The Royce

The Top Ten Best New Restaurants: No. 2, January 2012

A long-needed renovation at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena’s finest hotel, recast the dining room from a windowless wood-paneled box into a shimmering chamber with soft-white decor and a sweeping glass wall that looks onto rolling lawns. Elegant but inviting, the space nicely suits chef David Féau’s French cooking, which is both classic and modern. Féau, who came up through the kitchens of Guy Savoy, revels in nuance. He’ll counter the richness of foie gras custard and sautéed foie gras with a rustic buckwheat crepe and contrast marbled hunks of wagyu with dabs of salt herring served in a spot-on sauce poivrade. Féau even displays deftness with his vegetables, rolling salsify batons in leek ash and illuminating them with Cajun spices. Taut, contemporary, necessary, with a wine list that is among the most comprehensive in Los Angeles, the Royce shears a layer of excess off high-end dining, reclaiming it for our times.