Farewell to Fine Dining


Nothing lasts forever and restaurants are certainly no exception. The first major restaurant casualty of the year is The Royce at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena, which will close its doors on January 26th. The sad thing about this shuttering is that The Royce is one of only four restaurants in the city that I would consider true fine dining establishments. The other three are Providence, Melisse and Saam at the Bazaar. While The Royce is my least favorite of this group, it has a lot of things going for it: a beautiful dining room in an elegant and romantic hotel, an amazing wine list (with a world-class sommelier and two wine rooms, one for red and one for white), and, most importantly, a tasting menu featuring truly excellent New American cuisine. It is currently helmed by talented French chef David Feau, and Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio of Ink was the chef in a previous incarnation of the restaurant a few years ago.

While Pasadena is beautiful and certainly a very wealthy area, I was always surprised that The Royce, with its cutting-edge cuisine, could sustain enough business in such an old-school part of town. Also, with traffic in this city, most Angelenos do not like to drive too far for dinner and Pasadena is a major schlep from many of the other affluent parts of LA, especially the Westside. Below are photos from my last meal at The Royce. If you want to dine there before it closes on January 26th, I suggest you make a reservation as soon as possible. The Royce at The Langham is located at 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena.

Trio of Amuse Bouches:  White Strawberry Espuma with Tatragon Spinach, Shaved White Strawberry & Bacon, Cherry Tomoato with Caramel, Salt & Pepper, and Butter Lettuce Cups, Tofu, Yuzu Ponzu, Garlic Chives

Trio of Amuse Bouches: White Strawberry Espuma with Tatragon Spinach, Shaved White Strawberry & Bacon, Cherry Tomoato with Caramel, Salt & Pepper, and Butter Lettuce Cups, Tofu, Yuzu Ponzu, Garlic Chives


"Yagara Fish \ Anise" -- Japanese imported Flute Fish, Heirloom Fennel, Black Rice Pickled Froth and Cucumber Flower

“Yagara Fish \ Anise” — Japanese imported Flute Fish, Heirloom Fennel, Black Rice Pickled Froth and Cucumber Flower


"White Asparagus \ Apricot" -- Chilled Asparagus Soup, Pickled Apricot, Arugula

“White Asparagus \ Apricot” — Chilled Asparagus Soup, Pickled Apricot, Arugula


"Ratatouille \ Tomato" -- Dehydrated Vegetable Ratatouille, Japanese Tomato, Lemon Basil, Squash Broth

“Ratatouille \ Tomato” — Dehydrated Vegetable Ratatouille, Japanese Tomato, Lemon Basil, Squash Broth


"Foie Gras \ Tarragon" --  Dry-Aged Beef "Bouillon," Foui Gras Fondue, Tarragon Printed Pasta, Crimini Mushroom

“Foie Gras \ Tarragon” — Dry-Aged Beef “Bouillon,” Foui Gras Fondue, Tarragon Printed Pasta, Crimini Mushroom


"Cepes / Chamomile" -- Porcini Filled Agnolotti, Curly Mustard Greens, Chamomile Jus

“Cepes / Chamomile” — Porcini Filled Agnolotti, Curly Mustard Greens, Chamomile Jus


"Halibut / French Leeks" -- "MR" Seared Halibut Filet, Ajo Dungeness Crab, Charred French Leeks

“Halibut / French Leeks” — “MR” Seared Halibut Filet, Ajo Dungeness Crab, Charred French Leeks


"Guinea Egg / Zucchini Blossom" -- Poached Guinea Hen Egg, Zucchini Blossom, English Pea Puree

“Guinea Egg / Zucchini Blossom” — Poached Guinea Hen Egg, Zucchini Blossom, English Pea Puree


"Wagyu / Mulberry" -- Wagyu Rib Eye Cut Double Seared, Swiss Chard Chorizo "Noodles," Bone Marrow Tempura, Mulberry Sauce

“Wagyu / Mulberry” — Wagyu Rib Eye Cut Double Seared, Swiss Chard Chorizo “Noodles,” Bone Marrow Tempura, Mulberry Sauce


"Fromage Frais / Herbes" -- Raw Cow's Milk Fresh Cheese "De Faiselle," Garlic Herbs, Sourdough Toast

“Fromage Frais / Herbes” — Raw Cow’s Milk Fresh Cheese “De Faiselle,” Garlic Herbs, Sourdough Toast


"Cherries / Sorrel" -- Sorrel Sorbet and Marinated Black Cherries, Mint - Vanilla

“Cherries / Sorrel” — Sorrel Sorbet and Marinated Black Cherries, Mint – Vanilla


"Fraises des Bois / Ginkgo Nut" -- Fraises des Bois "Salad," Frozen Yogurt, Caramelized Ginkgo Nut

“Fraises des Bois / Ginkgo Nut” — Fraises des Bois “Salad,” Frozen Yogurt, Caramelized Ginkgo Nut


"Chocolate / Cafe" -- Cocoa Minute Cake, Cajeta-Caramel, Warm Chocolate Curd, Cafe Glace

“Chocolate / Cafe” — Cocoa Minute Cake, Cajeta-Caramel, Warm Chocolate Curd, Cafe Glace


Milk Chocolate with Ground Espresso Beans, Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, and White Chocolate with Espelete Pepper

Milk Chocolate with Ground Espresso Beans, Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, and White Chocolate with Espelete Pepper


A beautiful, elegant room

A beautiful, elegant room


The Royce on Urbanspoon

Leave a Comment

Filed under Pasadena

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>