A while ago, I met up with the husband and M. again for lunch in Culver City. We walked over to Royal/T which is themed after the maid cafés in the Akihabara district in Japan.
Royal/T is in a space that can be described as part eatery, part store and part art gallery. There’s a store off to the side that sells shirts, dolls (the collectible expensive kind), and other random items, including a giant stuffed squid and its smaller leather twin. All over the place is artwork – sculptures and paintings mostly from the Superflat movement. There was even some naughty sushi. And based on flyers, artists use Royal/T to show off their work and hold gallery events.
When we walked in, we were greeted right away by a waitress dressed in a brown and white French maid uniform. Sorry boys, they weren’t the super itty bitty kind made by Leg Avenue. We perused the menu which isn’t huge but offers a nice variety. There’s about 12 different types of teas offered in hot or cold form as well as coffees, sodas and juices. As for food, they have a selection of salads, sandwiches and rice bowls. They also offer breakfast items in the morning.
M. opted for the Wagyu Beef Burger lunch set. Dan went for the Grilled Flank Steak Sandwich sans tomato and I ordered the Spicy Tuna Tar Tar (tartare?) lunch set. The lunch set came with a side dish and we both went with the cucumber salad. Since it was a Japanese eatery, we thought the cucumber salad would be more like sunomono. Instead, we got something that was more Greek – cucumbers with red onion and feta cheese with an olive oil dressing. It was good but out of place. As for the entrees, Dan liked his sandwich. M thought the burger was a little dry. My Spicy Tuna was quite good and I was happy with it. It wasn’t particularly spicy but the fish was fresh, the tuna to avocado ratio was decent and the baguette was nice and crunchy.
As for drinks, I went with the Marocco Mint (I think they mean Morocco?) iced. Instead of the sugar packets, they bring you simple syrup, which I loved. It’s just an easier way of sweetening up your drink without having to deal with paper packets n’ grainy bits. There’s also a container of sugar cubes on the table if you don’t want simple syrup.
Obviously, there was some Engrish items on the menu. And our waitress was definitely not American and had a little trouble with her English. Also, I don’t know if she was new but service was a little slow and hard to flag down. But overall, the experience was nice. It wasn’t very crowded, the food and drinks were good and reasonably priced and there were interesting things to keep our eyes occupied.
I don’t think we had quite the same experience as we would have if we were in a true Akihabara maid café, though. From what I understand, there’s definitely more cosplay involved at those joints.
I give Royal/T 3 NOMs.
8910 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Filed under: 3 NOMs, japanese, Los Angeles, restaurant review Tagged: | 3 NOMs, akihabara, art gallery, asian, breakfast, brunch, Culver City, dinner, food review, japanese, Los Angeles, lunch, maid cafe, restaurant review, royal/t