Rocco’s WeHo had their official grand opening this past Friday May 10 to a packed house. I recently attended the city’s latest hot spot; co-owned by NSYNC singer Lance Bass, on their first Friday night open. It was advertised as a “soft opening”, meaning not to expect the whole shebang, but a limited menu and to allow room for mistakes.
Rocco’s WeHo has taken over the lot formerly occupied by the Citi Bank on the southwest corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica Blvd., across the street from Rage Nightclub.
The restaurant offers a very open atmosphere with indoor and patio seating, where there’s even an open fire pit. Not quite knowing what to expect from a new “sports” bar and restaurant in Gay West Hollywood, a welcome sight for me upon entering were shirtless male bartenders. There is a LGBT Movement wall and the restaurant and bar were both very crowded with most of the clientele that I perceived to be, gay. Yay. There are large tv screens behind the bar, but thankfully, they weren’t too distracting. I’m sure they’ll be showing RuPaul’s Drag Race soon enough.
We were greeted by the host with the most Brian. He asked me if we would like to sit inside or on the patio. We chose the patio, of course, to see and be seen. Even though the restaurant was crowded we were seated right away.
A seat on the patio elevates you some above the sidewalk and offers great views of the crowd passing by and of the lights up in the Hollywood Hills. The music playing was loud and upbeat and I recognized some fun classic disco dance mixes. Some guests were eating dinner, sipping wine and checking out the crowd, while others were up and down drinking and doing shots. There’s a stage in the bar area and at one point a woman wearing a sombrero was dancing holding a piñata. It was the beginning of Cinco de Mayo weekend. The performance seemed unplanned and spontaneous.
A perky blond woman came to the table and introduced herself as Ashley, our server. We ordered our drinks and food at the same time. The menu offers Italian fare of pizza and pastas, salads and burgers and some meat and chicken entrees, all at competitive prices. I ordered some onion rings to start, and for my entrée the grilled boneless chicken breast served with a choice of two sides. I chose veggies and a small Caesar salad. My buddy chose a penne pasta dish. Our drinks were kept fresh after we ordered and our food arrived in good time. We agreed the food had a very nice presentation. I was worried that my simple chicken breast would be dry but it was moist and delicious. My friend really enjoyed his pasta. I ordered some coffee but since it was a practice night, coffee wasn’t available.
I’m excited to find that there’s a new fun big gay place in the heart of WeHo’s Boystown, on the opposite corner of the block where Lisa Vanderpump has lured the wanna-be real housewife “straight” up Robertson Blvd. to gay Santa Monica Blvd.