Friday, January 30, 2015

A Royale Secret

Tap your inner Gatsby on the outskirts of Koreatown

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

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

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