It's date night. You want to go somewhere nice. Somewhere new. And at the last minute, of course.
Enter Royale on Wilshire. This art deco-style eatery is still a secret as the hungry masses haven't yet descended. But they will.
Stepping into Royale's spacious dining room feels like entering a 1920s supper club in Manhattan or Paris, somewhere a tad more glamorous than the Wilshire District. Arching columns of white tile, dramatic lighting entwined like tree branches, and floor-to-ceiling windows could inspire a Charleston. Almost.
Royale's menu is a high-end standout in a neighborhood renowned for its small ethnic joints. The focus is on surf and turf, including a number of crudo (Italian sushi) appetizers and an outstanding short rib, paired with classic cocktails including gimlets or over 20 wines by the glass.
Stick around for the four-selection Chocolate Tasting dessert, then cruise over to one of the two lounges, one with a pool table and one with a DJ.
Sit back and relax. Before the crowds arrive, that is.
Royale on Wilshire
2619 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 388-8488
Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Scene: grown-ups on dates; pre-theater/concertgoers
Best Bets: crudo appetizers; tuna with Forbidden rice; short rib; cotton candy
Nearby: The Wiltern (music); La Fonda (Mariachi show);
Club 2626 (hip hop club)
Insider Tips: bathrooms are unisex. Surefire conversation killer: it's on the site of a former Howard Johnson's motor lodge