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From the Norton Simon to the Huntington, few pockets of metropolitan Los Angeles can claim more world-class museums or horticultural masterpieces than Pasadena. The shopping in nearby San Marino is polished, too
STAY: connoisseurs of the grand hotels of europe will appreciate the sprawling Langham Huntington, three miles south of old Pasadena, amid some of the area’s most gracious estates. opt for a room with a view: By day you’ll savor the lush tree canopy of monied Pasadena; by night, an enchanting show of city lights. guests have free access to the spa, so visit the whirlpool with its mosaic alcove. or stroll from the sunny poolside terrace to the shaded Japanese garden that borders a stream.
EAT: The Langham houses one of L.A.’s finest dining destinations, the elegant light-filled French eatery The Royce, so there’s no need to leave the grounds. should you be out already, though, head to Saladang Song for Thai food with a contemporary twist, or to Ración for spanish tapas that evoke a fine Bilbao bar. For lunch, rub elbows with Pasa- dena’s executive crowd at Smitty’s Grill, where secrets are traded over hearty steaks and fries, or make a pilgrimage to Pie ’N Burger, whose superb pies perfectly complement the tradi- tional cheeseburgers. no arugula or blue cheese at this local institution.
SHOP: Forget bling—mission street in san marino has an old-world quality. start with Lem- mon Hill for one-of-a- kind home decor and check out the rustic chic of Lexington Place, but don’t miss The Frame Shop Ltd. here’s your chance to seek out the sort of high-end tableware and prints that dwell behind the walls of the surrounding estates. should you be in the market for glamorous jewelry, step into Single Stone. artisanal culinary goods can be had by following the crowds to Julienne, known for its quirky as- sortment of condiments and exquisite takeout soups, stews, sauces, and baked goods. Finish the gourmet experience with a jaunt to old Pasadena’s Everson Royce, the new emporium from the folks at Silverlake Wine. You’ll find the same intelligent selection in a hushed, brick-walled space.
DO: The Norton Simon is one of the world’s fin- est art museums, and not just because of its impressionist collection. Hanging on its walls are works by a pantheon of painters, from memling and cranach to De Zurbarán and Modigliani, composing a true tour through art history. There’s no more compre- hensive garden display than at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, with the chinese section alone a tranquil gem. At Santa Anita Park you can watch as millions of dollars’ worth of hors- es—the Ferraris of the hoofed set—race down the state’s most beautiful track.
WHERE TO SLEEP
FAIRMONT MIRAMAR HOTEL & BUNGALOWS, $359-$1,279
WHAT TO BRING
A DOCET, A SMOKING JACKET
AVERAGE MARCH TEMP
HIGH 70 ̊/LOW 46 ̊
This feature originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine