Pasadena residents and those visiting Old Town tonight will have not only smoke from the Station fire to navigate but crowds of Michael Jackson fans. Villa Sorriso, the Italian restaurant on the far western edge of Colorado Boulevard is hosting the King of Pop's burial reception tonight. No, you can't go; the event is closed to the public. 250 family members and invited guests are expected. The Jackson family bought out the space for the entire day, according to the restaurant's PR representative, Dan Cox. Why the 5 year-old Pasadena restaurant? “The Jacksons are customers,” says Cox. “They've been coming for years. Although I don't think Michael ever came.” Cox says that the city of Pasadena has been helping to coordinate the event and the traffic, and that Colorado will not be closed. For those well-wishers, paparazzi, glove-clad fans and fire personnel desperately in need of a break, the Jacksons are expected to arrive at the restaurant around 8 o'clock this evening. No word on the menu.

Villa Sorriso is owned by Jack Haung, who also owns Bar Celona, a tapas restaurant a few blocks east up Colorado Blvd. Both restaurants recently celebrated their 5th year anniversaries.

Villa Sorriso: 168 W. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena; (626) 793-2233.

LA Weekly