Monday, June 16, 2008

Birthday Dinner at Roy's

I'm very particular about whom I trust for restaurant reviews. I'm not taking about newspaper reviews. I'm talking about social acquaintance reviews. There are some people who simply cannot tell good food from bad and frequently think that quantity equates with quality. I've had some of the worst meals of my life with these people.

It was therefore with great trepidation that I made a reservation for Roy's, an Hawaiian-fusion chain with a location only a couple of miles from our house, for my husband's birthday last week. Len had expressed an interest in going based on the recommendation of friends who ate at the original Roy's in Hawaii. All of my alarms went off because I've been greatly disappointed by recommendations from these people in the past. I guess you can't be wrong 100% of the time.

The food and service was quite good. The only down-side was that we were seated in a booth next to the open kitchen, and the noise made it almost impossible to talk for a large part of the meal.

We stuck to the prix fixe menu, which had two choices for appetizer and dessert and four for the main course. Len and I had the crispy duck spring rolls (honestly too much for one person) and Michael ordered a fish dish. Both were excellent. I shared my spring rolls with Michael, whom we used to call "Marabunta Boy" for his voracious appetite and skinny frame.

For our main courses, Len got the filet of beef with wasabe mashed potaotes, Michael got the beef short ribs, and I had grilled prawns stacked over a small serving of pasta with a lemon-caper cream sauce. Since I no longer eat most read meat (I quit one day after looking at a new-born calf in the eye,) I didn't sample either of my guys' dishes. I hear they were excellent, although the wasabe cleaned out Len's sinuses. My prawns were just fine.

For dessert, we all had the molten chocolate souffles, which Michael described as a brownie with hot fudge sauce inside. It was served with vanilla ice cream, which I really appreciated. The staff also presented us with a family photograph, since it was a birthday dinner. That was charming--along with the "happy birthday" wishes on arrival, at seating, and when leaving.

The prix fixe was $35 and it would have been hard to get three other courses on the menu for less than that. We didn't have drinks, so the experience wasn't bank-busting by any means. The decor is modern deco, the staff attentive, and free parking was plentiful in the evening. The restaurant is located in a medical-professionals office building at the corner of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Victory Boulevard in Woodland Hills. Reservations can be made on-line for any of Roy's locations nation-wide.

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