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Have good wine, need place with no/low corkage

We bought some great wine on our trip to Paso Robles and want to find a good restaurant to enjoy it that is not too expensive (entrees less than $25). We live in Sherman Oaks and are willing to travel in surrounding areas. I tried to search but I am coming up with very old postings.

Any recs on a good place that is not too expensive and offers no/low corkage? We are thinking French, Italian, American. Have already been to Cafe Bizou, Pinot Bistro, La Bottega & Il Tiramisu so any other recs would be appreciated.


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  1. first thought is BISTRO K in south pasadena.

    second, but more upscale, PROVIDENCE has no corkage on mondays. sweet!

    2 Replies
    1. re: revets2

      Can you get out of Providence without spending an arm and a leg? Based on the posts I have seen its always seems to be $100+ a person just for the food. Not that I am saying that isn't worth it, we just usually don't spend that much on dinner unless its an extra, extra special occasion.

      1. re: CarlieInLA

        it is a special occasion restaurant, no doubt. can you get out under $100/pp? absolutely. it really depends on what you order.

        it's fine dining, so if it's a special bottle, i'd go for it.

        what struck me last we were there (sat.), was we pay around $70 for good omakase at a sushi restaurant with relatively low staffing and ambiance. and for $75 we can get the 5-course tasting menu + amuse bouche + petit fours with more staff, ambiance, and great wine glasses at a relais & chateaux restaurant like PROVIDENCE. it's all relative, but that being said it's not cheap, but i think it's a good value.

    2. Try Bistro Verdu in Montrose/Glendale on Verdugo -- their menu is online -- they have a $5 corkage fee, entrees are around $20 (they also have a prix fixe menu once a week for about $25 a person

      3 Replies
      1. re: patz

        Second vote for Bistro Verdu. Very wine-friendly and reasonable prices for great bistro food. Check out the website: www.bistroverdu.com

        1. re: sebi

          Thanks for the rec, menu looks interesting, any specific recs on what to get?

          1. re: CarlieInLA

            I've had the salmon, the chicken, and the halibut with very good results -- i also had a lamb special about a year ago that was excellent. i wasn't too impressed with the roasted beets as a starter, i thought the cheese overpowered the rest of the dish, but i really like the asparagus with poached egg. the waiters are also helpful in terms of suggesting dishes that will complement whatever wine you have brought with you

      2. Cafe Du Village on Larchmont has no corkage. It's a small cute place with good food at reasonable prices. I believe there was an Italian place on Larchmont with no corkage as well....Girasole?

        2 Replies
        1. re: MeowMixx

          Girasole has free corkage. Also, the food is excellent and I believe their prices fall in the range the OP is seeking.

          1. re: ladelfa

            It's true, Girasole has "no corkage" and pretty decent Italian foodto go with it. TBS, get there early or make a reservation, or be prepared to wait. There were plenty of "campers" milking their wine, so the hostess actually told us to wait inside so people would see us standing there and take a hint. It worked

            cucina italiana
            225 1/2 Larchmont Blvd.
            LA, CA, 90004


        2. The Kitchen in Silverlake (I think $0)
          Il Capprecio in Silverlake (I think $0 or maybe $10)
          Fritto Misto (in Santa Monica)
          Angelini Osteria -- if you buy a bottle, no corkage fee

          I love Paso Robles and wines from there!!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Obessed

            for ANGELINI, like most places, the wine cannot be on their list.

            1. re: Obessed

              Pretty sure Il Capriccio increased to $10 once they got their liquor license. I think the Kitchen is still zero though.

              Re MeowMixx's suggestion, I do not recommend Girasole on Larchmont. Although I really liked it when I went a few yrs ago and it does have no corkage, when I went recently, the pastas were incredibly heavy and none of the dishes were anything special. Review with pics - http://meganinlosfeliz.blogspot.com/

              1. re: meganinlosfeliz

                I believe the Kitchen is $3 a bottle... not much but not nothing.

            2. Try The Spot (formerly Vintage Bistro and Cafe) in Pasadena on Lincoln (http://thespotpasadena.com/) - excellent food, decent but sometimes slow service, live music (can be loud at times, but it's usually wonderful jazz) - last time we went there was no corkage (they don't have a liquor license). I love this place - call to confirm corkage, though, in the off-chance that it's changed.

              1. My most frequented no-corkage restaurants are Cobras and Matadors on Beverly for spanish tapas and Cube on La Brea. Cube does have some entrees and small plates, but I like going there for their huge selection of cheeses and charcuterie.

