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Lava Rock: A Prime Way to Cook Steaks

Rok Prime restaurant finally opens kitty-corner from Mission San Juan Capistrano.

There are many ways to cook a steak, but a new steakhouse in town is offering one you probably haven’t thought of: lava rock.

Lest you think it’s a new gimmick, Rok Prime General Manager Angel White most assuredly asserts that the practice is ancient.

“The lava rock is heated to 750 degrees. When the meat is placed on that, it does a very quick sear,” sealing in the juices and flavor, Angel said.

According to this list, the number of restaurants using the rocks is few and far between, with a Bakersfield restaurant being the only other Southern California restaurant employing them.

Like the name implies, Rok Prime uses only prime meats. White said only 6 percent of all meats qualify as good enough.

The prices reflect that quality. The highest priced item is a bone-in rib eye for $48. A half-roasted chicken, on the other hand, will only set you back $19.

The restaurant, in the former location of Simply Fondue and kitty-corner to Mission San Juan Capistrano, has been under renovation for months. White called the resulting décor, “elegant eclectic.”

“Did you see my jaw drop when I walked in here? It’s beautiful,” said Stephanie Frisch, chairwoman of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce.

Rok Prime had a soft opening Black Friday, and Mayor Pro Tem John Taylor helped owners Jim and Marilyn Nieger and Mary and Ed Fletcher cut the ribbon this past Friday.

Tamara December 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Can't wait to try it!
Mark @ SJC Chamber December 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Very nice new addition to the dining scene in SJC! Beautiful venue with great food and a fun new "concept" with the lava rocks. Thanks to RokPrime for including the Chamber in the festivity!!!
Jim Reardon December 04, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Our family tried Rok last night. The meal was excellent. Two steak eaters were entirely satisfied, and two sandwich eaters also found great choices. The side dishes were also very good. Try the grilled brussel sprouts! Rok is a bit more upscale than we imagined before entering. Decor is unusual, but elegant enough for any occasion. Tables at the front have great view of the Mission and downtown street scene. Did the rock cooking matter? Hard to tell, but the overall result was pleasing. Rok is a great new feature of San Juan and we're sure to visit again.
Kriston Cameron December 31, 2012 at 06:24 PM
While I'm not saying that I won't return... I'm willing to concede that place is still new and working out the glitches. The tomato soup had a strange burnt taste, ordered the filet medium and had to send it back because it was, well, raw, it was replaced with a fatty piece of filet which is not a typical restaurant grade filet. My husband had a decent beef skewer appetizer and a sad salad. I appreciate them remaking the steak and removing the soup from the bill,although 3 different times we had to hunt down our waitress ourselves. Like I said I will give them another shot but until then I'll stick to The Vintage for my filet mignon.

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