by janet on January 17th, 2008

Roy’s. Fusion is so trendy, yet it’s so difficult to do well. I think if you’re going to get a guest spot as a judge on the finale of Top Chef, you need to be the master of fusion. ((Yell “MASTER OF FUSIOOOON!” in a stereotypically Asian voice – it’s fun!)) And I guess Roy Yamaguchi is, because the meal I had there knocked my Fornarinas off! (I was not wearing socks to be knocked off.)

I had been to Roy’s once before – the one in Maui – with James and his Dad, who was fresh off of a puking-all-night food poisoning episode. ((Particularly tragic because our beautiful Hawaiian-style hotel rooms only had bathrooms whose doors were composed of wooden slats…enabling us to hear, crystal clear, his pork quesadilla coming up all night.)) This time I went with Tinx and her family. Apparently this is their family tradition, which kicks ass! “What’s your family tradition?” “OH! Well we love to sit around the fire and string popcorn for decorations!” “Oh, really? Because we go to Roy’s and fucking do it up!”

Tinx’s dad told me to make sure to order an appetizer as well as an entree. Twist my arm, Daddy-of-Tinx.

So I ordered an appetizer. A glorious, foie gras appetizer, pictured top. OK, Roy’s website has crashed my Firefox four times now so I am unable to give you the precise description. It was a duo of foie gras; the first on a toast point with some sort of sweet marmalade and the second on a bed of risotto. Each could have done with exactly half of the starch – the point was too big and the risotto was reminiscent of something Howie might have made. But who the fuck cares when there’s goose liver involved? ((When I was little I went to a French resto with my mom and grandma in Kichijoji – I was super excited because I had been prepped for a month for this meal – a fancy, grown up girl’s meal at which I was to behave immaculately. At this meal, I had, like, and ENTIRE goose liver – foie gras the size of a ribeye, and completely did not appreciate it. Fuck me.))

Tinx ordered some sort of fancy roll. Again, I would tell you what was in it but Mr. Malware Yamaguchi is preventing me. All I know is that it had crustacean in it (off limits for Janet) and that everyone at the table wished they had ordered what she ordered. A quick call to Tinx reveals that it had crab and cucumber inside and was topped with Kobe beef. Ballin’.

Tinx’s brother got the lobster bisque. I’m sure you can imagine how decadently yummy this soup must have been. They did the whole “ladling it into the big ass bowl at the table” thing which impressed everyone.

More interesting than the soup is Tinx’s brother. He goes to China for business all the time (he has a lot of frequent flier miles. His boss has, literally, a MILLION miles) but is NOT, strangely, the brother who is the Asian-chaser. As we were waiting for our table –

OH! I forgot to talk about waiting for the table! I shall interrupt my story to talk about it. Our reservations were for 8:15. We weren’t seated until close to 9. This would have made me extremely grumbly except they brought out a complimentary appetizer plate with lobster potstickers and some sort of grilled duck on a bed of mashed potatoes. I braved the lobster cross-contamination because I just HAD to have the duck and the mashies. Perfect – crispy crispy skin, smooth smooth potatoes.

Anyway, as we were waiting for our table, out of nowhere, Tinx’s brother yells “IS YOUR PURSE REAL??” I had forgotten even what purse I was carrying, and looked down. It was a Coach purse, given to me by James’ mom, who told me, “I’m not sure it’s real because I got it from my neighbor, but either way it’s cute, so.” So then we launched into a discussion of whether or not it was real. Evidence for “real” – perfect stitching, perfect logo, perfect lining. Evidence for “fake” – the Coach tag was gold (I’ve never seen gold, only silver, even on gold bags) and it came with a “register this bag!” postcard inside, which I’ve also never seen. China’s big on fakes, so I guess fake-spotting is one of Tinx’s brother’s hobbies?

Of course, I ordered Roy’s famous Hawaiian style Misoyaki Butterfish for my entree. I was, for a moment, attracted to Roy’s Classic Trio, which has salmon, ahi, and butterfish. But then, I made the smart, smart decision to go decadent with a huge plate of butterfish. Thank the lord for that.

I can’t even explain how delicious this is. The miso is salty and sweet, the butterfish is buttery, and the sauce – oh! It’s a ponzu variant, so it’s tangy and just gets sucked up into the rice. The others at the table who ordered the Trio were definitely sad and envious.

We ordered two variants of dessert. Of course, the hot chocolate souffle. They all taste the same, though. Morton’s, Fleming’s, Roy’s, whatever. As a non-sweet-freakadeek, I was unmoved and instead wistfully sighed at my long-lost butterfish.

This pineapple shit lifted me out of my depression, though. I believe it was a pineapple upside down cake? They should have left out the strawberries and weirdo palm tree, but the cake itself was awesome. Sticky and carmelized and just perfect when the fresh pineapple acid cut through the sweet.

Gooooood times. I thanked Tinx’s family for spoiling me and for being fabulous, and ran off into the chilly night with my might-be-fake bag.

6363 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Woodland Hills CA 91367


4 Responses to “Roy’s”

  1. dartmouthgirl says:

    YUM to the foie gras and the best-looking butter fish i’ve ever seen in a photograph. but what i really want is to get my hands on that palm tree cookie!

  2. tinks says:

    mmm i wanted so much more of that pineapple cake… too bad my brother was so freakin greedy

  3. Bobak says:

    My friend and I went to the Roy’s downtown the other day actually. I was wholly unimpressed. Fusion is very popular up in Seattle, but I feel that the execution up there is on average better than in LA. I also expect that it’s easier to survive as a mediocre restaurant in LA (and perhaps as a chain, additionally). Not that there isn’t plenty of great food here, just that a lot of it doesn’t have to compete as vigorously. Then again, it may be that I live in Pasadena (shakes fist).

  4. Hiro says:

    looks like a nice place to eat, too bad i didnt know of this when i was in LA last year

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