HAWAIIAN FUSION THAT HITS THE SPOT
Keeping Hawaii’s “aloha” spirit alive and well on the mainland, Roy’s offers inventive fine dining cuisine for a great night out, as well as tasty bites and cocktails for a fun-filled Aloha Hour.
James Beard Award-winner Chef Roy Yamaguchi helped create Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine where European techniques and Asian cuisine meet Hawaiian hospitality. Roy's focuses on fresh seafood and uses a blend of fresh local ingredients combined with Asian spices and European sauces, in addition to serving hand-cut meats, sushi, fresh shellfish and signature desserts and cocktails, including the Classic Hawaiian Martini.
Today there are 31 Roy's locations around the world—23 in the continental U.S., six in Hawaii, one in Japan and even one in Guam. Local Roy’s include downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim, Pasadena, Newport Beach, and Woodland Hills.
During our recent visit to the Downtown L.A. Roy’s, which is just down the street from Staples Center, which explains why it was packed with a pre-Lakers game crowd, we actually skipped the cocktails and went with wine, including glasses of the very savory Roy’s wine. According to renowned wine critic Robert Parker, “Roy’s has an outstanding wine list as well as imaginative fusion style cooking.”
We started dinner with the Crispy Pork Belly, served with snow peas, Shimeji mushrooms, and Asian Demi Glace, it was very flavorful but a little dry but went just right with a nice glass of white that our very attentive and helpful waiter recommended.
Up next was Chef’s sushi choice, which consisted of a delightful roll of shrimp, jalapeño and chipotle aioli. That was followed by the Lakanilau Roll, prepared with Wagyu beef, snow crab, tempura asparagus, avocado, sesame miso, and truffled greens. Both of these rolls are tops, and again, paired to perfection with white wine.
Delving deeper into the impressive menu, we had to go with Roy’s Canoe Appetizer for Two, which is a little bit of everything from the appetizer section, including the Szechuan Pork Ribs, Lobster Potstickers, Black Tiger Shrimp, Chicken Dumplings and Panko Spicy Tuna Roll. Consider this one a must-have. It’s almost a meal in itself. The ribs are just killer – so tender and juicy.
For our main entrée, we went with Roy’s signature dish, Roy’s Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Maine lobster essence, and a Special dish of the evening that combined the Black Cod and Short Ribs.
The Mahi Mahi was a solid choice but our favorite was the pairing of the Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Black Cod, served with Hong Kong Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette, and the Hawaii Kai Style Beef Short Ribs, served with honey mustard, Yukon Mash, Broccolini and Natural Braising Sauce. Roy’s definitely does ribs right. I knew fish would be a specialty but I was really impressed by their sushi and meat dishes. First rate!
Unable to resist dessert, we went with the Blueberry Pecan Tart, and the Chocolate Soufflé. Both were decadent and out-of-this-world delicious. Personally, I love blueberries and pecans so the tart was a winner, however, if you have to choose just one, you can’t go wrong with the Chocolate Soufflé.
Another option at Roy’s, is their Pre Fixe Menu, which includes an appetizer (soup, salad or Crispy Rock Shrimp Wontons), an Entrée (pork, salmon or chicken) and dessert for $36.95. Roy’s popular Aloha Hour features $6 appetizers (including Wagyu Beef Sliders, Smoked Mahi Mahi Tacos, and Beef Short Rib Tacos) and drinks (beer, wine and cocktails) nightly from 4:30-6:30pm at the downtown location.
Roy’s Los Angeles is located at 800 S. Figueroa Street. Click here to find other California locations.