Beckham Grill has been on Walnut Ave. in Pasadena for as long as I can remember. (Their sign reads "Since 1978," which is as long as I've been alive.) And in all the years of driving past, literally thousands of times, I can only remember two meals there: a fish & chips on a cold winter night that was very good, and a slice of prime rib that was pretty bad.
The restaurant itself is pretty old-fashioned: dark wood that looks like it isn't dusted frequently enough, large booths, dark lights, attentive service. And at both meals I had, I was easily the youngest person in the room. (The average age of the customers was probably twice mine.) It's not an unpleasant experience, but it's not a particularly good one. It's the kind of place I imagine my grandmother, were she still alive, would love to have dinner at 5PM. (Though she would find the $3.50 valet parking - the kind where the attendant takes your car and parks it literally twenty feet away - as obnoxious as I do.)
But I still visit Beckham Grill every once in a while, mainly for one reason: the Rose & Crown Pub. In the front of the restaurant, off to the side, is one of the most authentic-looking English pubs I have ever been to in California. The other day a friend and I stopped by.
If you're looking for a happening place or a good deal on drinks, the pub at Beckham Grill is not for you. But if, like me, you enjoy a pint of Guinness and a game of darts on a late summer afternoon, in a relaxing atmosphere where you don't have to worry about "Sweet Home Alabama" blasting on the jukebox or guys blowing pot smoke in your face - only two of the many reasons that I don't go out in Old Town much anymore - then this pub may be just what you're looking for.