We are no stranger to restaurant hype; really we're not. We tend to generate a bit of it ourselves. So I hope you will believe us when we say that we have never quite seen anything like the front page of today's Pasadena Star-News, which was entirely devoted, the part above the fold, anyway, to the opening of the Royce, the new dining room in Pasadena's Langham Hotel.

We know that the hotel, which has been around since 1907, has a central place in the life of Pasadena, and we've heard about the glories of the hotel's new vegetable garden. The new chef, David Féau, a Splichal alum, will be a grand addition, we're sure, and we're already steeling ourselves for his signature preparation of foie gras with bitter chocolate. We probably won't miss the old ships' models that used to jut out of the wall.

But was there no scandal in the San Gabriel Valley over the weekend? No kidnapping in Azusa? No Rubik's Cube competition at Caltech? No smiling pictures of the Rose Queen? So it goes, and we can't say we're disappointed to live in a town where tuna belly with green apple and argan oil is news.

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