True  Blood

True Blood

Knives are being eagerly sharpened for the Royce's latest incarnation as a high-end steakhouse.

By Bradley Tuck 05/03/2013

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The Royce/Wood-Fired Steakhouse
For all its sedate appearance, the formal restaurant at The Langham Huntington Hotel has gone through more marriages with chefs over the past few years than Lindsay Lohan has had court appearances. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. Craig Strong’s refined, thoughtful cooking made way for Michael Voltaggio’s rock star presence and creativity. When Voltaggio left, The Dining Room was transformed into The Royce, with a spiffy remodel sweeping away the staid interior that fought so hard with Voltaggio’s image. David Féau cooked beautiful seasonal offerings and even planted a vegetable garden on the grounds.

In March, it was announced that The Royce’s toque would be changing heads once again, this time going to Anthony Zappola, helming a new concept, The Royce/Wood-Fired Steakhouse. Chef Zappola has eight years of experience as chef de cuisine at Tom Colicchio’s Craft steak restaurants in Los Angeles and Dallas. So if there’s one thing this guy knows how to do, it’s sear a steak. And sear it they do. USDA prime cuts, Australian Wagyu and Kobe-style Japanese beef are seared at 800 degrees over white oak and other seasonal woods, to juicy perfection. Seasonal vegetables are also grilled, and seafood, too. I tried out some samples at the grand opening party, and the meat really was excellent.

They’ve also relaunched their grand Sunday Market Brunch, in time for Mother's Day. Take mom for pastries, made-to-order brunch fare, mimosas and a stroll on the manicured grounds.
Then show her how much you love her, by offering to split the check.
Mother’s Day Dining

Auntie Em’s Kitchen
When I was young, my brother and I would get up early on Mother's Day and make breakfast in bed for our mom. Stoic that she was (and is), she made suitably appreciative sounds as she crunched through her fried eggs and struggled to masticate some rubberized bacon strips. She was probably most grateful for the warm tea with which to aid its transport down her gullet.

So moms and kids in these parts can count their blessings on May 12. Coming to their rescue is Auntie Em’s Kitchen, where Chef Terri Wahl and her staff will guide tiny chefs in creating a celebratory meal for Mom, using ingredients from Wahl’s garden and chicken coop. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wahl will chat with the kids about healthy eating and guide them through the dangerous canyon of artistic plating (the dish kind, no metals). Parents can relax in the alfresco dining area with, yes, you guessed it, a mimosa, blood orange this time. When it’s time to taste the fruits of child labor, you can be sure no Oscar-worthy performances of satisfaction will be necessary.
The cost is $45 per adult; children eat for free. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing RSVP@auntieemskitchen.com.

Auntie Em's Kitchen is located at 4616 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles. Call (323) 255-0800 or visit autieemskitchen.com.

The Raymond
If you’d like something a little more intimate for Mom’s special day, you should head down to the little bungalow on South Fair Oaks, The Raymond, and snag a table on one of the pretty patios. Mother’s Day Brunch there features showstoppers like lobster frittata, which comes with pico de gallo, fluffy eggs and ancho-lime hollandaise. Or maybe Mom would prefer the cheddar-and-herb cakes, with smoked ham, white mushrooms, poached egg and potatoes. Choices, choices. Oh, and if you’re thinking of asking mom for a loan, you might want to ply her with one (or more) of their mimosas.

The Raymond is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. Call (626) 441-3136 or visit theraymond.com.

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