Roy's Remains Remarkable | Roy's Pacific Rim Cuisine in La Jolla Stays True To Form After Extensive Changes

November 3, 2013

In February 2013, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in La Jolla underwent a complete overhaul, from the name and branding, to the decor and menu, to the chef-partner.  The location on Genessee Avenue is the same, but Roy Yamaguchi's Pacific Rim Cuisine is the new name. Former Executive Chef Perci Oani is now at The Shores Restaurant, since being supplanted by Chef Partner Charles Andres.  New items are on the menu, and the interior has been casualized, but regulars need not fret, as Roy's still maintains its menu favorites, it's commitment to only the freshest ingredients, a lovely decor, and impeccable service.

On our last visit to Roy's, we were wowed by the fresh flavors and delightful dishes that have made Roy Yamaguchi's Hawaiian fusion brand grow from one restaurant in Honolulu opened in 1988, to 31 locations around the world, including 22 in the continental U.S., 6 in Hawaii, 1 in Japan and 1 in Guam. Roy's in La Jolla is the first of the family to be restructured and revamped to Roy's Pacific Rim Cuisine. Besides the name change, a list of new menu items have been added, including side dishes, and each Chef Partner has been granted more leeway to to prepare their own lineup of courses under personalized menu headings; here, "Chef Charles' Creations".

The first dish we received from Roy's beautiful showcase kitchen was an order of crispy Wagyu gyozas wth sesame citrus shoyu-style, soy dipping sauce.  We could snack on these all day long - the perfect crispiness of the wonton shell, the rich Wagyu beef interior, and the layered seasoning of the shoyu all made for an addicting appetizer.
Next up we had the Lakanilau sushi roll ($16.95).  This bad boy comes 8 pieces long, filled with snow crab, tempura asparagus, avocado, and topped with thin sliced Wagyu beef, sesame miso and truffled greens.  This creation is a sublime mixture of surf and turf with the truffled micro greens adding a welcomed and refined pop of flavor.
For our main course, the chef gave us half portions of two of Roy's most popular dishes, along with a pair of the new side dish offerings.

We loved the Misoyaki "Butterfish" ($33.95) on our last visit, and it was just as delicious this time around.  The Alaskan black cod is seasoned and seared perfectly, and the sides of baby bok choy and Furikake rice complement the Asian flavors of the dish. Don't miss the fantastic curried carrot buried in the mix!
The 5 Spice Hangar steak ($26.95) came plated with potatoes, pea tendrils, a sprinkling of sea salt and a drizzling of shitake mushroom au jus.  Upon first glance, I thought the meat too rare for my liking, but wrong I was, as the steak was juicy and tender, with a crispy sear to the outside.  Chef knows best.
As if the mains weren't enough, we received a side of kim chee vegetables ($4.95), which were overly acidic for our palates.  The spicy Szechuan style long beans ($5.95) with chili and lime were a flavorful and refreshing addition.  Looks can be deceiving: those are not red beans, they are very spicy peppers, so proceed with caution!
Our two desserts were each fabulous in very different ways.  The Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle ($10.95) is stunning.  The flourless chocolate cake is paired with vanilla bean ice cream and, once punctured, oozes with rich molten sweetness.  The accompanying raspberry coulis is pure nirvana.  This is one of the best versions of this classic dessert that we've experienced.  We also received the vanilla bean cremeux ($8.95), served with white chocolate and lemon sable cookies and blueberry sauce.  This dessert is velvety and luxurious, melting in your mouth, and the tart blueberry is the ideal accompaniment to the smooth vanilla creme.
In addition to their expansive menu, Roy's offers a 3-course seasonal price fixed menu for $36.95 (fall items pictured in cover photo).  The Autumn menu includes an appetizer of crispy Wagyu beef gyozas, an entree of macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi and braised beef short rib with lobster cream and natural braising sauce, and a dessert of vanilla bean cremeux.  Roy's also offers a list of unique cocktails, beer, wine by the glass and bottle and a daily Aloha happy hour!

For more information on Roy Yamaguchi's Pacific Rim Cuisine, visit them online at   

8670 Genesee Ave., La Jolla
(858) 455-1616

Sunday & Monday: 5 – 9 PM
Tuesday-Thursday: 5 – 9:30 PM
Friday & Saturday: 5 – 10 PM
NEW! Friday Lunch 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Aloha Hour Every Night 4:30 - 6:30 PM

Roy Yamaguchi's Pacific Rim Cuisine on Urbanspoon