I kind of forgot about this post. Maybe I was trying to delay the inevitable of writing it, because the photos were so bad (again). But for the most part, I was just plain lazy. A group of us came here on Friday a few weeks ago, at around 10pm. We didn’t know where else to go for dinner, so I suggested that we’d give Sunny Spot a shot. I was afraid that the restaurant was going to be very crowded though, because it was a Friday night and I heard that the bar gets quite busy. And the bar was indeed busy. But there’s a separate section for dining only, and apparently that section only had a couple of other tables. So no wait necessary.
Sunny Spot is Chef Roy Choi’s newest restaurant, focusing on Caribbean-type cuisine. Like a tropical version of A-Frame, if you will. The four of us shared eight different things, as well as all three desserts. I’ll just go over all of them now, to spare anyone from needing to look at the photos. I blame the dining room, although using an iPhone doesn’t help at all. It wasn’t really all that dark, but the lights were fairly dim. Not sure if this is the Caribbean mood, but the combination of the lighting and the interior were quite calming though, like being on a porch (not that I’m an interior designer or anything). Anyways, the eleven total items we ordered were:
Sugar Cane Fried Pigs Feet – Not as good as the ones I had more recently at Night+Market, but very good. Crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, though I think it could’ve been softer. The chili vinegar sauce went well with them.
Muh-F*K*N Mofongo – They were kind of like sweet grits. Ugly-looking plate, but Chef Choi’s plates aren’t made for the catwalk. I liked the contrast of sweet and salty flavors here, from the plantain and bacon, respectively.
What a Jerk Wings – The only previous experience I had with Caribbean food was with jerk chicken, and I wasn’t too crazy about it that one time. These were good. A bit salty, but the flavors were pronounced and the meat was tender.
Yucca Fries – Basically sweet potato fries that look like big steak fries. Nothing special.
Yellow Salty Rice – Tasted like rice cooked in some type of broth, then drained. Also nothing special, but went well with the goat in my opinion.
Brown Sugar Scotch Bonnet Short Ribs – I read great things about this dish, but I thought it was just pretty good. The meat was cooked well, but for some reason I thought it was a bit mild. Maybe I was expecting the flavors to hit me, since most of the previous dishes were strongly seasoned.
Slow Roasted GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) – The goat was roasted well to the point where the guys couldn’t tell that it was goat. Well done. The pickled mango was a nice touch, too.
Cuban Torta – Another dish I had read great things about, but the flavors felt a bit muted here too. All the ingredients in this torta sounded amazing (pork terrine, prosciutto – like a Cuban banh mi!), but for some reason it wasn’t very memorable. Would love to give this one another shot.
Housemade Caramels – Now to the desserts. This was decent, but I’m not the biggest caramel fan. Plus I feel awkward paying for something that belongs more in the form of a mignardise/petit four.
We Be Yammin – Now this was very good. Could’ve had one to myself.
The Silver Goblet – I actually wished that this was a bit sweeter, or at least creamier. Sort of tasted like frozen coconut water with a ginger aftertaste.
Overall, a bit mixed. Some dishes worked, some not as much. Some had very strong flavors, and some surprising didn’t. But I think that the dishes that really worked were very good. The type of food here is just good comfort food-esque of cuisine, so it’s not going to amaze people. Think of Sunny Spot as a poor man’s version of A-Frame, or A-Frame’s cousin from out of the country. But I can definitely see myself coming here on occasion, and trying some of the other dishes on the menu.
Sugar Cane Fried Pigs Feet ($6) – with chili vinegar sauce
Muh-F*K*N Mofongo ($6) – overripe plantains, bacon, garlic and black pepper
What a Jerk Wings ($11) – double coated and double fried
Yucca Fries ($4) – with banana Thai basil ketchup
Yellow Salty Rice ($4)
Brown Sugar Scotch Bonnet Short Ribs ($17) – grilled LA-county style
Slow Roasted GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) ($15) – with lettuce wedges
and pickled mango
Cuban Torta ($11) – with pork terrine, prosciutto, provolone
pickled jalapeno and mustard
Housemade Caramels ($4) – with Maldon sea salt and toasted cashews
We Be Yammin ($6) – sweet potato tart with walnut crust
and toasted marshmallow ice cream
The Silver Goblet ($4) – coconut ginger sorbet
Chris Hei grade: B
822 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292