Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Chef at Roy's Downtown, and a $20 Giveaway!

Roy's Restaurant in downtown LA recently brought in a new chef. Blaine Villasin is a Hawaiian-born Filipino who started his career as a line cook at Roy's in La Jolla after training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena.

We were invited to try out the new chef's own creations (instead of Chef Roy Yamaguchi's signature dishes) with a tasting menu, which started with a plate of Striped Bass Sashimi, tamari chimichurri, black lava salt

Striped Bass
The fish was fresh and I certainly liked the intense flavors from the tamari and the black salt, but the chimichurri might be a little overwhelming for the delicate sashimi. The dish was paired with a glass of Le Colture Fagher Prosecco, Veneto, NV. A nice glass of bubbly to start off the night.

5 Spice Seared Scallop Salad with tangerine, baby mache, kumquat, orange vanilla vinaigrette
The scallops were tender though they could be fresher, and I liked the addition of kumquats here.
This was paired with a semi-sweet wine, a 2009 Pfeffingen Riesling, Pfalz.

Buta Kakuni (star anise braised pork belly, shimeji mushroom, braised daikon, spinach, soy mustard foam)
2011-08-24 Menu Review at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine Downtown LA 025
Photo courtesy South Bay Foodies
This dish maintained all the flavors of the tradtitional buta kakuni, including the fatty pork belly. One modification is that the foam is a riff on the soy mustard traditionally served with buta kakuni. As the dish is usually one of my favorites, I also enjoyed this particular version. This was served with 2008 Ponzi Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, which was a very good wine. It was smooth and flavorful but light enough to pair with food.

Our main course was the Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb, pomegranate demi glace, pea tendrils, summer vegetables (squash, carrot) sauteed in butter
Lamb Chops
The lamb was cooked medium but still tender and the sweet pomegranate glaze was both interesting and delicious. I would've liked the dish much better if the meat was medium rare, however. Once again, I really enjoyed the wine served with this dish: the 2007 Penley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra (South Australia)

For dessert: Caramelized Pineapple Lychee semifreddo, pineapple shortbread cookie, pine nut dust, and lime gel.
According to the chef, his inspiration for this dessert was creamsicle. The semifreddo has a nice, rich mouth feel. I liked this dessert quite a bit.

Roy's Chefs
Chef Blaine Villasin giving credit to his team.
Chef Villasin is just getting into his groove in his new position at Roy's downtown LA. The meal wasn't perfect but certainly has potential (I wished the lamb was cooked medium rare, or the scallop fresher). I enjoy his sweet touches in the dishes and I hope to see more touches of his Filipino heritage after he gets settled in.

Now, if you want to try out the new chef's food at Roy's, here's your chance to get a $20 gift card (can be used at any Roy's)!
Just comment below with your email address by the end of Saturday 10/22 and I will draw a random winner.
You can also get one extra entry if you do one of the following:
1. Retweet: "Check out @RoysRoy DTLA's new chef and win a $20 gift card from @gourmetpigs !"
2. "Like" my Facebook page if you haven't already. Be sure to comment again to let me know you've done so!

Good luck!


Kitty Cat

Wandering Chopsticks

Hey, was this the dinner I couldn't make? Looks like I missed out.

My verification word is "hadisme." Hmm. I think the gift certificate should go to me then. :P


yum! i havent had roys in a long time and would love to try it again!



Sophia Lee

Oh I've been wanting to try Roy's for some time!

Sophia Lee

tweeted! :D

we tried Roy's at the LAFW Brew B'Que - delish! Can't wait to have a full meal!


just tweeted from @TheRealMattyMc

would love to win an extra $20 towards dinner :)



Unknown!!! I missed out on them at lafw cuz they ran out of food by the time I stopped working. Booo.

Shared on facebook and twitter.
Thank you.

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