Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taste of the Islands at Roy's?

453 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Newport Beach Restaurant Week. One of my favorite times of the year. It is a week when regular guys like myself get to try a restaurant that normally would not fit in our budgets. Unfortunately, this year we only have time to try one restaurant, because we have prior commitments. Damn life getting in the way of food blogging!

Anyways, after a failed attempt to try another restaurant week spot, (their computers were down, so they were closing early), we arrived at Roy's at Fashion Island about eight, on a Thursday night. We were seated immediately.

Roy's was founded by James Beard award winner, Roy Yamaguchi. He opened his first Roy's in 1988, in Honolulu. Since that time he has opened thirty more restaurants, including ones in Japan and Guam. Yamaguchi strives to combine European techniques with Asian cuisine and Hawaiian hospitality. Let's see if he achieves this with our prix fixed menu.

Once seated at Roy's, you are presented with a basket of Edamame. I am not usually a fan of the pods, but these were spiced so well that I could not stop eating them. Spicy and salty were the way to describe these. A nice alternative to the standard bread basket served at most restaurants.

Before we get to the prix fixe menu, we ordered an extra appetizer, the Lobster Mac and Cheese. This $13.95 appetizer featured two good sized pieces of lobster, had a nice mellow flavor, but was not as rich as I had expected. I think that could be because of the lack of cheese on this. It was more of a lobster pasta dish, rather than a mac and cheese. Still the pasta was cooked well, and this came out really hot.

Katie started her meal off with Crunchy Golden Lobster Potstickers. These were served with a spicy togarashi miso butter sauce. The lobster in these was very tender, and even with the big flavors in this, the lobster was still the star of the show. Excellent, bursting flavor on this.

Not that I was tired of lobster, but I had to get something different from Katie, so I went with the 5 Spiced Braised Duck Leg. This was accompanied by shiitake and shishito peppers with duck jus. On its own the duck was tender but lacked the wow factor. The peppers and jus kicked the meat into gear, and rounded this plate out nicely.

Above is the Olive Oil Seared Mahi Mahi. This was joined on the plate by cauliflower couscous, Kalamata olives, and a Meyer lemon sauce. Katie felt that all of these items balanced out this plate wonderfully. She was also happy with the way this fish was cooked.

I went with the Grilled Wagyu Meatloaf for dinner. This was served with a braised mushroom sauce, potatoes and broccoli. The first bites of this were good, but then the salt in this took over. Combining bites with potato helped,  but there was not enough potato for this huge helping of meatloaf. The broccoli was very long stemmed, and a little over cooked. I do not think I would get this again.

Now on to dessert where Katie got the Bread Pudding. I thought this was a little bland, but I am not too much of a fan of bread pudding. Katie, who does like bread pudding, called this one of the best she has had. She felt that the berries were fresh, and this was a, "true comfort dessert".

I was in the mood for chocolate, and lucky for me there was a Chocolate Souffle as an option for dessert. This souffle definitely cured my chocolate cravings big time. The inside of this souffle featured rich chocolate, and the ice cream cut the chocolate nicely. One of the best souffle's I have had recently. Really well done.

Roy's is an upscale restaurant that does not seem too stuffy. It has a great comfortable feel to it. The wait staff adds to this, as they were right on top of everything, and kept our drinks full. The food did take a long time to make it to the table. Long delays from one course to the other, but we were not in too big of a rush. We will definitely be back, but next time I will try a more Hawaiian meal, instead of the meatloaf.

Out of five humuhumunukunukuapua'a's, (the state fish of Hawaii), five being best, to zero being worst, Roy's gets 3.5 humuhumunukunukuapua'a's. 

For more information on Roy's, click here: 
Roy's on Urbanspoon

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