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“High Prices, Average Food, Nice Views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Roy's San Diego Waterfront

Roy's San Diego Waterfront
333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
+1 619-239-7697
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Ranked #184 of 4,168 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood, Pacific Rim
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night, Private Dining
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: 1st Avenue
Transit: MTS Trolley stop across the street enar the Convention Center & Marriott Hotel & Marina
Description: Blending classic techniques with adventurous Pacific Rim flavors, culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi created an entirely new approach to fine dining. The first Roy's opened in Honolulu in 1988 and we've spread our warm hospitality and passion for innovative and creative cuisine around the world ever since. Indulge in one of our spectacular cocktails or choose a glass from our award-winning wine list while you discover the fresh ingredients and outstanding seafood, expertly prepared by our local chefs that made us famous.
Seattle
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“High Prices, Average Food, Nice Views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

My friend and I ate here for lunch on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The weather was perfect so sitting outside to eat was a must-do. We chose Roys for its proximity to our hotel. It was after the lunch-rush, around 2:30. We both had Mahi-Mahi. Maybe I just don't like Mahi-Mahi, but I thought the food was okay but not spectacular and, especially for the high prices, I expected better. The service was fine, not that attentive, but I don't like being constantly interrupted by wait people during my meal anyway. I know Roys is a chain because I saw one at Poipu Beach in Kauai a few months ago. The views of the marina and the beautiful weather really made this restaurant experience pretty great. The food? Jury is still out.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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334 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    38
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“Best Ahi Ever? Our Table Says Yes!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Roy's is fairly well known around the West Coast, but us Midwesterners may not be as familiar with this high-end chain unless we've traveled around California or Hawaii. My wife and I have wanted to go to Roy's for years, but the timing just never worked out. In San Diego we had the chance and we jumped at it.

Roy's is Hawaiian fusion food. They are heavy on the seafood, so I really recommend ordering it. I had the mahi mahi, but two at our table ordered the Ahi and both said it was the best they've ever had. My mahi mahi was fantastic, too.

Decor is ok and it was noisy. The place was packed on a Monday night, so that's shows its popularity. Service was good, but not extraordinary. It was difficult to understand the waiter with his very heavy accent.

My rating is based on the food. It was excellent. Some may find the atmosphere too loud. I wouldn't recommend Roy's for a quiet date, but it works well for friends. Given the noise, it may be difficult to have a business dinner here, but you could ask for a quieter area of the restaurant.

This Roys has a great view out to the bay. It is very convenient from the San Diego Convention Center and the hotels that surround it. You can cut through the Marriott. Look for signage that leads you to the covered walkway to Roy's.

I will definitely go to Roy's again and recommend it to anyone. I highly recommend reservations.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“what a huge disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I so looked forward to dining here, but now I wonder what all the hype was about. The room was way too dim, almost felt claustrophobic. The spring rolls were tasty, but then the entree came: Macadamia crusted Mahi Mahi, a half doz cubes of potato and two asparagus spears. The Mahi Mahi was a generous portion but so terribly bland. And then it was discovered that the veggies were dressed with a thin lobster sauce as well as being puddled under the fish. I do not like lobster so all the components of the meal were distasteful to me. Was hoping dessert would fill me up instead but in the second bite of the macadamia nut pie, I discovered a looonnnggg hair in it. OMG! All I could do was spit the bite into the napkin and place it on my plate. The wait staff had been so attentive, but when one came around after the entree and saw I had only eaten a bite, I explained that I didn't like lobster so couldn't eat it. Normally, I would expect someone to offer up an alternative but all he did was shrug his shoulders and smile. HUH??? Once I bit into the hair pie, I had had enough. I didn't bother saying anything at this point. We just left. (and will never return!)
I was there as a guest for a dinner seminar but even though I did not have to pay for this meal, I was shocked that the food was mediocre, and the hair was down right wrong and disgusting! I also felt that as a paying customer or a guest (someone was paying for this meal), Roy's was obligated to provide a decent meal that was enjoyed by the diner. Apparently they don't care if someone left very disappointed. And I truly was.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Mililani, Hawaii
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Delicious Fancy/Fine Dining!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

The crabcakes were delicious!! The sirloin steak was done to perfection. The staff are friendly and it was really nice to have met the chef there from Hawaii.

Visited April 2013
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Gothenburg, Sweden
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good food, drinks and wines”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

The bar had good drinks and cocktails. Even though we had no reservation the fixed a table for us seven people and the food was very good, especially the desserts.

Visited April 2013
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