Look what came in the mail for me the other day:
An invitation to paradise...
All I have to do is eat at Roy's within the next month or so, spend $75 or more - easily done with 2-4 people, and I get a *FREE* copy of Roy Yamaguchi's new cookbook, Fish and Seafood.
Oh yes, please! Take me now!
The first time I went to Roy's Restaurant was back in the 1990s when I was still in high school. I flew out to Hawaii with my Auntie M and some good family friends of hers. There was me, my Auntie M's, Auntie Ann, Auntie Irene, and EM. Lucky for me, we stayed in Kapulua in our own little villa and had our own private beach! And on one evening, we all went to eat at Roy's Hawaiian fusion restaurant.
That was definitely a night and a dinner I will never forget. Really though, I don't remember much of the dinner except it being super delicious. What I DO remember is having the best ever, "better than sex" Chocolate Souffle! I wasn't even 18 when my Aunties made this comment. And it was this innocent, or maybe not so innocent, remark that would be with me, even after 10 years. Of course, I had no idea what they were talking about, being that I wasn't of age at the time...but knew right when I took one rich spoonful in my mouth that there was something more to food. Sensations of complete and utter satisfaction filled my tastebuds, and all I could do was close my eyes, roll them back in my head, smile with each bite, and mmm....in pure ecstasy.
I've been lucky to have this souffle again and again at a few different Roy's Restaurants. From Maui to the Big Island and now, right down the street - in Downtown LA!
I knew Roy's was coming to the city before it opened and emailed one of the managing partners about my excitement of their opening. We exchanged a couple brief emails, and I learned that we both hail from the Big Island. (OK - so I'm not really from there, but my Dad's side of the family is so I think that counts.) And I also learned that the new restaurant would be located in a building that's owned by the company my Mom works for! She even got to have lunch on their Grand Opening. Lucky her!
So when my girlfriend wanted to try this new restaurant for her birthday, I made a call to Mom. Even with a pretty full reservation list, she was able to get us a table for 6 after work. (Thanks Mom!) We got there at around 6:30pm, and the place was already packed and full of energy from young 20-30 year old professionals who work in Downtown. There were bright colors and dimmed lighting in this open space, and I could tell that this Roy's had a much different vibe than the two I had been to before. This Roy's was young, loud, and definitely a trend setter.
We started with drinks and ordered the Roy's Canoe Appetizer with deliciously grilled Shrimp Sticks with Szechuan Baby Back Ribs underneath [top left] - my favorite appetizers of the night; Island Ahi Poke [top right], Pork & Shrimp Lumpia, Edamame, & Crisped Seafood Potstickers. We also ordered the Yellow Fin Ahi Poketini made with Wasabi Aioli, Avocado and Tobiko Caviar [bottom left] - my least favorite of the night. Garlicky and salty, this tuna didn't seem all that fresh and was a lighter pale pink than normal. Then came the dishes! Someone ordered the Hibachi Style Grilled Salmon with Japanese Vegetables and Citrus Ponzu Sauce [bottom right] while the birthday girl and I had the Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish Sizzling Soy Vinaigrette.
The butterfish was absolutely delicious! Buttery and delicate, the fish just melted in my mouth with just the right hint of shoyu and miso. Atop a bed of rice with furikaki, this dish is one I'd go back for over and over again...that is, as long as I can order my chocolate souffle (which you've got to do at the beginning of the meal)!
Dinner with drinks, dessert, appetizers, and tip for 6 (minus 1 - the birthday girl) came out to be about $40-45/person. Parking's a pain in the okole in Downtown but we were able to score some metered parking on Fig. Call ahead for reservations. And watch out for the waiters! They fold your napkins when you leave the table to go to the bathroom and they scoop up your crumbs off the table too! What GREAT service! But then again, you better have some GREAT service and GREAT food for the money you spend here! Roy's has it all, and I can't wait to go back in the next month, have some chocolate souffle, and get my *free* cookbook!
Roy's Restaurant - Los Angeles
Street: 800 S. Figueroa Street. Los Angeles, CA 90017