Scenes from the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market and Farm to Table Tour

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The South Pasadena Farmers’ Market hosted Toyota’s Farm to Table Tour yesterday, and acclaimed local chefs got in on the act.
L.A. culinary icon Susan Feniger of STREET was something of a headliner for the event. Feniger — and eight other celebrated area cuisiniers — partnered with local farmers and vendors to design complimentary tastings for visitors.
All the small-bite dishes were created using using fresh produce from the market.
The nationally touring Toyota event supports the farm-to-table movement and local, sustainable food.
Nicole’s Gourmet Foods of South Pasadena presented an arugula salad, seen at top, with ingredients from Pudwill Berry Farms, Living Lettuce Farms, Bernard Ranch and Healthy Family Farms.

More photos after the jump:

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Your guide to Bring Your Own Wine Wednesdays in Pasadena

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Through August 31, participating restaurants in Pasadena are offering corkage-free Wednesdays. The Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) Wednesdays program is sponsored by the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, and it aims to drum up dine-in business for local eateries on what is a traditionally slow night.
On the way to a mid-week dinner, pick up a bottle or two, and start with these general pairing suggestions from Monopole Wine boutique owner Peter Nelson. (Prices are approximate and subject to change and availability.) Plus, read more about Monopole after the jump.
  • English cuisine
2004 Chateau Larruau Margaux, $32.99
2008 Domaine Fouassier Quincy, $17.99
Bring to: Beckham Grill, 77 W. Walnut St., Pasadena, 626-796-3399, beckhamgrill.com
  • Mexican/Spanish/tapas
2008 Tres Ojos Calatayud Old Vines Garnacha, $7.95
2006 Colina Verde Rioja, $14.99
2009 Trajarinho Vinho Verde, $9.99
2009 Vionta Albario Ras Baixas, $13.99
Bring to: Bar Celona, 46 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-405-1000, barcelonapasadena.com

El Cholo, 958 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 626-441-4353, elcholopasadena.com

IX Tapa Cantina, 119 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-304-1000, cantinaixtapa.com
  • French/California bistro
2008 Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Rouge, $29.99
2009 Domaine les Gryphees (Pierre Durdilly) Moulin–Vent, $19.99
2009 Francis Blanchet Pouilly-Fume, $21.99
Bring to: Cafe Bizou, 91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-792-9923, cafebizou.com

Green Street Tavern, 69 W. Green St., Pasadena, 626-229-9961, greenstreettavern.net

The Terrace at The Langham Huntington, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, 626-585-6218, pasadena.langhamhotels.com
  • Italian cuisine
2004 Prunotto Barolo, $53.99
2007 Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico, $12.99
2008 Cascina Degli Ulivi Gavi, $16.99
Bring to: Celestino Ristorante, 141 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, 626-795-4006, calogerodrago.com

Villa Sorriso, 168 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-793-8008, sorrisopasadena.com
  • Eclectic
2007 Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir, $41.99
2007 Dierberg Syrah Santa Ynez Valley, $31.99
2006 Ici/La-Bas Chardonnay Victoria Elke Vineyard, $27.99
Bring to: Elements Kitchen, 37 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626-440-0044, elementskitchen.com

Technique at Le Cordon Bleu, 525 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-229-1377, techniquerestaurant.com
  • Japanese
Tozai Snow Maiden Junmai Nigori Sake, $13.99
Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo 55, $36.99
Bring to: Japon Bistro, 927 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-744-1751, japonbistro-pasadena.com
  • French/Japanese fusion
2009 Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg, $32.99
2005 Domaine de Vieux Lazaret Chteauneuf-du-Pape, $42.99
Bring to: Maison Akira, 713 E. Green St., Pasadena, 626-796-9501, maisonakira.com
  • Steak
2007 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Revilo, $84.99
Bring to: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 369 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-583-8122, ruthschris.com

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Drink it up: San Gabriel Valley watering holes on Jonathan Gold’s ‘Best Cocktails’ list

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The latest L.A. Weekly roundup of “L.A.’s Best” by Pulitizer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold targets the 55 best cocktails in the region. The Pasadena-based writer places a couple San Gabriel Valley institutions on the list. Here’s what he had to say.

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    Flaming Honey Bowl (for two)

“What’s in a Flaming Honey Bowl? Who knows: Rum, apricot and a splash of Coke, says the menu, and who are we to argue? But it’s served in a wooden salad bowl, the straws are as long as your arm, and it comes with flaming croutons.”

Find it at: Bahooka (seen above and at right), 4501 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, (626) 285-1241, bahooka.com
  • Daily Double
“The bar these days may not be as classic as one might prefer — they have discovered pomegranate martinis, Key lime martinis with whipped cream, and elderflower liqueur — but it is still thrilling when the waitress asks if you’ll be having a regular-sized drink, or want to upgrade to the Daily Double.”

Find it at: The Derby, 233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, (626) 447-2430, thederbyarcadia.com
  • Medicina Latina
“Medicina Latina, the invention of the peripatetic bartender Marcos Tello, follows him around like a faithful pup. … But the cocktail seems to be at its most potent where Tello’s tracks are the freshest, which means for the moment, you should be seeking your Medicina Latina at 1886, the sleek new cocktail bar tucked into the rear of the Raymond Restaurant.”

Find it at: 1886 at the Raymond Restaurant, 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626) 441-3136, theraymond.com
The whole story, for your responsible consumption, is here.

