Yesterday I had a pretty epic day with friends Nick and Jen, consisting of brunch at my favorite place in LA, Aroma Café, then shopping at Heritage and H&M at the Beverly Center and finally ending at ROYAL/T out in Culver City. ROYAL/T is a new café/shop/art space that opened a few months ago that’s totally dedicated to all things Japanese-y. It reminded me a lot of Giant Robot, but only if you mixed Giant Robot, GR2 and GR/EATS all together in one big building.

As you walk up to the building you see it’s totally covered in foliage, much like Fred Segal on Melrose. The one difference is that it’s a very convincing but fake foliage. Once you get inside you’re confronted with a giant Yoshitomo Nara dog statue set behind giant panes of glass, sort of like a high-tech version of the cages from Planet of the Apes. This is the gallery portion of the building, filled with Takashi Murakami paintings and other works of Japanese artists. Opposite the gallery is a small shop with art for sale, small blind-packed toys and other knick knacks.

Once you head to the back you enter the café filled with some rather cute tables and ultra-contemporary chairs. We decided have some tea and snacks and they were all really good. I had the Kyoto Sunset tea, a fruity tea with a taste of apricot. I also ordered Avocado Toast which was absolutely delicious. I was expecting something like guacamole on toast, but was surprised to taste avocado mixed with lemon zest and some other spice. It was totally unexpected and extremely refreshing. They also had sandwiches and soups and salads as well, they all looked pretty good. On a side note, all of the food and drinks are brought to you by girls in brown and white maid outfits, furthering the Japanese feel.

I took a bunch of photos with my iPhone, so they’re not the best, but it should definitely give you a sense of the space. If you live in LA I’d highly suggest taking a trip out there, it was particularly nice on a Saturday afternoon. Check out the rest of the photos under the cut!


June 15, 2008