Chef John C. Berrocal has relocated to Rota and plans to renovate an old watering hole into a cozy tavern where island residents can put their feet up and relax after a full day’s work.
Berrocal, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris, France, said he has taken over Da Waves in the southernmost island of the Northern Marianas chain and has big plans to make the former bar into the place-to-be on Rota.
“I chose Rota because of the water and the readily available fresh ingredients. People are also very friendly, self-sufficient, and respect Mother Nature so I love it,” said Berrocal, who used to run Roque’s Tavern and Infino on Saipan.
Berrocal said he wants to transform Da Waves into a beautiful tavern where you can have good food and good beer and wine, while kicking back with a game of pool. The ocean view from the backyard of the old bar is also nothing to sneeze at.
“I will be serving for now just pizzas, some burgers, Italo-Peruvian tapas, good wines, and beers. Da Waves has been there for long time and it’s in a nice location. It used to be a bar with pool tables and karaoke. It was named after the ocean waves right behind the restaurant,” he said.
Da Waves’ 14-inch pizzas come in margarita (tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella cheese, garlic, parmesan cheese), classica (pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese), suprema (mushrooms, peppers, onions, bolognese meat sauce, tomato sauce, black olives, garlic, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese), and barbecue (Italian grilled chicken, house-made barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, oregano).
The burgers come in five variants—Classic American, Pikka Burger, Manok Burger, and Da Waves Burger—and all include oregano parmesan fries.
“All of our beef patties are made with Angus beef and our pizzas are cooked with extra virgin olive oil, homemade tomato sauces, and freshly made dough,” said Berrocal.
Right now, due to guidelines issued by the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, Da Waves’ occupancy is 45 people and when it finally opens, the tavern will be open seven days a week from 11am to 10pm.
Berrocal, who also recently came back from Paris to brush up on new French culinary techniques, said that, aside from remaking Da Waves into a tavern, he is also looking at creating a culinary school on Rota.