CLOSED IN 2010
This week’s restaurant: Bistro Roti, 1041 E. 16th St. (at Upland Hills), Upland.
Bistro Roti is in the business center immediately west of Upland Hills Country Club. The name refers to the restaurant’s wood-burning rotisserie. I tried the place out for lunch the other day.
The interior is upscale-casual. A flat-screen TV was silently showing the Food Network and three other tables were occupied. The lunch menu has salads, sandwiches, pastas and pizza; the dinner menu is more ambitious with steaks, chops and seafood entrees from $16 to $45. They also do breakfast. (See the menus on the bistro’s website.)
I went casual with a tuna melt on sourdough with fries ($9.25). I’ve mentioned before that a tuna melt is my baseline sandwich. (This remained true even though Upland uses 16th Street as its name for Base Line, ha ha.) No, seriously, a tuna melt is what I tend to order to judge whether a place is putting any effort into its food.
Well, the Bistro Roti tuna melt displays real effort. It tasted like, and was, according to the server, made from real tuna, not tuna from a can. Chopped onions, celery and shredded cheese completed the effect. The fries were thin and crispy. At first I thought they were nothing special, but then I noticed I was finishing them. A small dish of ketchup was delivered rather than a bottle, a nice touch. The service was prompt and professional.
Bistro Roti merits further investigation. The only obvious drawback is that when you look out the windows, or sit out on the patio, your view is of for-lease signs in the center’s numerous empty spaces. A sign of the times. But the quality of the food proved distracting.