What Good is Rohst Without Fire?

If Greenville Avenue's latest wants to conjure Korea, it needs to turn up the heat.

The seafood pancakes are typical Korean fare and work well. Just be careful with that salty soy sauce-based condiment laced with aromatics. Use too much and you'll taste nothing but salt. Cross-cut short ribs present an interplay of fat and pork and bone. The ribs are fatty but moist and flavorful. I cleaned every bone.

The braised rib stew is boneless and packed generously with tender chunks of beef. The broth is thick and syrupy sweet, and the vegetables (carrot and potatoes) maintain their integrity despite an obviously long, slow, flavor-intensifying braise. It's a French beef stew spiked with the flavors of Korea, and I found myself hunting for every morsel of meat. But the potatoes soaked up too much of the sugary reduction; they tasted like dessert.

Actual dessert, by the way, should be skipped. The cheesecake sits on a thick, dense crust with way too much cinnamon, and the red velvet cake, clearly store-bought, bleeds bland red into its icing.

Sara Kerens

Location Info

Map

Rohst

2817 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: East Dallas & Lakewood

Details

Rohst
Seafood pancake $9
Pork taco $9
Kimchi $3
Hot stone bowl $13
Cross-cut short ribs $22
Braised rib stew $22
Pan Pacific halibut $26

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Despite all these issues, I can envision a Rohst that balances its Korean roots with its obvious quest to go broad. One that serves up the thoughtful, bold but approachable cuisine the kitchen is obviously capable of producing, that matches up to that stunner of a dining room the owners built. A menu of authentic but refined cooking featuring the intense, spicy flavors that make Korean food interesting.

Safe dishes don't have to come in the form of namesake burgers and boring chicken sandwiches. Those bulgolgi tacos are perfectly approachable, even for the most timid of palates. And bibimbap is a simple, straightforward dish that sings its own toasted, caramelized praise when it's executed properly. Sandwiched between sandwiches, and diluted with shortcuts, those dishes are lost.

Rohst's kimchee is as fine an example of the fermented cabbage as I've ever eaten. But it sits on the side of the menu under "sides," buried under seasonal vegetables, garlic spinach and french fries.

It's obvious the kitchen is fighting about which direction they want to take things. After Michele and Steve Choi cut their ties earlier this month, Brad Wells, the general manager, also jumped ship, leaving Wonjon Ham to run Rohst himself.

And I get it: Restaurants in Korea Town have it easier. Rent is cheaper. There are actual Korean people living nearby, and diners who trek there do so expecting authenticity and the quirks that go with it.

But Rohst's menu has skewed too far toward Americanized mundane. In their attempt to design an approachable menu that appeals to everyone, they've produced a dining experience that, if you'll forgive the too-good-to-ignore wordplay, doesn't have nearly enough Seoul.

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6 comments
Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Putting cheese on Asian food makes about as much sense as putting nuts in gum. I'll be skipping it. Thanks.

Topical?
Topical?

So. You made those edits without acknowledging that you originally didn't even spell the name of the restaurant correctly?

And even after doing that, there are still several misspellings.

I am super impressed.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

The old GBG was an honest bar. I mean OLD before Terelli ruined it. Honest burgers and fries, stiff drinks, violi-bobs (yes, In know), and Dixie Land jazz on Sunday afternoon

Topical?
Topical?

Did you care to spell Rohst correctly or not?

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

We did originally misplace the 'h' in Rohst, and should have acknowledged the change in the text. What are these several other misspellings, Topical?

Topical
Topical

"Rhost doesn't claim authenticity."

Also the Details side-bar as well as the link to another article.

 
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