                Not no-corkage, but Bin 8945 has a "buy one, bring one" deal.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Newkie

                  PINOT BISTRO DOES NOT ALLOW you to bring in wine. I was there Saturday night and a couple was leaving, disappointed, with their wine bottle and told us that it was not allowed. Anyway, we weren't wow'd by anything we ate.

                  1. re: compucook

                    We have always brought wine to Pinot Bistro, we were just there a few weeks ago...I wonder if this is a new thing...I sure hope not!

                    1. re: CarlieInLA

                      but just a little side note: all the restaurants owned by pinot.. do allow children to eat for free. This is a little secret noone knows!

                      1. re: sallybean

                        That's what we were told by the guy running the little grill upstairs at the music center but when we then walked downstairs and ate at Kendall's, we were charged full price for the kids meals...when I reported this to the manager, she simply said "he was wrong" (even though he works for them!)

                    2. re: compucook

                      It was probably an expensive bottle that was already on Pinot's list. Most restaurants won't let you bring in a bottle they already offer on their wine list. If you are bringing a special bottle, it's best to call ahead to the restaurant to make sure in advance it's not something they are selling already.

                    3. re: Newkie

                      to my recollection (it may have changed), but corkage at COBRAs is NOT free unless you buy from the wine shop next door as has been the policy since they opened and when neal fraser had boxer there before. call before going.

                      this is a tough posting string because so many restaurants change their corkage policies often and it's hard to keep up. don't forget to call first and make sure to get their name too. we've often been told one thing on the phone, only to be told another upon arrival.

                      1. re: revets2

                        I was also under the impression that you had to buy the wine from the shop next door, but I recently celebrated my birthday there and wanted to bring a few wines from home. I called ahead to see what the corkage would be if I didn't buy from their shop and they said that is no longer their policy and there is no corkage on *any* wine you bring.

                      2. re: Newkie

                        Cube is a good idea. Absolutely free corkage. I'll vouch for their pizzas and a few of the pastas - they have a big selection of ravioli. Good salads as well.

                        1. re: smonkey

                          I second Cube. I went a few weeks back with a party of 4. We brought a couple bottles of wine, one red one white, and not only did they not charge a corkage fee, they provided an ice bucket for the white wine. Dinner included a few different cheese plates, a large salad for the table, zucchini blossoms, truffle pizza, and grilled artichoke. Total came to about $60. Great food and great value.

                      3. Il Cappricio is DEF $0 corkage. I go there like once a week. And you really cannot beat the food for the price. You can get a salad, entree and dessert for under $25.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: kellydeez

                          Where is Il Cappricio? I tried to google and I get one on Vermont that has $8 corkage, is the one that you recommend the offshoot Pizzaria in Los Feliz?

                          1. re: CarlieInLA

                            It's on Vermont and I have definitely been charged corkage on numerous occasions. I think Kellydeez must get special treatment (I am envious - more power to you). But don't expect it - it's $8. http://www.ilcapriccioonvermont.com/

                              1. re: meganinlosfeliz

                                Ok, so I just called Il Capriccio and asked them about their corkage fee. They assured me that they do not charge one. The little Italian lady who is always there answered. I thought I was crazy for a second. I feel like I remember they used to serve their own wine, maybe they charged a fee then? Not sure, but I haven'te been chaged a fee in a year...

                                1. re: kellydeez

                                  Good to know, on their online menu it says they charge the $8 corkage so maybe thats just an old menu. Thanks!

                                  1. re: CarlieInLA

                                    My friends went last week and reported they were not charged corkage but did not bring wine (initially) b/c they had last been there when Il Capriccio had a liquor license. The restaurant apologized and explained they had lost their liquor license and were trying to get it back, but in the meantime there was no corkage. (My friends left and bought some wine and returned). Mystery solved! I assume they have not updated the website because they are hoping their license will be reinstated soon. Interestingly, I recall being charged $5 before they got their license--I started going in 2002 or 2003--and then it went up to $8 when they got their license. Now that it is free, I definitely am going to pay them a visit soon.

                          2. What bottles are you bringing? (I love Paso wines!) Dont forget that the Houstons chain also includes Bandera (excellent) and Gulftstream.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: AlabasterDisaster

                              We have some 2003 Zin from Adelaida and some AMAZING 2005 Tre Noce from Dover Canyon (Zin, Syrah blend) We had the best time in Paso, so much better than Napa. Thanks to all for your great recs, now we will have to decide where to go! Leaning towards Bistro K maybe since we have never been.

                              1. re: CarlieInLA

                                Nice! I'm on my way there in 2 weeks. Anything not to miss?

