The fine dining at Roy's is like a trade wind carrying a fusion of Japanese, Hawaiian and French cuisine to Las Vegas.
Founded by famed celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1988, Roy's has branched out across the mainland. The chain has become well-known and lauded for Yamaguchi's vision of colorful, artfully prepared fresh dishes.
To begin the dining experience at Roy's, a good combination starts with a specialty cocktail like a bright guava fusion mojito (Bacardi light rum, mint syrup, lime juice and guava puree) or a sweet lychee martini (Skyy vodka, lychee puree and pomegranate schnapps) enjoyed with a few appetizers. Inventive starters include flavorful Hawaiian blackened ahi tuna in a spicy soy-mustard sauce and the fun-to-eat crunchy golden lobster potstickers with piquant chili miso butter sauce. The standout baby back pork ribs are incredibly savory and tender.
Guests should also consider ordering from the great sushi and sashimi menu. While the act of ordering sushi at many restaurants can be a complicated affair that requires choosing between a myriad of varieties, at Roy's the offerings have been carefully honed down to an exquisite, yet manageable, selection. There are a number of signature house rolls like Sunrise at Haleakala (tempura fried tuna, hamachi, salmon, avocado and asparagus with togarashi butter) and the sake and dynamite sauce-crusted scallop and king crab leg roll (served with a delectable maui onion shoyu drizzle). Roy's beautifully prepared sushi and sashimi cuts are of the highest and freshest quality.
Entrées at Roy's are hearty in stature but proper in proportion. A tried-and-true favorite is the macadamia nut crusted whitefish with lobster cognac butter sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth slow braised beef short ribs are truly excellent. In the fish category, other entrees include mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, snapper, salmon and ono dishes. Meat choices range from filet mignon and half Muscovy duck to pork tenderloin and chicken breast. All entrées are accented by the inventive sauces that define Roy Yamaguchi's cuisine.
Roy's also offers a number of Hawaiian-style mixed plates, which offer choices of shellfish, fish, and surf and turf combinations. These are like festive little tabletop luaus.Roy's wine-by-the-glass list is substantial and well chosen without being overly long. And it is moderately priced across the white, red and sparkling varieties.
To finish out dining at Roy's, there are two amazing desserts -- an explosively rich warm chocolate soufflé and the ultimate pineapple upside down cake. Both require extra preparation time, so be sure and order them at the beginning of dinner.
Beyond the establishment's undeniably wonderful food and its elegant yet comfortable décor, it's the staff that makes dining at Roy's outstanding. From chef Percy Oani on down, all of Roy's staffers are friendly and welcoming in that uniquely hospitable Hawaiian way.
-- Review by Greg Thilmont