Today I checked out the Fire Rock Grill on Folsom Blvd near Sunrise. I always thought this was a restaurant inside the hotel there at the corner, but it seems like it’s it’s own place. It’s also way bigger than I was expecting as well. From the outside it seems like you need to find the right entrance or maybe you’ll end up in another business (maybe there’s something different upstairs?) but once inside it’s pretty obvious that the dining room/bar area account for the entire width of the building, and then you have the kitchen towards the back.
When I walked in, a bit after 11:15, I didn’t see any host, or really anyone at all for that matter. I made my way straight back to the bar, where a few people were seated and the single bartender made up the only apparent life in the joint. She handed me a menu and took my drink order (a Pibb Xtra [$2.50]), then told me about a few delicious sounding specials when she brought that over. They have a pretty good selection of salads here, ten of them in fact. I narrowed it down to the Buffalo Chicken Salad (crisp romaine, tomatoes, gorgonzola, baby carrots and sweet peppers with ranch / crispy or grilled) [$13] and the Heirloom Tomato Stack (fresh mozzarella and basil over mixed greens with a balsamic reduction) [$12]. If I hadn’t had the seafood louie at Rudy’s Hideaway last week then the Crab Louie (crisp romaine, Dungeness crab, cucumber, eggs, tomatoes and avocado with house made Louie dressing) [$14] might have been in the running as well. After confirming with the bartender that the heirloom tomato stack was indeed a proper salad and not just an appetizer I went ahead with it. She asked if I wanted to add on some chicken, steak or fish as well and chicken sounded good so I chose that [+$4].
This took a little while to come out, 15 minutes to be exact. I’m sure the chicken was the biggest holdup. So far, for the blog, this was the nicest looking thing I’ve ordered. Big, juicy red and yellow tomato slices were piled up with huge chunks of soft, fresh Mozzarella cheese in-between. Basil was perched atop the tower, which sat in a bed of lush mixed greens, and the thick balsamic reduction was drizzled over it all. There was a long spike holding it all together but, magically, even after I removed it this delicate looking tower somehow managed to stay standing!
A little off to the side was a medium-sized chicken breast, sliced up. It looked out of place, boring even, compared to the work of art at the center. Although it did not look very tender or moist, it was indeed both, and was seasoned generously with salt. It was far better than I had expected. The salad was insane. The balsamic was intensely rich and delicious, the mozzarella as fresh and tasty as I’ve ever had and the tomatoes perfectly ripe and drippingly (that’s not even a word but I’m going with it) plump. If you like caprese, you will love this. I certainly did.