Royale on Wilshire (a review)
Went last week for my husband's birthday, along with another couple. Didn't know what to expect except for the few mentions on this board.
The space is absolutely beautiful. Cool yet sophisticated. When it catches on, I bet it will be hard to get in. Started out with martinis in the front bar. Good DJ spinning cool music at a level which made conversation easy. Dining room is through the courtyard and is another incredible space. Very comfortable yet trendy & modern.
Started out with more cocktails and appetizers. We shared the Bigeye Tuna, which is served like sashimi chunks with avocado and yuzu. Fresh & delicious. Crispy pork spareribs weren't what we were expecting (they looked like Kentucky Fried spareribs) but they were wonderful with a sweet chili bbq sauce. Definitely recommended. The fois gras was also delicious, with hints of flavors that were very complimentary. Also it seemed a generous portion for $15. The roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts was another great choice.
My friend and I both had the duck breast, which also came with another generous slice of fois gras. My husband and hers both had the bone-in NY steak. All were delicious, but all were a little undercooked. The problem was quickly taken care of by our very attentive servers. What we were all impressed with was the complexity of flavors of everything we ordered. Everything seemed well thought out, and flavors all combined together beautifully.
We chose to share 2 desserts, the Chocolate one, which was a sampler of 4 different chocolate items. I'm not sure what they were because I was too consumed with the second dessert, Cotton candy. It was so fun getting a huge bowl of blue cotton candy. A really unique choice. We also had 2 bottles of a red that went perfectly with everything, and was recommended by the sommelier. Oh, and they put candles in the chocolate dessert for my husband. I had mentioned it on the note on my Open Table reservation, and they took care of it.
There were a few problems, probably caused by 1) the restaurant is brand new and has only been open a month or so and 2) there was a table with about 25 people in the middle of the room, and we discovered later that they were all press (which had to be stressful for the chef!) However, even with that situation the servers were attentive, friendly and fun. We are a jokey foursome, and Julie our waitress dealt with us with humor and respect.
So, the problems: the aforementioned undercooking; the martinis were watery (but they fixed that when we complained); the butter is served in the smallest amount possible (we joked that they were making us diet, but brought more when we asked); they told us they were sorry but the bone-in NY was delivered as boneless (but when the steaks came they had bones and we never did get an explanation of that. Julie assured us she had not run down to the local Ralphs to get ones with bones); and I got locked in the restroom in the bar when the door knob fell off. Luckily my cellphone worked and I called my husband to come get me out!
All in all, it was a great meal. We all want to go back. I think this place has lots of potential and I'm looking forward to trying it again.