I can’t believe I just found ROC! We took Plum there earlier this week after we accidentally discovered this place. MK and I went back again this weekend during our date night because we enjoyed ROC that much. Finally, there is a Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant west of the 405 worth going to!
ROC does not have a sign or a website. It is situated on Sawtelle Boulevard next to Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle and Nong La Cafe. The area surrounding Sawtelle Boulevard is nicknamed Little Osaka for its plethora of Asian cuisines such as Japanese ramen, curry, sushi, yakitori; Vietnamese pho and banh mi; Taiwanese shaved ice and boba tea; Korean BBQ and tofu soups. ROC takes up not one, but two restaurants-worth of space. With an open kitchen and a floor-to-ceiling glass storefront, ROC feels light and airy. The menu is studded with gems: scallion pancakes, three-cup chicken, crispy shrimp and pork dumplings, rice cake with chicken, Napa cabbage, and spinach, sauteed Chinese spinach, crab meat fried rice, beef noodle soup, and the star of the restaurant: soup dumplings!
My favorites are the soup dumplings, or xiao long tang bao (XLTB). The “tang” in xiao long tang bao means “soup”. Soup dumplings with fillings such as pork with crab meat, pork with lobster, pork with shrimp, seafood, chicken with crab meat, etc etc. Growing up in Taipei and Flushing, my taste for soup dumplings is insatiable. Ironically, ever since we moved out to Los Angeles eight years ago, I had soup dumplings only ONCE. And that was because I finally decided to brace the infamous LA traffic and tracked all the way out to Arcadia. For soup dumpling to be heavenly, the ratio of skin thickness to soup filling is critically important.
ROC strikes a fine balance.
I often fantasized how wonderful life would be if we didn’t have to drive all the way out to Monterrey Park or Arcadia to get decent Chinese or Taiwanese food. My wish has been granted.