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HOLOHOLO at Roy's

Dakine eatery at da makai

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“Aloha!” says the hostess as I walk in the friendly, upscale Roy’s on Third Street South in Jax Beach. The native welcome sets the tone for a lovely atmosphere and genuinely affable service for the Hawaiian/Asian fusion restaurant.

First, the server asks if you’d like a cocktail. The self-described Pacific Rim venue will satisfy any yens for a Mai Tai or similar tropical tiki-style drink. From the extensive wine list of mostly California wines, the server can suggest one to pair with your meal. I recommend keeping with the Hawaiian theme and get the fruity, refreshing Cool Breeze ($11), served in a golden pineapple. My ladies’ night just got way more festive as I sip from a giant fruit-shaped vessel!

Test your chopstick skills with a sushi appetizer or Lobster Potstickers ($13): Five pouches, filled with lobster, arranged like little soldiers on a long plate. Traditional-style potstickers are atop a silky-smooth, buttery sauce. It’s the kind of rich, creamy sauce you expect with lobster, the kind you know is making your arteries choke ... but you want to sop up every drop. There’s an undressed side of thinly sliced cabbage and carrots—the ideal vehicle for any leftover potsticker sauce.

The Braised Short Ribs ($32) are the solid reason I’ve hit Roy’s again and again. I’ve enjoyed this dish twice; both times, the flavor was on point. The braised beef is hella tasty; placed on a scoop of creamy mashed potatoes and accompanied by broccolini—smaller crowns and longer, more slender, stalks than broccoli. I don’t usually “do” broccoli, but Roy’s broccolini, with its slightly Asian marinade … I ate it all. Note: The first time I dug into the short ribs was sublime—no knife needed, it almost fell apart on sight. The second time? Still tender, but I had to use a knife—annoying.

There’s not a bad seat in the house. The bar faces the kitchen; it’s among the best spots to sit. Roy’s is one of the few places around where you can see all the kitchen action while you’re eating. You can watch the chefs as they expertly prepare the dishes—interesting.

Roy’s is a great date-night spot or girls’ night out hang (check out the Aloha Hour selections), so get dressed and get Pacific in Jax Beach!

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