Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rok Bistro in Sunnyvale

Rok Bistro
124 S Murphy Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 95133
(408) 733-7651
V2 and I were on our way back from the City and the traffic was unusually heavy because of a popular concert in Shoreline Theatre. The weather was very cold and our wallet was leaking, thanks to our friends in Wall Street. While driving down 101 and contemplating all these factors, we came up with the idea to revive our approach to help our hometown economy. LARP, Local Area Revitalization Program - our answer to Paulson's TARP.
As part of this grand LARP, we decided to eat out at a new fusion restaurant in downtown Sunnyvale. The restaurant serves Swiss Fondue with barbecue-inspired rock cuisine. For a vegetarian, this idea looks much better in paper than in practice.
The ambiance is high-end, but not quite white-linen. The maitre'd was friendly and gave us a nice booth at the kitchen end of the restaurant. A group of young professional women sitting on the table next to us made it clear that high-volume sound is the background motif in which good food is usually served. Incidentally, our waiter informed us that is how the Swiss like to eat their fondue, potluck style, a lot of people, a lot of noise and a lot of good cheese and wine.
We started with the avocado salad which had baby spinach leaves topped with sliced avocado, cheese and nuts. We loved it, and were off to a good start.
Next came the fondue. We tried the special of the day, which was "Pesto" cheese fondue. V2 tells me it came with Swiss and Gruyere cheese (she knows these things better). Our waiter turned on the burner at the table, placed the hot pot on it to melt the cheese. We were given a platter with bread and assorted vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli) to dip in it. We both enjoyed it to the last bite and dip. All, except one item, on their regular fondue menu is vegetarian.
The main feature of Rok Bistro is the "Hot Volcanic Rock" entree. The food is cooked at the table on a rock that has been pre-heated for a number of hours. Since we are suckers for the house specials, we had to try it. However, for vegetarians, it is a poor choice between Grilled Portabella and the Vegetarian Platter. I, for one, am not a big fan of mushroom. except for the ones with medicinal powers, so we went with the Vegetarian Platter. The entree was not as satisfying as the previous courses. The owners apparently are still figuring out the right selection for the vegetarian stuff, as tofu roks have been quite a bomb.

We ended the 3-course meal with a gelato on a cold rock. The gelato was nothing to write home but did it's part in a journeyman way. (Must point out though that V2 loved it, as she does anything sweet, and especially loved the novelty of the cold rok).
All in all, this place is really a unique experience, a must-try, but somewhat geared for the meat-heads. In fact, we had to point out the right spelling for "vegetarian" on their fliers, but they gave us a 10% discount for that service. Cool!!! The bill came to approximately $60 with tax and tip.
(This post was written by V! Glad he is becoming active again.)

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