Friday, May 6, 2011

Front Room at John Ash and Co

Sonoma Bento: In our current budget crisis, and by 'our' I mean MINE, it makes sense to make your dollar stretch. So Coco and I decided to hit up a happy hour or two to see if it is worth your while. Our first happy hour is John Ash and Co's Front Room. We went on a Thursday, but apparently Wednesdays they have free appetizers for one hour. Our server said it's a mad house on Wednesdays, and it was pretty sparsely attended the day we went.

Coco Carina: Even with the lack of people there, the service was kind of slow. The waitresses were nice enough, but sometimes it seemed like we were a bother to them, and that they would rather be serving the people with actual money who dressed nicer than us.

Sonoma Bento: The Front Room is a really nicely furnished room which reminds me a bit of Morrocco, with blue stuccoed walls and cool stained glass lamps. We sat next to a window partition overlooking another room of the restaurant and the beautiful gardens and vineyards next to the property.

Coco Carina: I did like the overall look and feel of the Front Room, there was lots of light and the decor was inviting. I did not like the fact that we had to ask our waitress to clean up the smudgy stuff that was on our table when we arrived. It was like a big glob of wax or something.

Sonoma Bento: They had drink specials during happy hour and I tried this yummy citrus drop drink, made with vodka, citrus juices, and cranberry juice. I think there might have been some triple sec in there too. It was not too sweet, and very refreshing.

Coco Carina: I ordered a pinot noir, and was able to try a sample of one pinot, which I ended up not liking, then got another glass of pinot. We thought the wine was discounted during happy hour, but our bill did not reflect that. I enjoyed my wine, but after tasting Sonoma Bento's citrus drop, I wish I had ordered that.

Sonoma Bento: We decided to order just a few items, instead of enough for a full meal for each of us, because this is a test of happy hours, not a substitute for dinner. We got the fries with cranberry ketchup, veggie spring rolls, and pork belly lollipops. I like skinny cut fries, so this was fun to share. And the cranberry ketchup was good, but I didn't realize that it tasted a bit different until like the fourth fry. The sauces for the spring rolls were good, but the spring rolls themselves were rather bland. I loved the pork belly lollipops! Delicious chunks of pork belly on a stick, who doesn't love that??

Coco Carina:  Feeling questionable about the pork belly lollipops, but I like pork so I decided what the hell, go ahead and try it, and they were delicious. I enjoyed the tamarind sauce over the other two sauces... a peanut sauce and a plum sauce. At two bucks each, they were a little pricy. Fries are pretty hard to screw up in my book, these were fresh, crispy and good, but nothing extraordinary. I agree with Sonoma Bento, the spring rolls definitely needed sauce to deal with their lack of flavor.

Sonoma Bento: Overall, we each paid 15 dollars (including tip) for a drink per person and three shared appetizers. It was ok, but I think there may be better deals out there for happy hour, and we are bound and determined to find them!

4350 Barnes Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403


  1. Your review makes the place sound exactly the way I imagined from the commercials; over-priced and snooty.

  2. Ha! I have had better experiences there, but really, I was getting a seriously snooty vibe from the waitress. Whatevs.