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Private Dining Room for 15-25

Looking for a restaurant that can seat 15-25 people in a private dining room this Saturday evening. Preferrably within the 128 boundary. Not too expensive ($30 max). Not a special occasion -- just a large group wanting to meet with the opportunity for people to stand up and address the group. Any ideas?

What's Happened to Roy's?

RB, I grew up in Aina Haina, Oahu, just a couple of valleys over from the original Roy's and have been dazzled by their service for at least 15 years--so I was very dismayed with the service I received. I followed your suggestion and cut/paste my post on Roy's website and was called the next day by the La Jolla manager. That spoke volumes. It sounds like my experience is far from what they consider acceptable. So, I would encourage those who have recent good experiences to share and I look forward to visiting Roy's the next time I am in San Diego and hope I can share a more positive experience.

May 05, 2012
ohnofoodlovr in San Diego

What's Happened to Roy's?

Before he passed, my late husband and I were on a mission--if a location we were visiting had a Roy's, we were going to eat there. Roy's was always top on our list for fabulous food and the absolute best in service.

So its been a few years since dining at a Roy's. Last night I returned to Roy's La Jolla with a group of friends and the service was shockingly disappointing. I will list the "infringements":

1. The limes for my Pellegrino came on a paper napkin. Really?
2. No more taro rolls?
3. It took 20 minutes for our appetizers to arrive.
4. They said they were going to bring "share" plates and they only brought a few. Maybe they meant we were supposed to share the plates we ate our appetizers from?
5. They never came by to refill my glass-- my husband and I used to remark that, without hovering, their service was very attentive--not any more.
6. My shrimp was overcooked.
7. Some in our party had ordered all their courses from the pri frixe menu. When it was time for the dessert course, they brought the rest of us dessert menus-- but then they never came to take our order! When the other desserts started arriving we had to flag someone down to take our order and then of course our desserts were delayed for 10 minutes.
8. They never came around and asked us for a coffee/tea order.

I would be embarrassed to bring guests to Roy's. I'll monitor Chowhound to see if service improves -- otherwise its a waste of fine dining money.

May 03, 2012
ohnofoodlovr in San Diego

Rendezvous - all starters meal?

In case you're interested in trying it yourself ... Steve has shared the lemon buttermilk pudding recipe in the past.

Big Island Redeemed!

Now that we are back home on the Bigger Island, we dined our last night at Roy's Waikoloa. It was yet another fine meal at Roy's. After dining at Merrimans I wondered if anything would ever measure up and Roy'd did. I don't remember the fish I had but it was served in a basil parmesan crust and it was wonderful. My dessert was also awesome... warm lilikoi pudding. I have a recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Pudding from my most favorite restaurant in Cambridge and it is very similar (substituting Lilikoi for lemon) but the lilikoi version had maybe some carmelized sugar on top and was also served with a fine dice of sauteed tropical fruits. It was heavenly. Mahlo to the GM who made sure we were well satisfied with our meal and to all of you until our next trip home ... aloha a hui hou.

Big Island Redeemed!


While you really need to visit Merriman's, we need to visit AW ... but it will have to wait for our next trip.

I'm just so thankful that Hawai'i has very nice options for a very good meal now--when I moved from Hawai'i there was just Roy's in Hawai'i Kai.

On our next trip back we'll check back with Chowhound on any new up and coming talent to try.

Aloha a hui hou --

Big Island Redeemed!

We just dined at Merriman's in Waimea and had what was quite possibly the finest meal of our lives--right up there with our first dinner at Roy's Chicago or every meal at the Rendezvous in Cambridge, MA.

We enjoyed two of their appetizer specials, abalone and a mitake mushroom salad. The abalone, when paired with anything else, would have been outstanding, but served alongside the salad, well, the salad was a dream. It consisted of roasted mitake mushroom served on a bed of arugula with diced red and yellow tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and oil and parmesan cheese. It sounds so simple (I definitely want to try it myself during tomato season)--it was divine. I could have ordered a big bowl of just that salad and been completely satisfied.

