Huntington Library Revamps Dining Options

The Huntington has long prided itself on its growing collection of artwork, its portals into the world’s history and its expansive gardens that evoke nature’s beauty.
Now, its officials say, it has taken the next step toward pleasing our palates.
“We have always had some measure of food services at the Huntington, but we’ve never really focused on the quality of it until now,” said Susan Turner-Lowe, vice president for communication and marketing at the Huntington. “We really needed to up our game there.”
Enter Bon Appétit Management Co., which brought in three celebrity chefs — Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger — to help start the new direction for the Huntington’s cuisine offerings.
Milliken and Feniger, who co-founded Border Grill, have revamped the Huntington’s main café, now called 1919, to serve signature Border Grill dishes. Under Feniger’s and Alger’s tutelage, the Chinese Garden’s Freshwater Dumpling and Noodle House will offer a changing variety of Chinese, Mongolian and Nepalese food.
The two also have created rotating seasonal menus for the Patio Grill that will be based on the variety of cultures that make up the Los Angeles area.
“You might see something Mediterranean. You might see something Asian,” Turner-Lowe said. “There’s just a variety of offerings there.”
Alger, who co-owns Blue Window, has overseen the addition of fresh and responsibly sourced sushi to 1919’s menu.
The three also will host a series of cooking classes starting in January, to be open to Huntington members and the public alike.
Turner-Lowe, who served on the Huntington’s food committee that oversaw this project, said work started about a year ago. The latest offerings started trickling in earlier this month.
“The amount of traffic into the venues has been steady and high,” she said. “From a staff perspective, I’ve never seen happier people.”
Along with “completely reinvented” menus, the Huntington’s food services also will begin catering private events. Moving forward, the institution hopes to continue and expand its resource sustainability with its food.
“A lot of it is fairly locally sourced,” Turner-Lowe said. “That’s exciting because we’re really pushing toward a more sustainable operation.”

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