Roy’s is part of a nation wide chain of restaurants serving Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Roy’s restaurants were named eponymously after Roy Yamaguchi, a principle in the restaurant. Chef Roy has been honored as a James Beard awardee and California chef of the year by the California Restaurant Writers Association among many other accolades. Chef Roy’s contributions to North American cuisine cannot be understated. Having divested himself of many of Roy’s 30 restaurants, he still controls the original locations in Hawaii in addition to Pebble Beach, CA.
I have written about Roy’s restaurant at the Naples location (since closed) in 2015 for their happy (Aloha) hour and more recently for Dinner at the Bonita Springs location. At dinner, I was told their Aloha Hour had been revamped which really piqued my curiosity and I was anxious to check it out.
Aloha hour at Roy’s is in the bar area or the “hightops” adjacent to it.
There are drink specials but more importantly, discounted food specials that are on their happy hour menu. On the whole the Aloha Hour food items are discounted from about 3 to 5 dollars. A few others are discounted much more. Here are the items offered during Aloha Hour at Roy’s (menus courtesy of Roy’s Bonita Springs, FL). Some of the Aloha Hour prices are highlighted in green next to the menu descriptions.
On a previous visit, the restaurant let me sample an item from their happy hour, the Szechuan spiced pork ribs. As described previously, the marinade and basting sauce is seasoned with miso, ginger, garlic, saki, soy and hoisin sauce among other spices. They are finished with chives and sesame seeds, and are exceptional. Most highly recommended.
My dining companion (DC) insisted on trying a couple of menu items, the blistered shishito peppers and the Kalua pork sliders. The peppers were great, virtually a calorically guilt free serving of grilled shishito peppers spiced with togarashi, a predominantly dried pepper-based Japanese spice and finished with a sesame miso dressing. The Kalua pork sliders were also very good. Served here on Hawaiian rolls, Kalua pork traditionally is pork butt that is salted, has liquid smoke added to it and is baked at low temperature for many hours. It was topped with crispy onions and a passion fruit slaw. The sweetness and the smokiness of this dish were a perfect match, highly recommended. Excellent choices DC!
We then moved on to one of the sushi rolls. The Lakanilau roll, named after one of the first female sushi chefs in Roy’s restaurants, looked great but with raw Wagyu beef, not in the cards for DC. We settled on an ebi roll. The ebi roll has shrimp tempura, coconut, cream cheese, mango, avocado, a habanero aioli (mayonnaise base) and the plate garnished with nitsume sauce. Nitsume is a reduction of eel broth, mirin, soy sauce and sugar. The roll was good and a good lead in to our final Aloha Hour choice, the Wagyu burger.
This item, discontinued from Aloha Hour a while ago, has recently been brought back and I was glad to see it on the menu again. The wagyu burger is topped with caramelized onions and a fried egg, and served with the restaurant’s parmesan fries. Although a wagyu blend, the burger was flavorful and very good. If you are at all partial to hamburgers, you will like this happy hour item.
All in all the items sampled from Roy’s Aloha Hour in Bonita Springs were good to exceptional. Many restaurants, probably for fiscal reasons, have cut back on their happy hour offerings in terms of selection and quality. I was happy to see that Roy’s still offers a very good happy hour which, from this last visit, is highly recommended.
Aloha Hour runs from 3-7 PM and from 9 PM to close with the exception of New Year’s Eve; All major credit cards accepted; Kid’s meals available; No valet parking.