Langan’s Brasserie – London

Above: a rare copy of the menu heading for Langan’s Brasserie in Century City, Los Angeles

Peter Langan was on the loose in Los Angeles when I was introduced to him, partly because his partners chef, Richard Sheperd and actor, Michael Caine found it more convenient to have Peter absent from London’s Langan’s Brasserie rather than under a table biting Princess Margaret’s leg and causing other disruptions. He was about to sign a really unfavorable lease agreement with the Beverly Center for the corner of the ground floor on LaCienega and Beverly Boulevards, which I managed to persuade him to abandon.

The caricature of Peter Langan on the menu of Langan’s Brasserie in Century City followed the style of the Langan’s London menu however, the operation in Los Angeles unfortunately for everyone, fell under the control of a partner and former New York garment district trader who knew absolutely nothing about running a restaurant and Peter was banned from entering the restaurant from the day of its opening. It was doomed to failure; as it was run in the style of a boutique restaurant rather than the inexpensive 600 seat brasserie that Peter had envisioned, where taxi drivers and film biz people would dine together, albeit in different sections the demarcations unknown to the general public.

I dined with friends a few times at Langan’s Brasserie on Stratton Street just off Piccadilly previous to meeting Peter in Los Angeles. When invited there on Peter’s request after we met, I moved along with him from one table to the next where he continued to open bottle after bottle of either Krug Prestige Cuvée or Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle, nursing a glass for awhile while chatting, and then moving on to another table where finally he had a tally of almost as many bottles open, as there were tables in the section near the bar. The walls, filled with works by David Hockney, whom Peter referred to, in the most sincere way as both were good friends, as “the house painter”. Patrick Procktor, another artist who was a close friend, painted a mural of Venice on the walls of the first floor Venetian Room. At Odins, another restaurant in the Langan’s stable, and as Peter often told me, “the restaurant with the best food” was filled with art that Peter had bartered, canvases in exchange for food and drink over the years.

There are so many stories to tell working with this eccentric character and certainly way too many for this post. I may be writing about a few of the more amusing experiences, at some point in the future in these pages, although at the time they were hardly considered as such.

Below: the main dining room downstairs at Langan’s Brasserie on Stratton Street, London


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