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One of my favorite ways to celebrate Fridays is to go to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion for their Aloha Hour. From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Roy’s offers fresh Hawaiian specialty cocktails for $5, including Roy’s original Hawaiian martini with sweet Maui pineapples, SKYY vodka, Stoli vanilla vodka and Malibu coconut rum. It’s shaken and served with a slice of fresh pineapple. Sipping this libation makes me feel like I’m on vacation. The 1988 Martini has the tartness of grapefruit with antioxidants of pomegranate. It’s garnished with a lychee fruit.
Go early, because the place is filled with happy people crowding around tables or sitting along the bar drinking their discounted tropical drinks and nibbling on crunchy golden lobster potstickers dunked in a spicy Togarashi miso butter sauce or lobster California roll with lobster salad, avocado, cucumber and Tobiko (flying fish roe) for $5 each. After 6:30 p.m. these rolls are $9.95 and $11.95.
Sure many restaurants are offering Happy Hour with $5 sliders and chicken wings, however Roy’s prepares each appetizer with a Hawaiian twist. The sliders are made with Wagyu beef and caramelized onions, chipotle aioli on a pretzel bread bun and garlic sweet potato fries in the middle of the plate. The salt and pepper crisped calamari is accompanied with a Hawaiian fusion dipping sauce.
Last Friday, after a cocktail and appetizer, we moved into the main dining room for dinner.
The menu changes with every season. Currently, Roy’s is offering a Winter Fusion Prix Fixe menu with a choice of one each of three appetizers, four different entrees and two desserts for $35.95. their regular menu is also offered.
For starters, we enjoyed the poached pear and pecan salad. It’s served with mixed greens and dressed with a divine lemongrass port vinaigrette. I also ordered the local greens salad with red and yellow baby beets, tiny dollops of goat cheese, toasted macadamia nuts and adorned with a truffle dressing with a ginger kick, and savored every bite.
For entrées, we ordered the grilled Wagyu meatloaf served with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and bathed in a braised mushroom sauce. This is not at all like my mother’s meatloaf. The meat is very moist and flavorful, and is sprinkled with carrots and onions.
I asked our server, born and raised in Oahu, how the chef prepares this dish. “Sous-vide. It’s a French word for under vacuum.” This cooking method boils food in a sealed plastic bag in warm water at 140 degrees for hours maintaining the integrity of the ingredients and allowing the essence of the herbs and vegetables to be absorbed into the food. The meatloaf is then taken out of the bag and grilled before served at Roy’s.
Another entrée we enjoyed was the spicy basil and parsley-seared Dover sole. What made this dish special was the Maine lobster curry sauce. The fish is presented on a bed of butter-whipped mashed potatoes, sautéed leeks and soft baby carrots. The sienna colored curry sauce gives the dish a heavenly zip of spicy flavors.
For dessert, Roy’s serves a melted hot chocolate soufflé with a thick raspberry coulis sauce and generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with a sprinkling of chocolate chips. It’s made with semi sweet dark chocolate, sugar, butter, eggs and cornstarch. They also prepare a scrumptious pineapple upside down cake.
For those guests who enjoy the food at Roy’s, they offer cooking classes during the year and list recipes for some of their most popular dishes on their website http://www.roysrestaurant.com/whatsnew/recipes/.
Roy’s has locations in downtown Los Angeles at 800 South Figueroa St., (213) 488-4994; and in Pasadena at 641 East Colorado Blvd. (626) 356-4066, Also in Newport Beach and Anaheim.
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