Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Filipino-Hawaiian Chef Blaine Villasin Takes Over as Chef Partner at Roy's Restaurant Downtown LA Location
As a Filipina food blogger, I'm always excited about supporting Filipino chefs. So when I got a media dinner invitation to the downtown LA location of Roy's Restaurant, where Chef Blaine Villasin, who is of Filipino-Hawaiian descent has taken over as Chef Partner, I was happy to attend. The evening started with cocktails and appetizers including the vegetable wrapped beef carpaccio.
Then Chef Villasin came out briefly to introduce himself and he also mentioned that the food we were going to enjoy that evening weren't necessarily on the menu yet. Instead, the dishes were more like of a preview of what's to come.
Our first course was a Striped Bass Sashimi with Tamari Chimichurri and Black Sea Salt. The fish was light and delicate and could have been overwhelmed by the strong flavors of the salt and chimichurri, but for me, the flavors were nicely balanced.
5 Spice Seared Scallop Salad with Tangerines, Baby Mache and an Orange-Vanilla Vinaigrette was our second course. The scallop had a perfect sear and I liked the tart notes coming from the tangerine.
Next was the Buta Kakuni which is a Star Anise Braised Pork Belly with Shimeji Mushrooms and a Soy Mustard Foam. I enjoyed the soft texture of the pork skin and the tender pork meat. The mushrooms added some nice nutty notes while the mustard added a nice "bite" to the dish.
The final savory dish of the meal was Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Demi Glace, Pea Tendrils and Summer Vegetables. I liked that the lamb tender and how the pomegranate added a fruit tartness to the meat.
For dessert, it was all about the Caramelized Pineapple Lychee Semi-Freddo with Shortbread Cookie, Pine Nut Dust and Lime Gel. The dessert was a perfect way to end the meal. It wasn't too sweet and in fact, acted almost like a palate cleanser to the meal. The pine nut dust was a nice touch and the lime gel added a little bit of tartness that I enjoyed.
Overall, it was a nice introduction to Chef Villasin's food which bodes well for Roy's Downtown. Considering that Chef-Partners at all the various Roy's Restaurants have a say in the menu, I'm hoping that Chef Villasin will incorporate some Filipino touches. Only time will tell.
800 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90017