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.