Restaurant Spotting: Rock 'N Fish to have soft opening this week at L.A. Live
For workers at L.A. Live’s upcoming Rock ‘N Fish, today was no holiday. A construction crew worked at a feverish pace putting the finishing touches on the entertainment and dining complex's latest addition, a Los Angeles outpost of Manhattan Beach’s original Rock 'N Fish.
“L.A. Live has synergy and we are excited to be here," founder Michael Zislis said earlier today inside the nearly 250-person capacity, 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which has an Art Deco-inspired design and will have a soft launch later this week (most likely on Thursday evening).
It remains to be seen if the seafood spot can compete with larger chains at Olympic and Figueroa (including Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which is directly opposite Rock 'N Fish, and a forthcoming Katsuya), but the concept and positioning of Rock ‘N Fish certainly seems to be a good fit for the sports mecca.
So what’s on the menu at the debut L.A. location?
Naturally, seafood, and lots of it. Unlike the Manhattan Beach location, there will be a small oyster bar. (“I love Kumamotos,” Zislis says.) Other popular dishes served up in the South Bay, such as blackened halibut and macadamia-encrusted mahi-mahi, will make the trek north.
The Club Nokia-adjacent space also will make good use of a large bar area, dubbed the "rock ‘n bar," which is decorated with small posters of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and has an extensive wine list. It also has a snazzy list of cocktails including a famed rum drink called the “Navy Grog.”
“It’s sort of like a mai tai on steroids,” Zislis said, noting that he sells about 250 of them a day in Manhattan Beach. The drink is a holdover from the old Hibachi restaurant days and is apparently still quite popular with old-timers and curious locals alike in Manhattan Beach. We’re not sure exactly how halibut tastes after a swig of Navy Grog, but we’re certainly willing to give it a shot at some point in 2009.
-- Charlie Amter
Photo: Charlie Amter / Los Angeles Times