortunately that did not happen, because we were accompanied by Stacy and Jean... who kept close eyes on us.
The wait was longer than expected, about 30-45 minutes. I left my digits with the hostess and she said I'd receive a text message when our table was ready.
So, in true Supper Kiddy fashion, we all went to the nearby Whole Foods and ordered some delicious beers at Astro Pub. After a few sips, we ended up chugging them becaaause... I totally missed seeing the text message, and we were subject to losing our table.
Fortunately, we made it back in time and were promptly seated. WHEW!!
This time around, I enjoyed actual desserts because Jason and his sweetie teeth were craving some. The ROC manager, whose name was also Jean, recommended that we try the Red Bean Sweet Dumplings and Taro Sweet Dumplings — both were mmmlicious.
Although Jason and I didn't stuff each other's faces, everyone at the table stuffed their own respective (and beautiful) faces. We all left the restaurant smiling, giggling, and on the verge of throwing up... OUR ARMS IN JOY!!
ROC has many choices on their menu and I look forward to trying at least one new dish for every future :)