West LA: Soup Dumplings at ROC Kitchen
ROC Kitchen in West LA on Sawtelle is probably best known for their soup dumplings which they offer many different types of fillings. We ordered the classic pork and crab as well as a new one on the menu, the cucumber shrimp.
I may have gone a little crazy since I hadn’t been there before and wanted to try everything. However, dining with one other person at a small table prevented overeating.
We started with the seaweed salad. I approved the use of bean sprouts and sliced pressed bean curd. It could have used a touch more vinegar but otherwise was a nice and light starter.
Bring on the xiao long bao! The soup dumplings were definitely a sanitized version of what you can get in the San Gabriel Valley. I was missing the richness that pork usually brings to the party. I would say though if you like Din Tai Fung and can’t get over to the Eastside, ROC may be your salvation.
We got the shrimp cucumber soup dumplings. The “soup” was more like spa water. Some would enjoy these if you like a lighter dumpling but just give me the all crab ones instead.
We also tried the pan fried chicken dumplings. These were done very well.
To round out our meal, we had spicy beef noodle soup. The spice comes from sliced jalepenos which I’m conflicted about. The soup was pretty good and they even gave us a huge beef bone with the noodles. Yet I found the noodles lacking. They were almost disintegrated much to my dismay. Perhaps because the noodles are so thin, they cook up very quickly? In any case, one of the best parts of the meal were the vegetables. We tried the Chinese spinach which turned out to be morning glory which is also known as kang kong or hollow stem veggies.
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