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How's dinner at the Langham, Pasadena?

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Looking for a special birthday dinner in Pasadena - (oh dear) - how is the Langham these days?

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  1. Are you asking about The Royce or The Terrace restaurant?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jack Flash

      The Royce

      1. re: momski

        The room makeover is nice. I wasn't wowed by the food. There was nothing wrong with it, but not as good or as interesting as when Michael Voltaggio was at the helm. Service was impeccable and well paced. For the same money, though, there are other places I'd choose first if delicious food is your #1 priority. But it definitely qualifies for special occasion status.

        1. re: Jack Flash

          What would you recommend if food is a priority?

          1. re: PattyC

            For a Pasadena special birthday dinner? Noir Food & Wine or even old standby Parkway Grill. I haven't yet been to Bistro 45, but the menu there is also more appealing. My quibble with the Royce was, at the end of the evening and after spending a considerable amount of money on food, I felt I could have eaten another course or two. Also, there was just something "missing" from the food experience. There wasn't a single thing I ate that I thought to myself, "boy, I'd sure like to have that again." This was exactly one year ago, and obviously the menu has changed since then, so my experience might bear no relationship to the experience one would have today. In contrast, we went to the Voltaggio-helmed Dining Room the year before (both times were for our anniversary), and I can still remember specific details of the dishes we had then. Alas, I can't say the same about our experience at The Royce.

            I don't want to sound too negative about it, because it was a nice anniversary dinner (definitely a special occasion place) and I didn't dislike anything. It just didn't wow me, and I guess I expected (and hoped for) something that would be a bit more memorable one year later.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              Not necessarily in Pasadena. I thought Noir Food & Wine was OK but have had better meals recently at Racion and Vol 94. Haven't been to Parkway Grill. Thanks for your thoughts on the Royce. As much as I enjoy a beautiful setting and impeccable service, it ultimately comes down to food for me.

              1. re: PattyC

                Do tell about Vol. 94. The menu sounds very enticing, and I liked the look of the space. Is Racion the new place in the former Tre Venezie location?

                1. re: Jack Flash

                  I think that's what was there before. I went the Sunday before last and posted about it in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840678

                  Went to Vol 94 back in February. We ordered the McSweetbreads, beef cheeks, pork belly, seared scallops and grilled octopus. Everything was really well done with very interesting flavors. The belly was divine. There's a lot more I'd like to go back and try.

              2. re: Jack Flash

                The difference in styles is huge between Voltaggio and Feau. I would say the average CH-er might prefer Voltaggio's iteration, but would also guess that the average Pasadena/San Marino/South Pasadena citizen and Langham guest would prefer the current version.

      2. I had dinner at the Royce for my birthday, and it was one of the most pleasurable dining experiences I've had. We sat at the chef's table, which was certainly part of making it special. The sommelier greeted us at the door, ushered us into one of their wine rooms, and gave us each a glass of wine before leading us to the table. The chef came out and personally presented each course, in some cases finishing the carving and plating right in front of us. The sommelier also presented each pairing and was knowledgable while being delightful and not a bit snobby. The rest of the service was discreet, efficient, and highly professional. The chef also invited me into the kitchen for a peek at the line.

        The food itself was excellent as well. Creative and thoughtful with little touches of whimsy, but all solidly anchored in classic technique. Yes, there certainly are other places doing more avant garde things, but for the overall specialness of the experience, I thought it was truly wonderful. I highly recommend it for a special occasion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: heinous

          I took my wife and another two people for her Birthday dinner. The room and the service were perfect. BUT...the food was just okay. Each plate was a work of art, but with little or no flavor. Very, very expensive for what it was. I would go to another restaurant.

        2. wholly agree with JackFlash = dining room w/voltaggio was much better than the royce. i actually went w/lowered expectations due to mostly poor reviews, yet still left disappointed. if you're looking for that type of resto, i'd opt for melisse or providence.

          2 Replies
          1. re: namstermonster

            Thanks, everyone! Based on the reviews I decided to give it a pass and tried Racion, the new tapas restaurant in Old Town on Green (in the old TreVenezia spot) and had a lovely dinner. Attentive service, inventive and carefully prepared food and a relaxed and affordable dinner. Much preferred it to a formal and unexceptional dinner. Thanks for all the feedback

            1. re: momski

              Glad you had a nice dinner, and it's good to read more positive press on Racion, which is rapidly ascending my "to try" list.