The Rockefeller

Restaurant in Los Angeles

Gastropub & Crafthouse

The South Bay has been swarming with such swoon worthy eateries as of late, it’s hard to hinder the green-eyed monster.  So we conceded to the lure, drove south, and dined at The Rockefeller, the latest Hermosa harbinger of habit-forming hangouts too irresistible to become anything less.

Feel a little City So Nice They Named it Twice?  No accident.  The Rockefeller is unabashedly NYC inspired, with its dangle of exposed bulbs and leather barstools; it exudes a gentle edge, more than we’re used to in seaside décor.  So when the lobster pot pie has you giddy, or those seared ahi tacos get your blood pumping as only something that tastes like that does, you’ll know.  Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but inspiration is bound by nothing.  Not even a New Yorker.

Grilled fish tacos.  Heirloom tomato and avocado.  Wagyu Rockefeller Burger, side of truffle and parmesan fries.  While the design denotes the East Coast, the menu here is so teeming in Cali-comfort taste it’s genuinely impossible to choose.  Come with a group.  Order up a storm.  Then apologize when you’re not willing to share.

Even the sautéed Brussels and the spicy green beans are seasoned something special.  Curried sweet potato bombs?  Trust me.

With an assortment of plasmas visible from most corners, the place beckons you to lounge and linger.  Same goes for the wine list, and their compendium of taps.  The only disappointment I can attest to was in the items left untried.  The menu marries the pride of California fare (look out for the stone fruit salad soon to debut) with a hefty helping of comfort provisions gone to farm fresh market.  A Healthy Steak Salad boasting grilled hangar, baby kale, creminis, caramelized mushrooms, grilled corn, almonds, carrots, and sundried tomatoes.  Green quinoa chicken salad, zucchini fries!  Even oysters headline.  There is no fear of flavor and a possible love affair with taste and texture.  They pack a lot into a plate.  And it works.

Dessert options are slim but the hot chocolate chip cookie à la mode is really all you need.  No room for improvement there.  All in, a breezy beachside bite with a side of my God, that was really good.

While The Rockefeller has nabbed both a Manhattan Beach and Hermosa locale, the Hermosa outlet hosts an open-air patio that dignifies itself a destination.  And it won’t be the swankiest on your roster and it probably won’t be the one you take your parents to.  But for a feel-good no fuss find when you want to reconnect with friends over seared ahi tostadas and flatbread du jour, this here’s your slam dunk locale.  More Cheers than Chaya, its casual calibre is its come hither.  The South Bay lands another.  Surrender, and I’ll see you this side of the seared ahi.

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles

Photographs courtesy of The Rockefeller

The Rockefeller on Urbanspoon

Reviewer's Rating
Cuisine American
Need to book Advisable
Clientele South Bay locals, but those not local can’t help but flock. Great beach-adjacent hang
Restaurant good for Couples, Bar scene, Small groups, Large groups, Meeting up with friends, Outdoor seating
Cost per head Medium
Dress Code Casual
Dining Options Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Additional Ambience Information

Laxed and inviting. So great for meeting up with friends for a drink and a bite. Ideal seaside pub.

Additional Price Comments

Almost everything is big enough to share; so family style is a fun way to taste your way through. The lobster pot pie is exceptionally decadent and well priced. Order up.

Last updated on 05-08-2014

blog comments powered by Disqus

Show me more: