shrimp cocktail

The Kahana shrimp cocktail with wasabi cocktail sauce. 

Photo By Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

Why you shouldn't pass up lunch at Roy's Beach House on Oahu's North Shore

Turtle Bay Resort recently became home to the only Roy's restaurant focused on lunch.

Unless you’re staying at Turtle Bay Resort, you might not think of it as a lunch destination, instead choosing to drive past it on your way to Waimea Bay or the Polynesian Cultural Center. But more and more people are catching on that this is the place to stop for lunch and to take a breather beside the ocean.

The latest offering by Hawaii celebrity chef and culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Beach House is the perfect combination of a casual beachside picnic and a fine dining restaurant, with ultra-fresh, locally sourced cuisine from a trusted name in the biz. 

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The view from the patio can't be beat.
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

Ask for a table on the patio, sit back under the large, orange beach umbrellas or take a table in the sun and soak up the peaceful, laid-back atmosphere, with the white sand and gentle breaking waves of Kuilima Cove just a step away.

Inside the main seating area of the open-air restaurant, the custom high-backed teak chairs and square tables are easily configured for groups. 

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Inside the warm, inviting main seating area. 
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

The restaurant is headed up by veteran executive chef Gordon Hopkins, who was Yamaguchi’s sous chef and partner at the original Hawaii Kai restaurant in the ’80s. Lunch options, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., are light and flavorful, with ingredients like tomatoes, asparagus and greens sourced from the nearby towns of Hauula, Waialua and Haleiwa. The fresh local produce accents main entrees, such as Roy’s signature melt-in-your-mouth sweet and savory misoyaki butterfish and the macadamia nut encrusted mahimahi, both using fresh fish caught by local fishermen. 

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The signature Misoyaki Butterfish with Asian greens. 
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

If youʻre not in the mood for a full entree, the menu also has huge burgers, an island-style poke bowl, grilled kalbi short ribs, and sandwiches and salads, in addition to several smaller appetizers.

Unique to this Roy’s restaurant is a take-out counter, dubbed Roy’s Shorebreak Grill, which is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and features gourmet to-go options for beachgoers like salads, sandwiches, pupu (appetizers), a few of the signature entrees, several flavors of gelato from Il Gelato, and even a keiki (kids) menu.        

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The take-out window. 
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

“No other Roy’s is this lunch-focused,” says manager Brandon Nakachi, noting that the restaurant is especially popular with the lunch crowd on the weekends, although business is steady all week.

Another reason to visit Roy’s at lunchtime? The beach bar. Serving wine by the glass, handcrafted cocktails and both bottled and draft beer on tap, the bar slings drinks that are made at the same caliber as the food in Royʻs, often adding a gourmet twist to classic tropical favorites, like the Beach House Spiced Mai Tai, made with local Koloa spiced rum, ginger, pineapple and a Koloa dark rum float. 

A crowd favorite is the cool, refreshing “Drunken Pineapple” Colada, made with a house recipe pina colada, blended with locally grown pineapples soaked in Stoli Vanilla Vodka and Malibu Rum

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The "Drunken Pineapple," soaking in Stoli Vanilla Vodka and Malibu Rum, and the colada made with it. 
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

In the near future, the bar plans to bring in more local craft beers and have several dedicated taps for Hawaii breweries. 

While there are shrimp trucks down the road and one or two other places in the area to go for lunch, no other spot close by has the laid-back beach vibe combined with easygoing class and quality local ingredients of Roy’s. There’s really no reason not to include it on your next circle-island road trip. 

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A view of Roy's from the beach. 
Photo: Tracy Chan/HAWAII Magazine

Roy’s Beach House at Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, Oahu. Call (808) 293-7697 for reservations. turtlebayresort.com/Oahu-Restaurants/roys-beach-house