L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH =
A ROCK’N GOOD DINING ADVENTURE
A South Bay institution, the Manhattan Beach ROCK’N FISH has been a diner’s favorite for over a decade now. Built upon the famed Hibachi Restaurant site that served local patrons for 40 years, ROCK’N FISH maintains some of the history and tradition of the beloved eatery by still serving some of Hibachi's signature items, including the Navy Grog, Teriyaki Chicken, Sticky Rice, and Hibachi Dressing.
And now, since opening the downtown L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH over a year ago, L.A. diners and revelers can taste firsthand what all the fuss is about.
With nearly 6,000-square feet, the L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH can serve more than twice the patrons of its South Bay counterpart. Yet its commitment to excellence of using only the highest quality PRIME beef and freshest fish, which are brought in daily and grilled over 100% red oak, remains.
Unique to the L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH experience is the oyster bar and the bustling Rock‘N Bar lively decorated with posters of the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Pink Floyd that is always packed before any local game or concert.
During our recent Saturday night visit, prior to a Kings hockey game, we found the restaurant and bar already filled to capacity but with our reservation we had no problem getting a table.
It was suggested we start off the evening with the classic Navy Grog, a ROCK’N FISH bar staple. “It’s sort of like a Mai Tai on steroids,” owner Michael Zislis explains. Filled with Gold rum and fresh tropical juices, topped with a layer of sweet Hawaiian dark rum, it’s an excellent way to start of your night. It’s reported ROCK’N FISH sells about 250 of these potent drinks a day in Manhattan Beach.
We also ordered the Tangerine Martini (Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka, sweet and sour, fresh OJ and grenadine shaken ice cold) that is sweet with a slight kick.
Another suggestion from the staff was the Oak Grilled Artichoke served with roasted garlic aioli - a zesty dipping sauce. I for one am not the biggest artichoke fan but this appetizer was delicious. I’ve heard people rave about this dish and it seems they are absolutely right.
To test the “fish” element of ROCK’N FISH I opted to try their Spicy Tuna Roll that proved to be quite impressive; 8 large pieces of sushi stuffed with tasty Ahi.
Their Fork and Knife Caesar proved adequate but if you’re opting for greens go with their Blue Cheese Wedge (Iceberg lettuce topped with blue cheese dressing, red onion, tomatoes, crumbled bacon, and candied walnuts). It’s formidable and hearty.
It was suggested before our entrees came out that we order another round of drinks. And since we aim to please we did just that. If you like your drinks stiff like I do definitely go with the Chopin Blues (Chopin Vodka with dry vermouth, served with blue cheese stuffed olives). It’s a potent winner! If you like your drinks sweet, then the Blueberry Mojito (with quite the impressive presentation) or the Blueberry Cosmo will be right up your alley.
Our feast was highlighted by the Signature New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, which the menu describes as “HOT, HOT, HOT, but also SWEET” and they’re not fooling around. If you don’t like spicy this probably isn’t for you but it’s so worth it. Sautéed in a jazzy mélange of bell pepper, onion, tomato, mushroom and lemon, and served over sticky rice, this one is a favorite. Delicious! The sticky rice alone with the flavorful sauce should be a menu item all its own.
Another must-have is the Hibachi Teriyaki Chicken, a holdover from the Hibachi Restaurant days. Marinated whole fresh breast with “Hibachi” teriyaki sauce, it’s served with sticky rice and oak grilled vegetables. It’s simple yet savory and so satisfying.
The Signature Kapalua Rib-eye beef is hand cut and then treated to 72 hours in a pineapple-soy marinade before being served with “Hibachi” teriyaki sauce for a taste of the islands is another solid selection, as is the Signature Oak Grilled Santa Maria Tri Tip served with BBQ sauce as well as salsa.
All entrees are prepared with your choice of two of the following Rock’N sides: Oak Grilled Vegetables, Cole Slaw, French Fries, Sautéed Spinach, Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese, Sweet Potato Fries, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sticky Rice. I can attest that the Spicy Mac ‘N Cheese, the Sweet Potato Fries, and the Grilled Vegetables are first rate choices.
As you can imagine, desserts at L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH are oversized and decadent. Your options include: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Créme Brúlée, Warm Lava Cake, New Orleans’ Style Bread Pudding (served with Jack Daniels Sauce), and the house special Kona Pie for two.
We just didn’t have any room left for dessert but I did have enough room left over for a 6oz glass of Opus One. The 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon sells for $200 a bottle but here you can buy a 1oz, 3oz or 6oz glass that is a great deal. With its concentrated aromas of blueberry, rose petals, white truffle; licorice and nutmeg, and flavors of cassis, black olives, raspberry, and dark chocolate you’ll be hard pressed to find any dessert as delectable and refreshing.
Serving fantastic comfort food, this surf and turf South Bay standout has long been leading the way of mixing fine fare with a cool bar atmosphere and it’s a welcome and much needed new staple among the Los Angeles dining landscape.
L.A. LIVE ROCK’N FISH is located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard in downtown. Call 213-748-4020. Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30AM – Close; Saturday and Sunday 12PM – Close.