What you are experiencing is completely normal and desired for a lager. Fermenting at cold temps can result in Diacetyl which produces a butterscotchy taste. The reason the instructions recommended bringing the fermenter up to room temp before lagering is so the yeast will "wake up" and start "eating" the diacetyl. Go ahead and follow your original plan as it sounds like the right thing to me.
Also, you don't get off-flavors from fermenting lager yeast at room temp, you just don't get a clean lager style ale. In fact, fermenting lager yeast at higher temps is how you get a California Common like anchor steam.