Monday, December 29, 2014

OCK (Orchard City Kitchen) - Campbell

3/5 stars

I used to be a regular at Alexander's, so I was looking forward to trying Chef Jeffrey Stout's exuberant new venture. I had been following the construction of the restaurant on Facebook.

The day after Christmas, we had an unexpected guest. Instead of re-watching Christmas movies, I decided that if we were going to have to play host, we were going to do it with cocktails! So off we went to OCK for Happy Hour.

The restaurant was quiet when we arrived so we got our pick of the tables. I always prefer sitting at the bar so that's where we went. The bar is modern and rustic at the same time (if that makes any sense). I thought it was handsome. There were many labels that I didn't recognize which is always an exciting sign. It was fun watching the bartenders create syrups and tonics. Unfortunately, the bartenders weren't chatty or friendly, but they did their job.

The cocktails menu was interesting, but limited. I got the pisco, which was done very well. I also got the Long Island Milk Punch which was fantastic. I have no idea what was in it, the bartender didn't elaborate (he just called it tropical), but whatever it was, it was 3-days worth of tasty. I also asked if they could make me something off-menu and the response I got was lukewarm.

For food, we tried the hotdog, the tater tots, and the Korean fried chicken. The hotdog was like a fancy Chicago-style dog. It was good, but it needed mustard. I tried to get some from our bartender, but failed. The tater tots were crispy and almost too salty. I don't prefer curry-flavored tots so it wasn't my thing (but it may be yours). And I'd order the Korean fried chicken again. I can see why it's popular.

The space is refreshing. You normally would only get a restaurant like this in SF. I wasn't wowed, but that's probably because my expectations were high. I will give it another try. I'm thinking of ordering the steak next time. Chef Stout did earn Alexander's their Michelin star after all.

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