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Ritter's Steam Kettle?

Has anyone tried this new OC restaurant which specializes in traditional pan roasts?

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  1. Same owner as The Boiler in Chino Hills and multiple restaurants in Las Vegas. I have not tried this location but I have tried the others and they are pretty good but a tad overpriced. I like the house pan roast the best.

    1 Reply
    1. re: A5 KOBE

      Palace Station Oyster Bar in LV. Not sure if all of them are under the same ownership umbrella.

      1. My wife and I were there last Saturday night. We were actually the first diners of the evening (about 4:45), as we had just finished with some errands and shopping down the street. At first it felt a bit strange walking into the empty restaurant (except for the wait staff standing around and just coming in for the evening themselves), but we were warmly greeted and seated in the center of the counter area overlooking the open front kitchen, where much of the action takes place. The featured cooking "concept" and apparatus consists of a lineup of "kettles", stainless steel, double-walled vessels where many of the restaurant's menu items are cooked. Steam runs through the kettle's liner, so whatever is being cooked comes up to temperature and cooks very quickly and evenly, with basically zero chance of burning. It's fun to watch Chef Ritter (who was manning the kettles the night we were there) preside over these things.

        Anyway, on to the food: We ordered the cajun fries, the bacon-wrapped molasses shrimp, red beans and rice and the house pan roast. I get the sense that these are some of the more popular items and they were all very good to excellent. The fries were the thin-cut variety, nicely browned and crispy, served in the now-ubiquitous paper cone. I would say that if there was any one item that I wouldn't need to order again, it was the fries. They were fine, but they were just fries with plenty of cajun spices sprinkled in. Maybe something like a nice remoulade sauce on the side would have elevated these a bit. But hey, the sizeable portion was just $3.95 IIRC, so I'm just being picky here.

        The shrimp were flat-out awesome: substantial - sized shrimp beautifully wrapped in some good smoky bacon and deep-fried, with that molasses flavor in there as well.

        I LOVED the house (mixed-seafood) pan roast. It's a sort of a seafood stew in a rich, tomato-spice-butter type sauce. The flavors were deep and satisfying and spot-on.

        Red beans and rice were great as well. This was my wife's main, and though she let me have a bit, she mostly kept it to herself so my memories of the dish are a bit vague, but suffice to say it seemed true to what good red beans and rice should be, some nice flavors going on.

        Oh, I should also mention this is one of those places where they ask you what level of spiciness you'd like for each dish, on a scale of 1 to 10. We went with 5's for everything and that seemed about right for us (we like spicy but we're not out to prove anything either. We still like to taste the food).

        So far they have not yet gotten their beer and wine license, but it's well under way and Chef Ritter said it should be a few weeks.

        Until then it's soft drinks - the sweet tea was very good !

        We really enjoyed the experience and will return soon to explore more of their menu. The po' boy sandwiches sound really good!

        3 Replies
        1. re: mikester

          Thanks for the report. I was considering going tonight but, will wait for the beer and wine.

          1. re: JAB

            You bet. And yes, this type of food definitely would go well with a nice glass of beer or wine - or a bourbon even, but I don't know if that's going to happen just yet.

            Also I should mention that the place was filling up nicely by the time we left, and we were told business has been good, so there's that.

          2. re: mikester

            Thanks for the great report. Will wait for when they have beer!

          3. Has anybody tried the gumbo or po boys? I'm going for lunch tomorrow and wanted to see if it was worth deviating from the pan roast.

            1 Reply
            1. We tried to go there today for lunch and were looking forward to trying the molasses bacon wrapped shrimp and a pan roast. Unfortunately, we sat there for maybe 10 minutes and received no service, while a couple seated after us received water and bread immediately after being seated, so we left and went elsewhere.

              In addition to the service problem, the air inside the restaurant was hot and steamy -- either the a/c couldn't keep up or it was set way too high.