The vast Cheese Cake Factory empire is expanding…to Asian food! Knowing the type of financial backing that must come from the Cheese Cake Factory, my expectations for Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen were high.
Despite being located in a mall, the décor is somewhat remnant of a temple. Describing the restaurant as ornate is an understatement. Huge pillars line the entrance to an outside patio where diners can sit and enjoy a drink over a fire before dinner. The interior is even more spectacular with 30-foot ceilings and walls filled with Asian art. Small cabanas on the left and right of the room allow for a more private dining experience. An outdoor patio shows you the rather loud and unattractive Santa Monica Blvd, so I would opt for sitting inside.
The menu has changed more than once since the restaurant has opened but it feels as though they’ve finally got their groove. The cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India are definitely tweaked slightly to meet the demanding needs of the American consumer, but without losing all authenticity.
Crispy chicken samosas are a great way to start the meal and come with a cilantro dipping sauce. I don’t particularly care for cilantro but I still loved these and the sauce. An interesting sesame cracker with a sweet, spicy dipping sauce is brought to the table in lieu of bread and are hard not to finish.
The Nyonnoya Seafood Laksa is the first laksa I ever tasted so although I may not be an expert on the dish, I really loved it. I reminded me of a curry but with thick noodles.
The ginger soy black god was the perfect mild, flaky fish.
Topped with mushrooms, bok choy and tofu, it was different from the typical Miso Cod that seems to be on every other restaurants menu.
Noodle dishes are always a plus with me, especially when they are served with fresh shrimp and calamari. These were special.
This is a fun place to go and try different types of cuisine. The menu is so large that it would take weeks to try everything, and most things are really great.
Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen 10250 Santa Monica Blvd (310) 552-9988