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Dec 2, 2006 05:49 AM

Wine bars on the West side for a Saturday night drink with a friend . . . .

Does anyone know of a wine bar or two, or a restuarant with a nice bar scene where I can have a drink or two with a friend on Saturday night? Needs to be on the West side. Also, don't want to break the bank . . . .



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  1. Upstairs 2 at the Wine House. . .they have small plates, wines, etc. And, it is in the Westside, on Cotner near Pico.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodseeker

      upstairs2 is definitely a good wine bar but it seriously lacks the "bar scene".

      primitivo might be a better choice.

    2. The new place next to Ugo in Culver City. I can't remember the name, but it's great. I like Bottle Rock too, but it isn't as cozy.

      6 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo

        Yikes! Who knows the name of this great place next to Ugo's? By the way, I saw some not so good postings for Upstairs 2. Whaddya all think?

        1. re: athena123

          It's called Vinum Populi or something ridiculously non-catchy like that. It's dark, cozy and has tons of different wines. Currently they serve snacks, cheeses, salumi etc, but they are taking over a kitchen in the back and expanding the menu in a couple of months or so. Right next door to Ugo.

          1. re: hrhboo

            Thanks for all your help, everyone! I am new to Chowhound, and this site rocks! I've got reservations at Primitivo tomorrow (the Saturday date got moved). Any sugggestions for food or wine there if you are so inclined, although I'm sure we'll be fine on our own.

            Has anyone been to Vinum? What was it like? i saw a brief positive mention of it on the Triplecreme site.

            Thanks again!

            1. re: athena123

              I live near Primitivo and eat there regularly. Standouts for me are always the charcuterie/cheese plates (huge!!) and the bacon-wrapped dates. The steak frites are always fantastic too.

              Vinum has just opened, it was hopping last night!

              1. re: hrhboo

                Sooooo . . . tell me about Vinum!

            2. re: hrhboo

              Yes, Vinum Populi. Wine of/for the people! The cool thing is that they have these wine "stands" and you buy a certain amount of credit, then swipe your "credit card" and get an ounce of wine from any given bottle. It's a fun way to taste a lot of wines, although I guess the true aficionado would turn up his/her nose. Whatever. My friends and I got a kick out of trying a $500 bottle of wine - a 1-oz taste was about $23, and we each got a sip. Fwiw we preferred the bottles that were $160 (and the super-expensive bottles are in a different section than the rest) and the owner/manager told us that the $500 one could probably use another 10 years of aging.

              We also ordered a cheese plate, but it was unbelievably tiny for $12. OK, there was truffle honey (great with pecorino), but when I order a cheese plate I want cheese!

              The main drawback we saw was that the credit-card system wouldn't work well in a crowd. There are only two swipey things per wine fountain, and only one person can go at a time, so it could become a pain if there were a lot of people waiting.

        2. I am no wine afficionado so I have no idea how good of a suggestion this is, but the Broadway Deli in the 3rd St. Promenade has a little wine bar separate from its regular bar. That would have at least a little more atmosphere, and plenty of other things to do nearby before and/or after.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. You can also try Bodega on Santa Monica at Lincoln (by Swingers). Happy Hour is good - I think all wine on the menu is 5$ and the small plates are a great buy! It's a cool vibe but gets crowded fast, so go when they open at like 6.