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Roy's Restaurant - Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine

L.A. Hangs Ten with Surf Turf Hawaiian Cuisine

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion RestaurantOhana in Hawaiian means family and at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant, that is exactly what you get. Roy Yamaguchi, wondrous chef and founder of Roy's nationwide, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and was mentored by the Master Chef Jean Bertranou at the legendary L'Emeritage. Roy's first launched in 1988 in Honolulu, Hawaii. By now, we are all accustomed to Asian fusion cuisine, but at the time, he was the first chef ever to marry the East and West in cooking. He started a craze of blending European cooking with Hawaiian and Asian ingredients and styles. With a location in Woodlands Hills that keeps patrons flocking in, another spot has just opened up in downtown Los Angeles.

What I find most unique about Roy's is that although every restaurant features his specialty dishes, each location offers their own different and delicious creations from their head chef. So not only can you try the standard items, but you also have a chance to sample the first hand creations of the chef for the night. Roy's offers a daily changing menu created around fresh seafood that is flown in daily from Hawaii.

Inside, the energy is alive and busy but not crowded. Large tulip lighting keeps it dim, with wavy wood planks swimming in between. The worldly Hawaiian artwork adds a touch of bohemian on every wall, while the towering bamboo stalks along one side of the restaurant gives off a tropical feel. Those looking for a unique dining experience can sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen since the open area allows diners to view the chefs in full action. Service is top notch here. Throughout the night, the servers were extremely attentive without being pushy, while the manager visited each table to chat or make sure that diners were satisfied.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion RestaurantAt Roy's, it is easy to keep the drinks coming. They have a delicious selection of mixed house specialties such as a King Kamehameha, Hawaiian Martini or Maui Mango Margarita. In addition to their great selection of wines, Roy's also has their own personalized line of customized wines which pair perfectly with entrees and appetizers. The Pinot Noir had a light, floral bouquet with a touch of oak that will not overpower most dishes. Their drink menu blows other restaurants away with their quality graded cold sake collection. The most popular is the unfiltered "snow" sake because of its fruitier base and smoother finish.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion RestaurantEverything on the menu from sushi to combination plates is creative. The fact is that L.A. loves sushi and Roy's takes the standard rolls and dresses them to the nines. The most popular sushi rolls are Auntie Lei's Aloha Roll, spicy tuna in a light ginger ponzu sauce with tuna, salmon and yellowtail wrapped around it and the Lakanilau Roll, Kobe beef tenderloin seared to perfection, wrapped around dynamite crab with tempura asparagus and avocado. The eel sauce drizzled atop the Lankanilau roll melts all the flavors together in a single bite. There are many more on the menu to choose from so be prepared to be amazed.

Some of their specialty appetizers are Roy's Original Szechwan Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs and Hawaiian Blackened Island Ahi. A specialty appetizer of the Woodland Hills location is the Maui "Wowee" Shrimp Salad, which Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurantreminds me of a Greek salad with a kiss of Hawaiian. A balanced tower of chopped sweet onions, capers, avocado, rock shrimp, feta cheese, and limejuice with shreds of romaine lettuce underneath. The feta goes perfectly with the bursting shrimp and silky avocado. Another popular in-house dish is their Blackened Ahi Hokkaido Salad, fresh slices of Blackened Ahi Tuna Tataki over mixed greens and avocado with papaya seed vinaigrette. The buttery tuna and the punchy raspberry papaya vinaigrette are a fabulous combination.

Again, with the main course, you can choose one of Roy's originals or one of the house specialties. Roy's Original Flat Top Seared Misoyaki Glazed Butterfish is exquisite. The bronzed cod flakes like snow in a lake of lemon ginger shoyu butter sauce that I could not get enough of. With fish, Roy's certainly does not skimp on the size because the portion was about twice as much as one would get at another other upscale seafood restaurant. Besides caring about the quality and presentation of the meal, Roy's is generous with its portions. The Peppercorn Herb Grilled Australian Rack of Lamb was a hearty gourmet fill of extremely tender and flavorful lamb with a balance of pepper and fruitiness. Stacked artfully on each other with a cherry wine reduction sauce, it came with roasted fingerlings to soak up every bite. Everything on the menu looks too good to narrow down to one, which is why Roy's brilliantly presents their Hawaiian style mixed plates. Different combinations of classic favorites like Cilantro Seared Hawaiian Shutome and Lemongrass Dusted Island Ono or Furikake Seared Day Boat Scallops and Dynamite Crusted Shrimp are not to be missed.

Save room for dessert because you do not want to miss out on Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle. Break the flourless chocolate cake to indulge in the creamy, molten chocolate lava that oozes over the drizzled raspberry sauce. A scoop of this with fresh vanilla bean ice cream on the side is as sweet as you can get. For a Hawaiian favorite, the Pineapple-Upside Down Cake of caramelized pineapple baked with a brown sugar pound cake, along with ice cream is superb. Though the dessert menu changes occasionally, the ones to look out for are the Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Macadamia Nut Carrot Cake, and Choco-Nut Crunch Torte. If you still have room, end your meal with a memorable nightcap since Roy's also offers a yummy selection of ports and after dinner cocktails.

Roy's has been established quite a name in the culinary world. They have rooms available for large parties and with the constantly changing menu, you can always try a different dish each time without getting tired of the same old thing. I can't wait until my next meal at Roy's ...until then, Mahalo.

For more information, visit Roy's online at

6363 Topanga Canyon Road
Woodland Wills, CA 91367
(818) 888-4801

800 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 488-4994


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