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Dinner at Roy’s

March 1, 2010

In keeping with our very reckless behavior this past weekend, Ali and I ventured off the beaten path to have dinner at Roy’s restaurant.  I first visited Roy’s in San Francisco and even though I wasn’t a fan of seafood back then, I absolutely fell in love with the restaurant.  So I was thrilled when Roy decided to open several locations in Southern California, the closest to us in downtown Los Angeles.  

Downtown isn’t really that far from us distance wise, but with traffic it can take up to 40 minutes.  Since everything in L.A. revolves around the freeway, traffic conditions, long distances, and the Maya barf-o-meter, Ali and I usually think twice about going downtown for anything.  But since Maya was spending the night with her grandparents, and because Ali and I were nearly giddy with excitement about our new sofa, we decided to live on the wild side and enjoy dinner at a nicer restaurant for a change. 

I hadn’t been downtown in quite a while and was really pleased with how busy and full of people it was.  I guess the revitalization is fully underway!  I tried to take pictures of the skyline but the car was moving and, well, you know how challenged I am with a camera.  Since the pictures came out very blurry I’ll spare you. 

Roy’s specializes in Hawaiian Fusion cuisine – lots of fresh seafood with a few steaks thrown in for good measure. I must note how ironic it is that I had to come back to the mainland to get some good Hawaiian food.  When Ali and I went to Oahu a few years ago, we had a fabulous time with the exception of not eating one single good meal.  I mean not one!  We resorted to Benihana’s and the ubiquitous ABC stores for something decent to eat, and I use the word decent quite loosely.  If you’ve been to Benihana you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Anyway, we learned the hard way that researching restaurants ahead of time is NOT optional when traveling. 

We reached Roy’s at about 6:45 and it was hopping.  Luckily we scored a last-minute reservation and were seated immediately.  

Our server brought us complimentary edamame: 


I can’t eat soy anymore but I do remember these being really good because of the salt/spice/sugar combination sprinkled on top.  I was surprised to see Ali eat quite a few because green foods and my husband are usually at odds with each other. 

The best thing about Roy’s is probably the service.  The servers literally bend over backwards to accommodate your every need and once our server found out I was gluten-intolerant, he immediately retrieved a list of safe appetizers and entrees for me.  

I ordered the Carmelized U-10 Sea Scallops: 

Roasted Wild Mushroom Risotto and Spicy Kung Pao Drizzle.

I have to say that while this was good it isn’t the best thing I’ve had at Roy’s.  I usually love scallops but these were a bit rubbery.  Maybe they were overcooked?  Their flavor was good though so I ate all four scallops and most of the risotto. 

Ali’s entrée came and after a bite he realized they sent him the wrong Petite Filet, but I took a picture because it was so artfully displayed. 

Loaded Red Bliss Potatoes, Shiitake Mushroom Pan Sauce.

Ali’s correct entrée came after another 20 minutes – he’d ordered the Surf and Turf combination: 

Grand Petite Filet, Lump Crab Oscar, and Maine Lobster Tail.

I really wanted to try this because I love lobster and crab.  But after eating way too much amazing lobster while on a trip to Turks and Caicos last year, I realized that I cannot continue to eat something that dies in such a horrible way.  Maybe I’m ignorant but is boiling the lobster alive really the only way to cook it? 

The highlight of the evening came when our server informed us that the Chocolate Souffle is flourless and gluten-free!  I was beside myself with happiness.  

Roy's Signature Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle

This is the most decadent dessert I have ever had!  Since I could totally see myself going overboard I ordered a decaf to accompany the souffle.  


I drank so much coffee that I had 2-3 spoons of the rich chocolate center and was quite full.  I used to be able to eat an entire souffle all by myself but since cutting out sugar I can barely eat a bite or two of something sweet without feeling kind of gross.  A huge milestone for me and my battle with sugar! 

Ali had no problems with being too sugared out and finished the rest of this dessert plus another scoop of vanilla ice cream that he ordered separately.  This was after consuming a giant piece of Baskin-Robbin’s ice cream cake earlier in the day, so he was definitely feeling the effects afterwards, and I had to drive home.  

So even though our evening was Maya -free, I still found myself asking the question, “Do you feel like you need to throw up?”  I do believe those words may be engraved on my tombstone.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2010 4:34 pm

    OMG everything you guys ordered looks to die for. I’m a huge seafood lover. Super jealous of all the good eats you guys have in LA! It’s so nice to have a date night with the hubby eh?

