Eatery - Rooster PM (CA)

Rooster PM on Urbanspoon

750 St Clair St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Tapas

If you weren't aware, Rooster Cafe turns into a whole different ball-game once the sun sets. Once 6pm rolls around, Rooster PM is in full swing with its tapas & small plates-oriented menu. Since I had heard so much about this place from other Yelpers and bloggers, I decided it was time to check it out. I went after having the miniature "A Place at the Table" film outing with blog readers back in early March. Unfortunately we came towards the end of the night for Rooster PM but they were gracious enough and very friendly despite our late showing. Don't worry - we left a good ol' tip for being such inconveniences. Sorry!


So with the group of five that we were, there were several dishes ordered to give us a fair sense of what could be had. I'm not sure if it was because of the time of the night that we went but I don't think any of us came away very impressed. My friends got the lamb chops, fried chicken & gravy sliders, and the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. The lamb chops seemed to come out pretty well-cooked; I didn't get to try them or the sliders but they were apparently alright. I did try the asparagus which was crunchy but the prosciutto parts not as a crisp as desired. There was definitely good seasoning though.


The actual dishes I ordered with Duc were the mac and cheese and the mahi mahi. The mac and cheese was cooked well with the pasta being the perfect texture for a good, al dente dish. However, the combination of cheese did not jive well with me that night (at least four different kinds), and I think it was just the choice of cheeses used. The Cheddar overpowered some of the more subtle flavored ones. I think it should be less fussy next time or just a more complementary choice when it comes to the many different cheeses used. The mahi mahi texture was good and seasoned with plenty of lime. The pieces certainly flaked away nicely. Unfortunately I don't think I would order this again though because though the execution was fantastic, the overall flavoring was underwhelming. I did like the greens and potatoes that came with it.


We finished with their churros con chocolate. Beautifully presented with a strawberry "rose," this plate was a welcome treat. We all enjoyed the churros which were crunchy and had just the right amount of cinnamon sugar. I personally could have done without the chocolate; they were good already themselves! All in all, I think I'll give them another chance based on the other rave reviews but next time, towards the beginning of all of their shifts.

Photography by Duc Duong.