Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Celebrating at Roy's Downtown Los Angeles

Last night we celebrated my coworker’s upcoming retirement with dinner at Roy’s Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. I've never been to any of the Roy’s branches so I was quite eager and excited to give this place a try, especially after hearing about all the awesome creations that come out of Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s kitchens. The restaurant itself is sophisticated, hip and modern with a few Hawaiian touches throughout. For a Tuesday night, it was hopping with what looked like a mix of the local corporate crowd as well as families and couples.

Okay, now for the food:
Bowls of lightly seasoned edamame were promptly placed on our table to share, and as I noshed on this I studied the menu. It’s a pretty big menu so it was actually a bit of a challenge deciding what to order. Everything just sounded so good! At least I knew I wanted to eat fish this evening, but which one? Thank goodness Roy’s makes it easy for indecisive ones like me because I finally went ahead with the Hawaiian mixed plate sampler. This consisted of Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish with sizzling soy vinaigrette, Hibachi Style Grilled Salmon in a citrus ponzu sauce, and Roy’s Original Hawaiian Blackened Ahi with a spicy soy mustard butter. These little dishes were served on a beautiful platter accompanied by a perfectly-sized ball of rice. I have to say that I enjoyed all three of the fish dishes but the first place winners were the salmon and the butterfish for me. Both were delicate yet so packed with flavor that it felt like I was having a party in my mouth. My taste buds were happy and so was I. The Ahi tuna deserves kudos too; it was prepared rare which is just the way I like it, and the sauce reminded me of that Chinese hot mustard that accompanies dim sum. You know, the kind that clears up your sinuses really fast!

Other noteworthy dishes were the prawns and shrimp mixed plate that my boyfriend opted for. Served with a creamy mushroom and spinach risotto, he devoured these and said they were some of the best he’s ever eaten. That’s a major statement coming from my boyfriend who rarely doles out compliments like that about a meal. So when he does, he means it.
His only complaint was the lack of vegetables as an accompaniment to his dish. Otherwise, he loved it.

And for all you vegetarians out there, you need not shy away from Roy’s as they will happily accommodate. My vegetarian coworker, who was the guest of honor, absolutely enjoyed her misoyaki tofu dish served with a curry based sauce and rice. She said it reminded her of her own South Indian home cooking. The tofu steak was so thick and juicy-looking that I thought it was fish. Needless to say, she loved it and cleaned her plate.

Roy’s also offers a prix fixed menu of three courses which a few people in our group ordered. It came with a trio of appetizers, a choice of short ribs or fish as the main course, and a dessert.
And speaking of dessert, this leads me to the piece de resistance: chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream.
This oh-so-rich-oh-so-chocolaty creation was served warm and partnered with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. All I can say is, “Wow”! Be sure you save room for this one, or if you're like me, make sure that someone in your party does, and is nice enough to give you a bite! It’s pretty awesome and a special treat.

For something a little less rich but also quite delicious in its own right is the Caramel Macadamia Nut Almond Tart with vanilla ice cream (see picture at the top of this entry). Loaded with macadamia nuts, this concoction had a bit of saltiness to it that melded nicely with the sweet caramel.
With all that said, we left the restaurant quite satisfied and pleased, and I knew that this first visit to Roy’s wouldn’t be my last. I already made a mental list of the dishes I wanted to try next!
Whether or not you’re celebrating an important milestone like a well-earned retirement or you're just looking for some exquisite and freshly prepared food, head on down to Roy’s in downtown LA. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Roy's Restaurant Downtown Los Angeles
800 S. Figueroa StreetSuite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 488-4994

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are just SOOOO professional. You could have a career as a food photographer for magazines!


May 18, 2007 8:36 PM