  2. March 1, 2010 4:42 pm

    What a great dinner!!

    I’ve had scallops overcooked before. They are a bit rubbery.

    That desert looks to die for!

  3. March 1, 2010 4:42 pm

    Looks like a fun date night! I love scallops…but yeah, rubbery ones are no good 😦

  4. March 1, 2010 4:45 pm

    Oh wow, that looks so lovely!! Andrew and I almost always order edamame if it’s on the menu. And I love scallops. It’s so easy to mess them up though. At least that dessert made up for it. That looks incredible!! Definitely my kind of dessert!! 🙂

  5. March 1, 2010 4:59 pm

    Ha, that’s hilarious about the barf-o-meter. Glad you guys enjoyed a nice dinner out 🙂 And you got a decadent dessert! My sister and her husband went to Roy’s for their first date, actually. The one in the Valley is like squeezed next to a hotel and looks very cheesy. I’m sure the downtown one is nicer!

  6. Danielle permalink
    March 1, 2010 5:13 pm

    The food really does look like art work! I can’t believe the souffle was flourless and gluten free?? It looks amazing 😀

    I’m not sure if I was supposed to laugh at the last sentence…but I did 🙂

  7. March 1, 2010 5:28 pm

    benihana in oahu? no way 🙂

    Roy’s GF choco dessert and best ever? I need to get on that!!

    Roy’s in San Diego was where Scott and I had lunch moments after buying our house in San Diego. I will always cherish Roy’s, however i think the food in general is over rated. But not that dessert 🙂

  8. March 1, 2010 5:36 pm

    haha sugar coma for ali! everything looks like it was tasty. awesome you scored a last minute reservation. how lucky!

  9. louisianagrown permalink
    March 1, 2010 5:39 pm

    Your meal looks absolutely amazing. I’ve never tried any sort of Hawaiian food or scallops OR lobster. Have I never lived?

  10. March 1, 2010 6:43 pm

    Most perfectly cooked scallops I`ve ever had were from Ocean`s Prime in the `burbs outside of Detroit. They melted like butter in your mouth.

  11. March 1, 2010 7:55 pm

    Ameena! Looking at these pictures make me wanna go to Roy’s even more! Haha! Is the place dark? We should go when it’s bright….ah, forever thinking about the pictures first! ;-p

  12. March 1, 2010 8:20 pm

    Oh I would laugh very hard and long if I saw a tombstone engraved with do you need to throw up?

  13. March 1, 2010 9:17 pm

    I love your restaurant AND book reviews…and maybe someday soon we can chat about your sugar adventures…I might need some pointers!



    glad you had a nice evening….and OH MY GOSH I have to go now and check out that delicious SOFA….I missed that post!

  14. March 1, 2010 9:53 pm

    i’ve never been to roy’s in sf, but YUM. that chocolate dessert, droolingggg right now

  15. March 1, 2010 10:11 pm

    Everything looks lovely, especially the chocolate souffle…yum!

  16. March 2, 2010 7:11 am

    The dessert looks fab… now I was something sweet chocolate-ee

  17. Susan permalink
    March 2, 2010 7:21 am

    What a great dinner with the hub. Creamy mushroom risotto has to be one of the best things ever, no?

  18. March 2, 2010 7:34 am

    yum i love readin reviews from bloggers becasue i get so many ideas for dinners! the steak and lobster tail look SCRUMPTOUSSSS…. lobster is sooo goodo with butter

  19. March 2, 2010 7:47 am

    LA sounds a lot like Atlanta (That sounds so ignorant but I haven’t been to LA in years!)… nothing is that far but the city is so spread out and traffic is horrendous. We used to have a Roy’s in Buckhead, but I never got a chance to try it! That souffle looks A-MAZING. Glad you guys had a fun, barfless night out!

  20. March 2, 2010 8:00 am

    There was a Roy’s in Philly when I lived there, but I never went in. I always thought it was similar to a McCormick & Schmick’s or something. That flourless chocolate cake looks amazing—mainly because it’s chocolate and has a gooey chocolate center. Heaven. Have you posted on giving up sugar? Is there an old post I can read. I really need to get on board with that. It’s my heroin.