For our entrees we shared the Mixed Plate, consisting of Wok-Charred Ahi, Filet of Beef and Mahimahi in Ponzu sauce, and their lamb special. The ahi melted in your mouth, and the mahimahi was prepared perfectly--they were a nice complement to the filet topped with mushrooms and served on a bed of sweet corn (I thought the corn was to die for). The lamb special was everything that Daniel Thiebault's lamb wasn't. Braised and served with its braising liquid, potato gnocchi and a saute of spinach, eggplant, zucchini and onion, the flavor of the lamb shined through. it was supreme.

For dessert we tried their crepe special which consisted of crepes topped with mascarpone (and creme fraiche?), lilikoi sauce and sweet strawberries. We also had the lilikoi mousse which was served with strawberries and macadamia nut coconut shortbread cookies. The crepes were awesome ... but so was the mousse. And the cookies--I WANT THAT RECIPE.

The dining room was nicely done, simple and classy and the service was excellent--not pretentious and well-trained.

We have three regrets: 1) They have not opened a Merriman's in Boston, where we are from 2) Until we are able to forget this meal, every other meal will be a disappointment. 3) We are leaving in two days--can we really eat there two nights in a row?

Big Island Disappointment

We dined at Daniel Thiebaut's in Waimea last night and I can't begin to tell you how disappointed we were (but obviously, I will make my best attempt!). I had not done any research prior to being up at Waimea unexpectedly at dinnertime and did a quick search on my gps for restaurants and the name intrigued me. A quick call to make reservations and check prices confirmed we were probably in for a fine dining treat.

The appetizer crab cakes with Hilo corn in a lobster sauce was the best thing about the meal though not memorable. The phyllo-wrapped shrimp in a lilikoi hot and sour sauce seemed like an imitation of the shrimp appetizer at Chai's Island Bistro on Oahu. And the sauce was very similar to a Roy's recipe I've made for years but Roy uses mango and Daniel "uses" lilikoi. I say "uses" because if there was any lilikoi in there, it could not be tasted and was dominated by the sweet chili sauce. The Lobster Mango Avacado salad that followed had a tasty citrus/mustard dressing, and sweet mango but, being currently from New England, we think we can spot good fresh lobster when we eat it and both my husband and I independently came to the conclusion the lobster had been frozen--it was very mealy. (Our server had confidently reassured us the lobster was fresh from Maine--which is why we ordered it). The lamb chops were overpowered by the hoisin sauce. I could have been eating beef. My husband's risotto had so much goo-ey cheese in it that it tasted like a box mix. We left half our entrees on our plates--which for us, speaks volumes. We decided to end the money bleed and skipped dessert. The biggest thumbs up I can give is to the location. They've done a nice job of restoring the general store.

We will be dining at Roy's (we are on a mission to try as many of his locations as possible--Hawai'i Kai, Chicago, New York, San Diego so far) and Merrimans later this week and hope they are more fulfilling.

Three Nights in Waikiki! Help!

Hope this isn't too late ... we just came from a week in Waikiki and are now on the Big Island. Just last night my husband and I talked about our most memorable meals (in our lifetime) and came to the conclusion we are never disappointed at Roy's. There is a Roy's in Waikiki and Hawai'i Kai (and @ Ko'Olina but that is too far for you). Ono (delicious) seafood. There were also some very good elements about our dinner at Chai's Island Bistro in the Aloha Tower (recommend a sauteed escargot & prawns dish for appetizer and the Lobster and Crab Meat Risotto for an entree. Steer clear of the mahimahi. The sauce was uninspiring (and remarkably like the dipping sauce they serve with the bread to start the meal--and probably is the same). It comes on a bed of soba noodles and is served with a bowl of rice. If I were them I'd forget the soba noodles and just serve the rice. But I digress. Those were our favorites. Enjoy--

Apr 20, 2008
ohnofoodlovr in Hawaii