Pasadena Greek Festival returns to Santa Anita Park

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Leave your bags behind and take a quick trip to Arcadia from Sept. 16 to 18 for a taste of Grecian culture with the return of the Pasadena Greek Festival. 

The weekend will include entertainment from the “Olympians,” visual art, authentic Greek cuisine and pastries, live cooking demonstrations, a live wine chat, Greek folk dancing and lectures about the country’s history and religion, as well as a kid’s fun zone with carnival games, rides and prizes. 
Festival hours are from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sept. 16; noon to 1 a.m. on Sept. 17; and noon to 10 p.m. on Sept. 18. Admission is $5 and children under 12 years old are free. Parking is $4 per car at the main entrance of Holly and Huntington Drive at Santa Anita Park. 
For more details, call 626-600-1672 or visit www.pasadenagreekfest.org. 

(Photo courtesy by pasadenagreekfest.org)

L.A. Street Food Fest trucks brave Carmageddon to bring locals gourmet treats

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With the 405 Freeway closure this weekend, the L.A. Street Food Fest in Pasadena is giving locals a reason to love being stuck in the area.

The summer tasting event on Saturday, July 16, will include an impressive list of more than 60 restaurants and food trucks, some of which are voyaging from the west side (the reason why the festival canceled its morning session), to bring gourmet street food to the Rose Bowl, located at 1001 Rose Bowl Drive.
A few favorites include Dim Sum Truck, CoolHaus dessert truck, CHAM Korean Bistro restaurant, The Oinkster restaurant and, even, Chef Farid Zadi (at the Test Kitchen Luxe Lounge). 
For those looking for a drink to pair with your foods, there is also a tequila tasting tent and beer garden, as well as a rum and gin bar.

Tickets, ranging from $60 and up, are still on sale for two sessions — Family Fun Day from 2 to 5 p.m. (all ages) and Date Night from 6 to 9 p.m. (21 years and over only). Admission includes food, drinks, photo booth portraits, entertainment and more.
Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer Brenda Gazzar has the details on tomorrow’s event.
(Staff file photos)

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.

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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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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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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
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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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Now open: The Tap Room bar at The Langham does vintage, straight-up, with a modern twist

 
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The cocktail bar at The Langham, Pasadena reopened last week as The Tap Room after an extensive redesign by Atlanta-based architecture and design firm The Johnson Studio.
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The name is a nod to the original hotel bar, which opened in the 1930s — just following the repeal of Prohibition.
The focus is on classic libations and artisan cocktails, but the new bar is fortified by a well-curated wine list and craft beer menu, with Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, Chimay Tripel (White), Spaten Oktoberfest, Franziskaner Hefeweizen, Morland Old Speckled Hen, Birra Moretti, Green Flash West Coast IPA and North Coast Old Rasputin on tap.
At the grand-opening fete, The Langham’s new chef de cuisine David Fau prepared some amuse-bouches: a foie gras marshmallow croque-en-bouche, and a yellowtail tuna and green apple mille-feuille with argan oil.
It was a taste of things to come when the hotel’s former Dining Room also reopens, in November, as The Royce with Fau at its helm.
Another food station presented the new menu of upscale bar fare that Tap Room visitors can expect to enjoy, including a lobster corn dog with mango curry ketchup; smoked-salmon tartar; cochinita pibil en crostini with citrus onion and habanero salsa; and a black truffle, onion and German sausage tartelette.
Open Mon.-Thur., 2 p.m.-1 a.m.; Fri. and Sat., noon-2 a.m.; Sun., noon-midnight. The Tap Room at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena. (626) 568 3900, pasadena.langhamhotels.com

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