  21. March 2, 2010 8:05 am

    The food looks like a work of art! And the dessert looks to die for. Glad you got to enjoy a piece of dessert for once 🙂 I know what you mean about being sugarless for so long, that it doesn’t take much to make you feel sugared out; I’m the same way.

  22. March 2, 2010 9:49 am

    Looks delicious! What a fun night out and a great thing to celebrate-the sofa!
    I think I have been to a Roys in Kona? Maybe years ago?
    When I eat rich food like that I am always asking myself the same questio, “Am I gonna throw up?”
    And then I swear I will not eat so much again. Haaa haaa that does not last long.
    Have a great day!

  23. March 2, 2010 10:15 am

    Haha that last line literally made me LOL!!
    But wow that cake looks incredible… sugar tends to do that to me now too but for chocolate molten cake, I can sacrifice 😉 it’s my favorite dessert, of all time! Yum!

  24. March 2, 2010 10:57 am

    You cant eat that beautiful souffle daaaaahling? Thank god i am here, hand it over!!!
    *kisses* HH

  25. March 2, 2010 11:10 am

    The restaurant sounds good. I would have swallowed all the desserts and would happy going to sugar coma….. Do you like souffle? What’s your favourite dessert?

  26. frogsandmen permalink
    March 2, 2010 11:14 am

    looks lovely
    a bientot
    The Paris Food Blague

  27. March 2, 2010 11:55 am

    I love scallops, it is so terrible when they are overcooked 😦 But the plating sure looks pretty!

    When I think of lobster all I can think of is the scene from “Julie & Julia”! I could never cook a lobster!

  28. March 2, 2010 1:40 pm

    Looks like you and Ali had a great time 🙂
    All the plates sounded amazing, it´s a pity you didn´t like your so much.
    But, about the dessert…
    You´re a winner! That flourless and gluten-free souffle was definetely to die for 😉
    Have a great week, Ameena!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  29. March 2, 2010 3:19 pm

    Love the pics! Glad that it was more or less a fun experience out. Yeah, downtown LA is such a weird place – sometimes hopping and cool and hip, but then a block away and it’s weirdly deserted…
    Also, it’s so funny – my husband and I wanted to get a drink at the Roy’s in Pasadena on Saturday night. It was packed, even the bar, so we opted out. But I do want to go there again one of these days.

  30. whydeprive permalink
    March 2, 2010 4:22 pm

    I was watching some cooking show on the weekend and the lady actually said boiling it was the most humane way to kill a lobster. Im sorry, but I find that hard to believe.

    I cant eat a lot of sweets either. But that started BEFORE I started eating less sugar. I figured it was a sign of me getting old. Everything tastes too sweet, and my purses keep getting bigger and bigger.

  31. March 2, 2010 4:37 pm

    Lol – I love the last line of this post…words of a true mother! 🙂 That edamamme sounds so good with that sweet and spicy topping. And that souflee looks luscious…the coffee was definitely a good idea! 😉

  32. March 2, 2010 9:17 pm

    I tend to triple task too; I just make sure that I find a few moments somewhere each day for a little aimless time. I have been thinking about mindfulness a lot lately and have noticed that having a clear head for just a few minutes actually helps me be more focused and effective when I am making dinner/reading textbooks/calling my grandparents all at once five minutes later.

    • March 2, 2010 9:19 pm

      Obviously, this comment belongs on the above post, not this one 🙂 Sorry!

  33. March 3, 2010 7:56 am

    I think multi-tasking for some things is fine, but when I was trying to multi-task and exercise, I realized that I was losing out. I was trying to make lists in my head, plan ahead, and in the end, my workouts were suffering. I think it’s important to put yourself in the moment for things like exercise, when you’re out with the hubby, or playing Candy Land with your daughter.

  34. nadia khan permalink
    March 3, 2010 12:49 pm

    yuuuuuum ameena!!! totally salivating w all your beautiful foodie shots! love roys…we’ve been there twice now together, right? so happy you introduced me!….totally miss that decadent souffle!!
    so glad you had an adult nite out, how nice!

  35. Shahbano permalink
    March 4, 2010 10:49 pm

    I love Roy’s too!! try the butter fish next time and of course top it off with the chocolate souffle. There is a Roy’s near our house and sometimes we walk over there (its about 2 blocks away!) and totally indulge without the kids 🙂

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