About twenty minutes drive from Palm Springs, the resort town is home to the Annenberg Estate, also called Sunnylands - often called the "West Coast's Camp David." Rancho Mirage also has superb eateries, among them, Roy’s.
Founded in Hawaii by Roy Yamaguchi in 1988, Roy’s specializes in Hawaiian fusion cuisine. The emphasis is on fresh seafood blended with Asian spices with dashes of European sauces. There are now 31 Roy’s locations worldwide. Yamaguchi was born in Tokyo, often visiting his grandparents in Maui as a child - and setting the stage for his inventive cuisine.
Start with Roy’s Original Hawaiian Martini – Maui pineapples soaked in vodka and Malibu Coconut Rum. Other choices include Peach Bellini Martini, Mango Mojito, and Roy’s Island Mai Tai.
Recommended appetizers: Lakanilau - wagyu beef, tempura asparagus, avocado, truffled greens. ($16.95), which has the right amount of sweetness and tang. Also try the Hawaiian style Ahi Poké – wasabi Aioli, avocado and crispy wonton strips ($13.95).
Chef Kevin Land’s signature dish is the aptly named Misoyaki Butterfish – Alaskan Black Cod and baby bok choy with furikake rice. It was succulent, and the furikake spice made for a great savory aftertaste.
You can find Roy’s just across the street from the Rancho Las Palmas Resort – look for the flaming torches. It’s also near the river lined with shopping and cinema. Roy’s also features private dining rooms with expansive views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
For desert, I ordered the Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé. It has the perfect combination of crunch, velvet smoothness, and sweetness that didn’t overwhelm the dish. In fact, Roy’s offers up the recipe on its website.