Friday, March 4, 2011

Rock Bottom Brewery

I had a very late dinner with a Navy buddy at Rock Bottom Brewery Friday night in Long Beach.

It is a good place to meet people who have a tendency to arrive late as the restaurant closes as late as 2am and hence one does not need to worry about the time or a need to "migrate".

My initial impression was that the service was poor. This was because the server did not introduce herself like most other establishments. She just took me to the booth, didn't ask me if the location was OK, asked if I was waiting for someone and left. I had wanted to order a starter at least while I waited and maybe even a drink. I would have liked a martini but I think the place serves only beers and the ilk.

I saw an unoccupied booth at the window and asked if I could sit there instead and she kind of gave me a look like "why would I care?" but she said yes. I moved the utensils and menus and glass of water and she did at least help wipe the table, though only the spot with the ring of water.

My buddy arrives and we order starters. I get the Green Chile Mac and Cheese. He gets the Nachos. They were pretty good. And the salsa that came with the mac and cheese was rather tasty and not too spicy for those who don't like spicy things. The Nachos came in a rather impressive rectangular spread.

For our main entrees, he ordered the Lobster and Shrimp Tacos. And I got Chicken Fried Chicken. It came with slaw but I asked not to have any so they substituted with veggies which is nice. Well after I had the Mac and Cheese, I was actually pretty stuffed and the Chicken Fried Chicken wasn't impressive enough for me to finish. They put some kind of cheese gravy sauce on top. As for the mashed potatoes- well it could use some butter...I didn't like it too much, but I am not a fan of white gravy. They made it with cheddar. The best Chicken Fried Chicken I've ever had was in Oklahoma and nothing has beaten it.

As for my buddy, he did not like his tacos. He thought it would be one taco with lobster and the other with shrimp but it was actually just one which they mixed together. When the waitress came and asked how everything was, he said he didn't like his dish too much. So, when the bill came, she had deducted the cost of the tacos from our bill which was rather nice. After that, we didn't think she was so bad. My buddy had asked her what she recommended and she couldn't give a straight answer. Most servers would just say everything on the menu was good even if they didn't know. And also, he pretty much had to chase her down for some paper napkins. They only give you the cloth kind that wraps around the utensils when you sit down. She just didn't seem to be paying that much attention to us, but the place didn't look that packed. It seemed like most people were just there to drink and have snacks.

It is just a typical American restaurant with a bar. There are some interesting items on the menu, but I'm not so sure I would return.

Parking is a pain. You could do metered parking which is free after 9pm but I didn't find any spaces at all. I ended up parking at the structure next to the restaurant. However, it was like $1.25 for each 15 minutes. Fortunately, Rock Bottom offers validation for the first 2 hours so I only had to pay $5.

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