royale on wilshire
I had a better-than-good-not-quite-great experience at Royale last night.
Waiting for the other twosome in our party, we sat at the bar in the restaurant proper (as opposed to the front lounge, although that was pretty darn inviting). I had a delectable frosty martini, very nice.
The service was extremely genial, although a hair on the slow side. This was truly the only problem. I feel that because their grand opening was the night prior that they may still be working out a couple of kinks.
Fortunately, there were no kinks in the food. I started with a salmon crudo, some generously sized slices of smoked salmon, chunky rather than thinly sliced. It was accompanied by a small pile of cucumber/yogurt salad. I could have used more of that, it was a beautiful pairing.
My dining partner started with a tuna tartare. It did not match the description on the website. Instead the salmon was topped with a mango salsa and the plate was drizzled with a creamy curry sauce. This was so intensely flavorful, I wish I would have ordered it myself.
For my entree I chose the tuna. This was a very generous portion of tuna, still very rare on the inside. Next to it was a crab/avocado salad, so lightly dressed it seemed almost purely avo & crab. The tuna sat atop a pile of forbidden rice, with a tomato and a beet emulsion decorating the plate. Upon describing it, it sounds a bit bland, but really, I ate nearly every bite. Very good dish.
While on the slow side, the service was very polite, and the sommelier helped us choose a beautiful syrah. Very nice wine menu with delicious choices at several price levels. I enjoy a wine list that is not exhaustive and overwhelming.
The atmosphere was fairly formal, but not stuffily so. I will definitelt be going back very soon, for a proper supper and to hang in that inviting front lounge.