Dining Design Diary: Inside LA’s Royal/T


If you ever find yourself surrounded by Japanese pop art and a gaggle of French maids serving English tea, don’t panic. You’re not hallucinating or on the set of a new Quentin Tarantino film. You’re at Los Angeles’ Royal/T. Four years ago, ardent collector Susan Hancock opened the eclectic space, located on an industrial strip in LA’s Culver City, to display her contemporary art collection and attract like-minded patrons, artists and foodies with discerning eyes and appetites.

With the distinction of being LA’s first-ever Japanese “cosplay” (costume play) maid cafe, art exhibition space and concept store, Royal/T operates out of a fantastically flexible space designed by LA’s wHY Architecture and New York’s Goto Design.

“It all happened gradually. Magic was brought in by curators, artists, pop-up chefs and designers,” Hancock says of the shows, curated by brands such as Hello Kitty, Barbie and Poketo.

Beginning April 27, Royal/T will debut “The Art of Cooking,” a food-inspired exhibition that will run through August. Curated by Hanne Mugaas, the theme of food—from the edible to the aesthetic—will be expressed through paintings, prints and fashion. To provide a taste of what’s in store, Royal/T’s executive chef Omar Chavez shares one of the cafe’s most popular recipes.

Tomato Chutney Kobe Beef Slider
Serves 6

1 lb. ground Kobe beef
6 brioche buns
   Homemade garlic aioli (blend 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 4 cloves garlic)

Tomato Chutney (can be used hot or cold)
2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the tomatoes until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
2. Add the basil, balsamic vinegar and sugar, and stir to combine.
3. Using a potatomasher or wooden spoon, crush the tomato mixture in the pan. Set aside to cool
4. Form beef into 2-3ox. patties
5. Cook the burger patties for 3 minutes on each side or until they reach desired doneness.
6. Lightly toast the brioche buns, and spread with garlic aioli and tomato chutney.
7. Assemble burgers with other condiments if desired.

More news: