Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Many years ago I went to the Roy's in SF and had a semi-bad experience. To my surprise one day I received an e-mail to a celebration of the L.A. Ohana Tour. It has been a long time and it was time to give Roy's another try. I had also heard wonderful things from HT about the Anaheim location so I said to myself, "Why not?" The Roy's in Anaheim is located at the Garden Walk. MBA was kind enough to come and enjoy the evening with me. As we were walking in I noticed that they have Happy Hour deals. The bar was packed with people enjoying drinks and food as they were getting ready to watch the game. Immediately to your right was an open view of the kitchen. The restaurant was bustling with people at the bar and the dining area.
Right now they have the L.A. Ohana Tour promotion:
"From June 9 until August 31, 2010, guests are invited to visit three Southern California Roy’s restaurants to receive dining rewards and be entered to win an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii, where guests will enjoy a personal dinner with founding Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
The Roy’s L.A. Ohana Tour details include:
* · An inaugural trip to a participating Roy’s restaurant, where guests are awarded an Ohana Tour card to present at the next Roy’s location
* · On the second visit, guests will receive a complimentary Chocolate Soufflé (with purchase of entrée)
* · At the third location, guests will receive a $20 gift card (with purchase of entrée) and entry into the Hawaii sweepstakes
* · Restaurants participating in the tour include Roy’s Anaheim, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Pasadena, and Woodland Hills locations"
We were greeted with smiles and joined the party. First thing to find us were the drinks. I decided to try their Original Hawaiian Martini. "Nothing says Martini like "shaken, not stirred." In classic Hawaiian fashion, our Maui pineapples are drenched in SKYY Vodka, Stoli Vanil Vodka and Malibu Coconut Rum. Shaken and served with fresh pineapple." The drink was rich, sweet, and full of alcohol. It reminds me of a Piña Colada Vodka.
To start the evening off we were presented with the Ekolu Tuna Roll. "Spicy Tuna Roll topped with Maguro & Furikake Seared Albacore created by Executive Sushi Chef Blained Villasin. "Ekolu" mean three in Hawaiian, this roll is prepared with three different types of tuna. This roll is unique to Roy's Anaheim." The presentation was very nice. I was amazed that MBA would try this roll out because I have never seen her eat raw fish. To my surprise, MBA enjoyed the roll. It was a light and refreshing prelude.
We ended arriving a little late due to heavy traffic on the 5. Our courses were a little out of order and we were served the Sweet Corn & Blue Crab Crusted Barramundi. "Sun-Dried Tomato Wild Mushroom Anisette Cream. A local favorite in Anaheim. Barramundi is a sustainably farm raised fish with sweet succulent flesh indigenous to Australia." To be honest, the first piece I had was a little bland, but for the second piece I had was delicious. I think the sauce really made the dish. Maybe the second plate had more sauce or a thicker serving. The sauce really brought out the natural sweetness of the fish. You can definitely taste the subtle flavor of the blue crab on the nicely crisped crust. Everything came together in perfect harmony on the second plate.
I saw the "Rim Fire" Calamari from afar and just had to have it. "Roasted Honshimeji Mushrooms, Sweet Thai Chili Glaze. Crispy calamari steaks tossed in a sweet chili glaze and sliced Serrano peppers. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy." Since we were running late, we missed out on this dish. The servers were super friendly and I just asked them if more were coming out. They were very attentive and brought some over as they came out. So what is so special about this dish? At first I thought this would just be your regular fried calamari that you find at most restaurant. To our surprise it was scrumptious! MBA is NOT a big fan of calamari, but she loved this dish! Even I was delighted by the tangy flavor. It was a great balance of sweet, savory, and spicy. The calamari was nicely fried and crispy even though the crust was soaked with the sweet chili. Every bite was a flavor explosion that lingered in our mouth. We couldn't get enough of this dish. It really hit the spot for us.
The dessert for the night was Pineapple Upside Down Cake. "Caramelized Pineapple Bread with Brown Sugar Pound Cake and Coconut Ice Cream." At first I was a little disappointed that it wasn't their chocolate soufflé since I am not that big on fruit. I was wrong and I am not afraid to admit. This completely changed my mind. It wasn't your traditional upside down cake. The cake tasted like a perfectly concocted buttery tart topped with nicely diced caramelized pineapple. I just kept asking for more because they were little bites of heaven. We talked about how great they would be at parties or events. Griffin Eats OC and I were talking about how desserts taste better when they are filled with buttery goodness and this definitely fit the bill. Yum!
All in all it was a great evening with great people. Everyone there was a delight to meet. I talked extensively with Chef Ron Plata who was personally trained by Chef Roy Yamaguchi and has been part of the team for a while now. Each and every Roy has their signature dishes as well as different innovative dishes from their own Chef Partners so that every Roy's will have their own added individuality. Hence the L.A. Ohana Tour to show diners what they are all about and reward them for visiting each location. I will be loading the recipe for the Pineapple Upside Down Cake later, which will be the first official recipe from any chef on my site so that others may enjoy and create the dish I had. At the Roy's in Anaheim, they offer cooking classes and enjoy the dishes taught. I asked how to sign up for these classes. If you are interested, be sure to contact them and add yourself to the list of people they send e-mail notifications because the classes fill up fast. Also Chef Plata informed me that they gladly give out the recipes to people who enjoy their dish. I found this very open and inviting where they not only want you to have a good time, but they have no qualms with divulging the recipe to you. Everyone here was friendly and wonderful. I was praising the service in the car all the way back home to MBA.
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine
321 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802