Today is: Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Royale on Wilshire Restaurant Review
Royale on Wilshire may offer one of the most unique opportunities in Los
The chance to sample the creations of a revered fine dining chef at
moderate prices. Rather than trying to replace the old with innovation, it illustrates what Royale architect and designer John Sofio likes to call “timelessness.” In reality, the traditional never goes away and the new is never really innovated. They are both the results of a natural, multi-dimensional dynamic that puts them both in a constant flux. Each maintains its unique characteristics to make a contribution toward the modern. Modern then, is not the same as new or contemporary. Modern simply reflects the current state of a constantly evolving human condition. One that
embraces both old and new simultaneously without fusion.
Chocolate Tasting Dessert
Chef Eric Ernest’s vision for Royale is a stripped-down style inspired by the food he grew up with. While the menu is casual, the cuisine is infused with the chef Eric Ernest meticulous style, careful attention to detail, and brilliant and creative blending of flavors, allowing diners to get a glimpse of Chef Ernest talent without the commitment—or cost—of a formal meal.
Island Fruit Punch
Set at the Wilshire Royale Hotel in the once-glamorous Wilshire corridor east of downtown the Royale features are stunning, a building on the renaissance of downtown L.A., Royale recaptures the Mid-Wilshire district’s glory days of the 1920s with a chic cocktail lounge, sophisticated yet affordable menu great ambiance.
Royale offers a refined elegance and formality, hip atmosphere that attracts a flocking crowd, landscaped patio area replete with intimate tables and a small pool. Garnering a reputation as the best night hot spot, the Royale’s atmosphere is ideal for first
dates, a gathering of friends, or dinner before hitting the town.
Long Island Ice Tea
We began our evening in the Bar as a live jazz band was setting up nearby. A prominent bar clad in white Italian marble – remaining from the original architecture and hand-carved French oak is resplendent under a stunning light installation composed of interwoven branches. We were greeted by the General Manager
who recommended a glass of Layer Cake Shiraz to start our evening. Glancing at
the wine list, we eagerly accepted her recommendation—we saw many unfamiliar
yet intriguing wines that we were eager to try. We asked him if he would continue
to recommend wine pairings throughout our meal and he eagerly agreed.
Sea Bass Carpaccio
After enjoying our drinks at the bar, we moved to the dining room for our meal,
where our server, greeted us with menus. We were surprised to learn that the
original concept for Royale on Wilshire was a “small plates” menu, with the idea
that groups could come in for a casual bite and a drink. As diners quickly became impressed with the small plates, they began to inquire about entrees, and Royale
menu offers a variety of entrees, gourmet burgers and great appetizers. While
the appetizers are still tempting enough to create a meal of small plates
alone, we ultimately ordered from all sections of the menu.
While initially surprised to find the Crispy Pork Spareribs offered as an appetizer,
after one bite we were convinced every meal should begin with such bold tastes.
The ribs were at once savory and tender, with bold flavor from the sweet chili bbq sauce. It was a mixture of sweet and spicy flavors, while the bbq sauce offered the perfect acidity to match the richness of the meat. We truly enjoyed this appetizer so much, that we need to ask the chef for its recipe. Just fantastic, one of the best
Pork Spareribs we have ever tasted. We also tried the Salt & Pepper Shrimp,
served with hot peppers, wild garlic, wilted endive on a lemon thyme. Also, we
tasted the Bigeye Tuna and the Sea Bass Carpaccio. These were great choices,
I just wish that the portions were a bit bigger, they were delicious but very small,
with the exception of the Ribs, which were served in 5 large pieces.
When our dishes arrived, I realized why so many diners requested entrees be added to the menu. While simpler than Chef Eric’s Dining Room creations, each dish belied an elegance and array of flavors that was clearly Chef Eric’s work. Each component basked in its own perfection, when combined the dish tasted brilliantly triumphant.
Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Just before our first dish arrived, our server brought a bottle of the Chardonnay from Sonoma, a unique white wine that proved an excellent example of the uncommon wines that beg to be discovered on manager’s wine list. The crisp, almost effervescent wine perfectly complemented our Salad Royale, with baby field greens, fuji apple and golden raisins; a stunningly refreshing combination of pure ingredients. Then our entrées were also delightful, the 2 dishes we chose were a perfect example of
the brilliance of a simple, well-selected combination of ingredients; it was
our first glimpse at how Chef Eric Ernest excels at selecting flavors and
textures that heighten a dish’s intensity.
Halfway through our entrees, we sat back, letting our senses bask in the delightful aromas and tastes of our dishes. We were surprised to realize a large buzz had filled the air, and turned to find the bar area packed, having filled quickly over the course
of our meal. A mostly young crowd mingled among the dim lights and great atmosphere and we suddenly felt we were dining in a hip nightclub rather than a
casual restaurant. We were told that Thursday through Saturday evenings often brought a lively crowd, while weekday nights were often calmer—advice I made
a mental note of. The lively crowd might be enticing on a fun night out, but could
be a major deterrent for an intimate meal or business dinner.
The Chilean Sea Bass, served with parsnip puree, onion marmalade and eggplant
fries. We were amazed at how such a simple addition could transform a
traditional dish into something new and refreshing.
Chocolate Tasting Dessert
Next we tasted the Filet Mignon, as we savored each bite of the meat, I realized that while Royale Restaurant has evolved from the original concept of a small plates menu, its small plates still offered a great way to enjoy the Royale’s offerings. The appetizer selection offered an enticing variety of both lighter and more substantial small plates that showcased a full range of flavors. In such a casual atmosphere, sharing two
to three appetizers along with a shared entrée seemed an ideal and fun way
to sample a range of Chef Eric’s delightful dishes.
We decided to conclude our flavorful meal with 2 amazing desserts— A chocolate Tasting, a Valhrona cake, gelato, espresso chantilly, Mayan hot chocolate and we savored for one last time the delicate flavors of each ingredient before combining
them in the complex crescendo of a spoonful, and a great selection of
Ice Crams and Sorbet tasting.
As we made our way past the trendy bar crowd toward the door, we almost wished Royale on Wilshire could be kept a well guarded secret, hidden from the nightly
throng of patrons. Alas, we realized that with such a winning combination of
food, ambiance, and service, Royale on Wilshire was destined to attract
such an enthusiastic crowd.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at royaleonwilshire.com
Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx & Royale on Wilshire
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