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

More photos after the jump:

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The Langham’s new chef is Savoy protege David Fau

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The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is set to become The Royce under its new Chef de Cuisine David Fau.
Fau honed his culinary skills under famed Parisian chef Guy Savoy.
“The Royce will be accessible fine dining at its best, and I want guests to feel completely at home when they walk through the doors,” Fau said in a statement. “We will showcase the beauty and complex flavors of local produce and pure ingredients, and invite guests to experience the gastronomic wonders of true cooking.”

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With Voltaggio heading out, The Langham moves forward on new concept for its restaurant

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Celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio is leaving The Langham Huntington in July, but the renovation of the hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant is going ahead as scheduled, said Langham spokeswoman Elsa Schelin.
These renderings, the “latest sketches” provided by The Langham, give a glimpse into the future look of the as-yet-unnamed restaurant.
The Dining Room will close July 18 and is slated to reopen in early October — now, with a new chef at its helm.
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Atlanta-based architecture and design firm The Johnson Studio is leading the remodel.
It’s not the first time the kitchen’s leadership has changed since the hotel began planning the renovations. Bill Johnson, head of the design firm, noted in an e-mailed statement that the restaurant redesign project started when chef Craig Strong was still in The Dining Room’s top spot.
“The arrival of Michael Voltaggio with his success on ‘Top Chef’ brought new energy, and we had a great time working with his ideas and tweaking the design to reflect his style and his cooking,” Johnson said. “While we are sad to see him go, we are excited about the space that we are creating and look forward to working with the new chef through the construction and the finishing touches. We are confident that our design reflects the forward thinking vision and direction of the Langham brand and we are eager for the city of Pasadena to experience this exciting new restaurant.”

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Photos: Summer libations from Pasadena bartenders


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    ELEMENTS KITCHEN

37 S. El Molino Ave., (626) 440-0044, elementskitchen.com
Every Thursday is “liquid sketches” night, when the bartenders gear up for an Iron Chef-style challenge.
Read the full story by Claudia S. Palma in Rose Magazine. Plus l

ots of photos and more bars after the jump:

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Michael Voltaggio on life — and restaurant concepts — after The Langham in Pasadena

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From the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., the “Top Chef” talked to Krista Simmons of the L.A. Times’ Daily Dish blog about yesterday’s announcement that he’ll be leaving The Langham in Pasadena to start his own restaurant venture:

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Krista Simmons: Because of your personality and your style of cooking, everyone was surprised that you stayed at the Langham for so long. Why leave now that they’re renovating?
Michael Voltaggio: I had to come to terms with the fact that I either stay in Pasadena and be at this restaurant being branded around me, or I can do something on my own outside of the Langham. I decided I want to make my own place. … At the end of the day I know that no matter what, that restaurant wasn’t mine.
KS: What neighborhoods are you scoping out? Is there a possibility that you might not even stay in L.A.?

MV: Restaurants don’t just fall out of the sky, so it’ll be a while. My goal is to stay in Los Angeles. I love L.A. and think it’s the most exciting food city to be in right now. … I’ll be looking in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, places with a lot of foot traffic.

Full post here.

(Staff file photo)

UPDATE: Celebrity chef de cuisine Michael Voltaggio is leaving The Langham to work on new projects


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“Top Chef” Michael Voltaggio will be leaving The Dining Room at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa when the restaurant closes for renovation on July 18, spokeswoman Elsa Schelin confirmed.

Voltaggio is leaving “to work on new projects.” Schelin said no further details about his departure were yet available.

Atlanta-based architecture firm The Johnson Studio will still manage the upcoming renovation of The Dining Room.

Here’s the full statement from Schelin:

“The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is grateful for our partnership with Chef Voltaggio this past year and wish him great success in his future endeavors. The Dining Room will close on July 18 to undergo a renovation, with an expected re-opening at the end of September. The restaurant will re-open with a new name and a more modern and stylish look and feel, designed by The Johnson Studio. Exact details regarding the restaurant’s name, design details, menu and launch date will be disclosed in the coming months.”


(Staff file photo)

Is ‘Top Chef’ Michael Voltaggio leaving The Langham in Pasadena?

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Rumors are building in the blogosphere that Michael Voltaggio is leaving the restaurant at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, Eater LA reported earlier today.

The L.A. Times travel blog says the departure has been confirmed by Langham spokeswoman Elsa Schelin.
I have a line into Schelin asking for more details.
It was less than a month ago when I sat down with Voltaggio in The Dining Room and talked about plans to reinvent the restaurant. He was still very much at the center of the project, working with hotel officials and Bill Johnson of the architecture firm The Johnson Studio to bring the design of the space into alignment with his cutting-edge cuisine.

If true, Voltaggio’s exit from The Langham would change a lot of things, including parts of our latest cover story that focus on the chef.
Stay tuned for updates.
In the meantime, here’s a video we put together from that recent interview and photo shoot with the celebrity chef.

The Langham kicks off World Cup festivities with street food-inspired bar menu

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World Cup opening day is upon us, and, in celebration, The Bar at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa is now serving up nightly specials and inspired takes on street food from around the globe.
The World Cup “Kickoff” promotion includes The Langham’s signature cocktails and an upscale bar-food menu crafted by Chef Erik Schuster (that’s him, at left).
Each dish represents a different World Cup competitor country, and weekly face-offs will pit one country’s menu item against another. (This week is England’s fish and chips against the U.S. “Dirty Dogs.”)
Follow and play along on Twitter, too, for the chance to win some complimentary World Cup street food.
Let’s take a food journey, in photos, after the jump:


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Lavender fields forever: Harvest festival at The Langham

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>>GO

We love free stuff. (A demonstration of that love is our soon-to-launch sister site Freebie Finds. Bookmark it now. Thank us later.)

Free stuff is even better when it comes from The Langham Huntington Spa.

Tomorrow from 4-8 p.m. in the courtyard, The Huntington Spa and Ajne Rare & Precious are hosting a complimentary Lavender Harvest Festival with live lavender distillation, samples of essential oils, bundles of lavender and lavender-infused hors d’oeuvres.

And (in the not-free-but-still-lavender category) lavender manicures ($45), specialty cocktails, beauty products and jewelry will be available for purchase.

Reserve your manicure in advance: (626) 585-6414

If you can’t make it tomorrow, The Langham is continuing its discount on lavender manis and pedis through October.

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

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>>EAT

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)