The Royce - Pasadena, CA - 5 Golden Spoons
Although we'd heard rave reviews of this restaurant for years, this was our first dining experience at They Royce at the famous Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. It did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded expectations on all levels. The dining room is quite elegant in a traditional black and white motif that overlooks some of the spectacular grounds of the hotel. The extensive menu features a variety of American and European meat and seafood dishes but is known for its selection of USDA Prime Cuts, and authentic Australian and Japanese Wagyu, prepared over a wood-fired grill with White Oak. While most other diners appeared to be focused on the gill menu, we decided to venture outside the box a bit based upon suggestions from our outstanding waiter, Rob. We started with the veal sweetbreads, which were seared and served with sunchokes, bacon, and a red wine reduction. I'm a sweetbread fanatic, and this was one of the best preparations I've ever had. What a fantastic explosion of flavors and textures. Next, we had the seared foie gras which was served with a gorgeous balsamic sauce on the side with lovely micro-greens. Perfection. For our mains, we had the Wisconsin veal chop with a madeira jus accompanied by a house-made fettuccine with veal lardons. The veal was tender and flavorful and the fettuccine was perfectly prepared. We also enjoyed the risotto with shaved black truffles. This can be a difficult dish to execute, but the rice was exactly right and the portion of truffles was absolutely decadent. Simon, our sommelier, recommended a marvelous port to be paired with the house beignets and creme brulee for dessert. He suggested we actually open the beignets and use the creme as a filling. How wonderful and extravagant. It's rare to find that perfect blend of a gorgeous atmosphere, superb service, and spectacular cuisine. Kudos to The Royce. We will be back.