(Staff file photos)

Old Pasadena Happy Hour Week starts tomorrow

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Old Pasadena Happy Hour Week starts tomorrow. A number of Pasadena restaurants, bars and lounges will be hosting extended drink and grub specials from March 1-March 8. Getting in on the act are Vertical Wine Bistro, Point08 Bar and The Otis Bar at La Grande Orange Cafe.
Most drink specials are priced in the $2-$8 range.
Equator Cafe is offering the first martini for $1 on Tuesdays, from 4 p.m.-close, during Happy Hour Week. On weekend days from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the cafe also has $10 bottomless champagne or mimosas with brunch.
The Scarlet Tea Room & Fine Dining, pictured at top, will serve red and white wine, mimosas, sangria and hibiscus cocktails for $5 a pop.
See the schedule and full menus for each bar and eatery here.

(Staff file photo)

Pasadena chef Laurent Quenioux garners James Beard Awards nod for Bistro LQ

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Pasadena resident and Vertical Wine Bistro executive chef Laurent Quenioux is a semifinalist for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. He received the esteemed nod under the Best Chef: Pacific category for his restaurant Bistro LQ in Los Angeles.
Quenioux said he is honored by the recognition and glad to be in such good company among many great chefs. The Beard Awards are the most prestigious given to culinary professionals in the United States.
In our March/April issue, Quenioux talked with staff writer Claudia S. Palma about his culinary career and living in the Crown City.

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Rose Magazine’s health and wellness issue hits stands Sunday

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Pick up Rose Magazine’s health and wellness issue on Feb. 13 inside the Pasadena Star-News. If you’re a Sunday Star-News subscriber, you’ll automatically receive the magazine with your morning delivery.
On the cover of this issue is instructor Molly Ryan of Pasadena’s newest yoga studio YogaHop, which blends traditional flowing yoga poses with high-energy music and an upbeat pace.
Inside the magazine, you’ll find all our regular departments, including the very best of events, dining and shopping in the Pasadena area.
Drop us a line and let us know what you’d like to see covered in future issues of the magazine.
Our March/April issue features:


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Pasadena wine tasting to feature hundreds of pinot noirs

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The Pasadena PinotFest is getting better with age.
Wine-guy-about-town Mike Farwell and his partners from Noir Food & Wine are taking their third annual wine festival to new heights this year, with a capstone Grand Public Tasting to be held up at the Altadena Town and Country Club on Feb. 12.
Taking center stage for the occasion is, of course, that moody elixir, the pinot noir. And, for Farwell, there could be no more perfect a pairing.
He’s spent the better part of the past two decades getting acquainted with the red-grape variety, and still today he’s continually discovering new and notable pinot noir winemakers.
With the headlining event of the 2011 Pasadena PinotFest, guests can expect the opportunity to taste hundreds of pinot noirs from California winemakers, especially from the inestimable Santa Rita Hills and Russian River Valley.

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Shop the Block: For Valentine’s Day, Mignon chocolates are anything but boring

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As authentic as family-run businesses come, Mignon Chocolate was founded in 1910 and has been run by the Ter-Poghossians ever since.
For three generations, the family has manufactured its own fine chocolates, and original recipes are what make Mignon truly exceptional.
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Conduct your own taste test, starting with two selections from the M Collection: ginger sea salt chocolates (a dark-chocolate shell filled with luscious ginger dark chocolate ganache and topped with lime-infused sea salt) and lavender chocolates (also a ganache-infused dark-chocolate shell with the complex sweetness of woodsy lavender).
Mignon’s signature treat is its box of orange-peel strips, baked in heavy syrup and coated in dark chocolate. Another favorite is the saffron marzipan, which is created in-house with diced orange peels and infused with saffron. The family has been handmaking the latter since the 1930s.
In the Los Angeles area, Mignon also runs locations in Glendale and Van Nuys. An international outpost is located in Tehran.
6 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Open Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.; closed Mon. (626) 796-7100, mignonchocolate.com
More photos after the jump:

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Cocktail culture comes east: 1886 bar opens at The Raymond in Pasadena




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Calling all cocktailians: Contemporary bar culture made a late but entirely fashionable entrance this week in Pasadena with the opening of 1886, the new watering hole at The Raymond Restaurant.

The Raymond’s management and owners partnered with mixology masters Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets to curate the much-anticipated, artisan cocktail bar. Tello’s lengthy CV includes crafting the cocktail selection at The Varnish and The Edison in downtown Los Angeles. Demarest, too, is an Edison alum and also noted for his libations at First & Hope.

Appealing to Pasadenans’ sense of tradition, the drink menu at 1886 incorporates sly nods to local history and lore.

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The Royce restaurant at The Langham debuts tonight




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After an extensive renovation, The Langham Huntington’s former Dining Room opens tonight as The Royce, with celebrated chef David Fau heading up the kitchen.


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True to his roots, Fau’s inaugural menu (click to view, at left) is full of classically inspired dishes prepared in refined French technique and built using fresh, locally grown produce and sustainable products. He even includes on the printed menu a thoughtful dedication to the farmers and fishermen who cultivate his ingredients.

Fau’s rise to culinary prominence began after he worked under the guidance of famed chef Guy Savoy in Paris. He served as executive chef at several Parisian restaurants, before making his way to Manhattan to run the kitchen at Lutce. Fau joined the Patina Group in 2006, stepping first into the role of executive chef for Caf Pinot in downtown L.A. and then moving up as head of Patina Restaurant Group’s West Coast culinary operation.

The new look of the Langham restaurant space is the work of Atlanta-based architecture and design firm, The Johnson Studio. The firm’s principal Bill Johnson told Rose Magazine in June that he wanted to bring the design of the restaurant forward, while respecting the tradition of the historic building.

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