New York, NY 10031
Once you know what the ROKC acronym means, this Hamilton Heights spot's appeal becomes immediate: ramen, oysters, kitchen, and cocktails. Opened by veterans of Angel's Share (disputably the mother venue of the speakeasy trend in NYC) -- Shigefumi Kabashima and Tetsuo Hasegawa -- the small 25-seat tavern does shoyu broth noodle bowls (soy heavy), Japanese tapas like spicy shrimp buns, and raw bar bites worth visiting for. Still, but the primary lure could be the innovative menu of heavy-hitting cocktails by Joji Wantanabe (formerly of the Experimental Cocktail Club). The drinks are as strong as they are beautifully presented, and their effect can be intoxicating: in one, passion-fruit rum is mixed with vanilla and pineapple in an ornamental copper mug before the lime that sits atop the drink gets blow-torched.