Friday, October 1, 2010

HH @ Rockwell VT

It's always hard to get to a happy hour that ends at 7pm so I'm always glad to find one that runs on weekends as well. I decided to check out Los Feliz gastropub Rockwell, VT before the Band of Horses concert at the Greek Theatre.

Rockwell is located behind Vermont Restaurant, with entrance in the alley way. It looks a bit sketchy so just be sure to have mace in hand.

The place is trendy and loungey, with a cool bar area. Apparently it gets happening late night weekends with a DJ spinning.

We were seated in their patio with a gorgeous 30 foot tree planted in the center. It seems somewhat dark and enchanting. Good for the ambiance, bad for the photo taking.

Happy hour runs Monday to Saturday from 5-8pm with really good selections of small bites and flatbreads for $6. Their regular menu is served small plates style.

For happy hour drinks, you get to choose from a pretty good selection of tequila based cocktails, sangria, premium wine, beer and well drinks. I liked that you weren't limited to crappy beer or wine.

Gemini (Absolut Ruby red grapefruit vodka, St Germain, grilled grapefruit, jalapeno) wasn't on the happy hour menu but was a refreshing drink. The glass of Pinot Grigio was $5.

Crispy spiced calamari with jalapeno, cucumber, shallots with a ginger soy aioli
I really enjoyed the calamari because it had asian flavors to it. The calamari smelt really good and almost had a pho-like flavor to it. The breading was seasoned with five spice and reminded me of the salt and pepper squid that is served in Chinese restaurants. I also prefer the ginger soy aioli to the traditional dipping sauces. The cucumber salad was a nice light and spicy addition.

Portabello fries with basil aioli
I really liked the portabello which was meaty but didn't feel heavy and starchy. The fries were thick cut and were tender in the center with a nice crisp coating. As you bit into it, hot juices flowed out of each fry.

Wild mushroom pizza with sauteed leeks, cheese sauce, truffle oil, parmigiano reggiano
This was a decent sized pizza for $6 happy hour prices (normally $13). Thankfully the cheese sauce was Parmesan (I can do that) and I asked for it to be light on cheese. I really liked the flavors with the earthy mushrooms and fragrant truffle oil. However the pizza was very doughy and seemed almost undercooked.

Pancetta, caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, creme fraiche and fig jam
Apart from the cheese, I liked everything on this pizza. Pancetta and figs are such a perfect pair, with the sweetness of the onions. Once again, the pizza was very doughy. What a pity.

I put in an order for their white sangria before happy hour was over. Pretty good but not uber strong, and was missing chunks of fresh cut fruits.

Charcuterie with prosciutto, sopresetta and duck pate terrine, served with cornichons, pickled onions
This wasn't on happy hour but I'm glad we got it. I loved the soft, silky duck terrine, and I liked that they didn't skimp on the bread. I also appreciated the candied walnuts which added a crunch and sweetness to the plate.

I enjoyed happy hour at Rockwell. The prices were good, and there was a decent selection of both food and drinks. I also like the space and the vibe. This is the type of chill spot that I like to grab drinks at. The patio was a great spot to grab seats at.

Hits: prices, HH till 8pm
Misses: doughy pizzas
Rating: ***

After our drinks and bites, we walked over to the Greek, which took us about 25 minutes. Great exercise. Band of Horses is an Indie Rock band from Seattle but they sound more southern rock than Seattle rock. I've seen them a couple times before but never at the Greek, which is one of my favorite venues. The concert was packed, and I've never seen so many fans in plaid shirts before.

I thought their backdrop was interesting, with different scenery switching for each song.

My favorite, of course, was the snow backdrop. It was an awesome concert and they sound great live. If you don't know them, check out some of their songs such as "The Funeral", "Is there a Ghost" and one of my favorites, "Ode to LRC".


Banana Wonder said...

Ahh my old domain! I love the calamari here also because of the asian flava flavs - mmm soo good! I think I'd like the doughy dough pizza - good low of the cheese chain selections too!

Anonymous said...

glad the test kitchen reports are finally over. I LOVE weekend happy hours, but wtf are you doing in THIS neighborhoood? The Fig, 5-6pm, 50% off, FTMFW. And Anisette, until 7pm Saturday, FTMF... O wait, that's closed. DUH.

stuffycheaks said...

Anna - i know! pity on the dough but the toppings were gooood

Sinosoul - bummed about anisette but guess what.. going to get giraud's cooking at... yep you guessed right.. Test Kitchen. oh snap!