Dining: iX tapa Cantina is a boisterous, urban watering hole

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Food writer Merrill Shindler recently tackled the phonetically-challenging iX tapa Cantina, a newcomer to the Colorado Boulevard dining scene.

He, first, found that the eatery’s name brought out his inner grammar curmudgeon:


Look: You’ll forgive me if I spell it “Ixtapa.” Apparently, the spelling chosen by the Jack and Karen Huang, the restaurateurs who opened this Urban Chic Cantina, is the somewhat keyboard-unfriendly “iX tapa,” which will drive me to madness. And it’s apparently caused those who note restaurant openings on the Web to sprain all ten fingers. Take a look, and you’ll find “Ix Tapa,” “ix tapa,” “IX Tapa,” “Ixtapa” — the variations go on and on.

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Excuse me, waiter, there’s a rock star in my soup

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Staff photographer Sarah Reingewirtz did a photo shoot with Michael Voltaggio — the much chattered-about chef de cuisine for The Dining Room at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa — on Tuesday.

We just wanted to pause for a superficial moment and admire The Volt’s — Can we call you that? Thanks — body art in her photos. (Pause.)

And for those who’ve been living under a rock since Voltaggio was brought on by the Langham in July, the guy’s known for shaking things up — or, rather, mashing, blending, whipping, pureeing, powdering, pickling, puffing, frothing and just about every other -ing that can be done in the kitchen (plus a handful you never even knew could be done there).

Critic Merrill Shindler gives his two cents in the Star-News. Shindler thinks Voltaggio is toning down his molecular cooking techniques a bit, but adds this:

“… he’s continued to have fun with textures. His
tomato tartare is topped with powdered tapenade; he must have one
powerful dehydrator. His Kuroge beef wears a mantle of whipped soy. (I
tried whipping soy in a blender. After 10 minutes, I still had soy.)”

We say: Set the amps to 11, man.

Check out Voltaggio’s “Top Chef” bio.

(Photos, in detail, by Sarah Reingewirtz)