I’ve been relentlessly facebook stalking Roka Akor for months. My creepy ass finally got inside, where to my delight, it was as good, if not better, than I had imagined.
When you first walk in to the restaurant, the minimalistic main dining room is to your left, and the stairs going down to the bar, all decked out with spacey lights on the walls, are to your right. We almost always choose to eat at the bar when given the opportunity, and this bar was no exception. That starlit path was luring us in.
The bar is the antithesis to the upstairs dining room. It’s dark, club/lounge music is playing, there is a TV with sports on, the perimeter of the space is lined with couches and leather chairs which surround the square bar that sits in the middle of the room. We made the right choice, going down there.
There were five of us this time, and Roka has a lot of share plate options, so we put in a big old order and soon, a parade of delicious food started to arrive.
This. Butterfish. Well…it was buttery. For real. It was all buttery and soft and inside those little pockets of buttery, soft fish, were tiny bundles of white asparagus, and they were crisp and fresh and the whole thing was just a party in my mouth.
I could feel each individual grain of rice from the Hamachi roll with my tongue, which means they know what they are doing making sushi rice, which makes me happy. I also really enjoyed the extra crunch and spice from the Serrano chiles on top.
Dumplings. You know when you order them what they are going to taste like. They’re going to taste like juicy meaty aweseomness wrapped in browned carby awesomeness. That’s what. Dipping sauce with chiles, also awesome.
I’m sorry to say, this one was a miss for me. In fairness, I did just spend two weeks eating fried chicken three times a day in Korea, where fried chicken is an art form, so, meh.
Mmmmhhhhhmmmmm…Man. Dude. This steak was ROCKIN’. We dumped the egg yolk and sauce all over it (it got cut out of the picture), and the steak was so tender, and so perfectly medium rare, with such perfectly seared crusty edges…I think this may have been my favorite. Oh. But the fish. The fish was amazing. We’ll get to that. This steak? Get this steak if you have the chance.
We were definitely not sorry that we ordered this corn. You get your own little mini cob, slathered in buttery soy goodness, to take to your dome.
This was the other miss. It was just boring.
Do you see how carmelized the outside of that fish is? It was so sweet, so carmely. I want to cuddle with it at night and take it to movies. At first, because it was far away from me and another dish was blocking my view, I missed that there was a sauce on the plate. It was lemon flavored, and it took that dish from foreplay to orgasm.
Our server, God bless her, bastardized an inferior dish (in her opinion), by freeing just the bone marrow element for us. Bone marrow is always delicious, but normally, the marrow just speaks for itself. This preparation was loaded with that spicy, sweet, garlic, soy, which was all maillarded in there, and also, it was crunchy on top, and in the end, we fought over it like a pack of wild dogs.
When it comes to Asian flavored Brussels sprouts, Aliment in Nob Hill dominates with their fish sauce version. Roka’s were definitely delicious, and the bonito flake combo was umami fab, but it was a bit heavy on the seedy mustard for me. Still tasty, just, pretty damn mustardy.
Everything up to this point had been plated so beautifully that we were pretty surprised when we saw this panna cotta dumped on a plate looking like white cat food with random shit strewn about the sides. However it was a good panna cotta and the roasted apricots were a nice touch.
This also looked as though it was plated haphazardly, but whatever, it was delicious. The edges of the tart were crisp chocolate and the inside was chock full of cherry jam.
I can’t wait to go to back to Roka to try more.
Roka Akor: http://www.rokaakor.com/san-francisco/
801 Montgomery St | San Francisco
415-362-8887 | SanFrancisco@RokaAkor.com
Monday – Friday
11:30 – 2:30pm
Sun – Thurs 5:30pm – 10pm
Fri-Sat 5:30pm – 11pm
Roka | Bar
Mon-Thurs 4:30pm – Midnight
Friday 4:30pm – 2am
Saturday 5pm – 2am
Sunday 5pm – 12am
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