The electro-optic response of a cell consisting of a thin layer of liquid crystal deposited onto gold nanorods embedded in thin film alumina with a transparent top electrode has been investigated. For p-polarized light incident from the liquid crystal side, the extinction peak associated with the nanorod longitudinal plasmon resonance is completely suppressed. The peak could be recovered by applying an external electric field parallel to the long axis of the nanorods. No extinction peak suppression is observed when the light was incident from the nanorod side of the cell. The effect is explained by polarization properties of liquid crystal. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.