                                1. re: rachaels

                                  here are 2 links that should help you. I would go on the Cali board and search "paso robles" you will get a ton of responses. I plan post on my experience soon, it was great!!! Do not miss Dover Canyon, Adelaida and Linne Calodo. Also we had a picnic at Carmody McKight which was grea. Also, dont miss Paso Olivo for great olive oil. Have fun! (hopefully this will not get deleted)


                                  1. re: CarlieInLA

                                    thanks so much! i'm so excited to go--just getting there, stepping out of the car and breathing the fresh air makes me feel so much better. The wine doesn't hurt either!

                                    1. re: rachaels

                                      Check out Zenaida as well. It is right across the street from Peachy Canyon, only a mile or two off the freeway. As much as I love Justin wine, skip the winery. Villa Creek is a great restaurant in downtown.

                                  2. re: rachaels

                                    My boyfriend and I LOVE Paso Robles! There are so many wineries to choose from! We like Adelaida, Castoro Cellars, Justin, Tablas Creek is big with us, Carmody McKnight (good Chardonnay and lovely lables), Tolo (run by a guy who used to be with Le Cuvier--at the Le Cuvier site), Martin and Weinrich (E. Paso), Rabbit Ridge (N. of Paso--haven't been in a couple years-had a good Syrah),Peachy Canyon. www.Faroutwineries.com has a nice map of wineries west of the 101. Dunning had free tasting last we went...This should be a good start! Enjoy!

                                  3. re: CarlieInLA

                                    Have you tried the wines out of Arroyo Grande? I am a great fan of Paso but I think the Arroyo Grande wines have a bit more finesse. I will say that for my money Adelaida and Eberle are two of the best and maybe throw in Peachy Canyon. Needless to say Las Tablas is top of the line but so are there prices.

                                2. How about the Lodge on La Cienega?

                                  1. In Larchmont Village / Hancock Park is an amazine Italian restaurant called Girasole. I'm not sure what their policy is now, but for many years, they had no corkage fee. Granted, sometimes you had to keep your bottly under the table, or pour it into a carafe, etc. but that depened on how grumpy the Pizza guy down the street was and how often he was calling the liquor commission. The food here is EXCELLENT. Try the spinach gniocci in butter sage sauce as a shared pasta course. They are not potatos based, more like spinach, cheese, and egg whites. Fantastic.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: markethej

                                      Really? I had the ravaoli allita zucca, with the butter sage sauce, and was not impressed. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Milano's in Glendale. Now that is a browned butter sage sauce!

                                    2. 25 Degrees, in the Hollywood Roosevelt. Fancy hamburgers. No corkage.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: tarabell

                                        really? no corkage at 25 degrees......good burger and a nice bottle of cab :)

                                      2. Local, Bistro Verdu- especially with the new spring menu-your Paso wines will find some good goodies...the boys in back really know what to do with their beef and right now there is a fab duo of pork with spring pea and mushroom risotto that will go wonderfully with those Paso wines...we will be there tonight with a white burgandy that one of my clients gave me on Sunday from Silverlake Wine...the Manila Clams and the Halibit are waiting.

                                        1. all this being said, don't forget to tip appropriately for your corkage, if you received good service for it.

                                          4 Replies
                                            1. re: revets2

                                              And offer your server/sommelier a taste of what you brought...

                                              1. re: ruddy

                                                Hi Y'all, we always offer a glass to the gang...I sure hope a good tip was left, my friends wouldn't let me see the bill since I brought the wine, but I did throw some money their way...we also ordered another bottle.
                                                You gotta give some wine-love to the people bringing out your dishes and pouring your wine...it's amazing how many people think it's odd when I do that.
                                                Oh, the Clams and the Pork went so well with the wine, but the kicker was the Ling Cod on Bacon Risotto Special..oh my stars!!! Not to mention the Alsace Pinot Blanc...mmm, never a bad meal there!

                                              2. re: revets2

                                                VERY VERY excellent point!! Offering a taste to whoever's serving you is nice but don't let it count as the tip!

                                              3. Mike and Anne's in South Pasadena has a pretty low corkage: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/386004. My husband and I just went there for dinner last weekend with friends and we went through three bottles of our own wine.

                                                We buy a lot from Paso Robles as well, what wineries do you like?

                                                1. colorado wine co's no corkage map...small, but nice to be able to see it actually on a map. there's a link in the body of the text right beneath the first paragraph: http://www.cowineco.com/content350.html

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: blahg

                                                    Wow, blahq, that Colorado Wine link is mighty handy...thanks.

                                                  2. Gingergrass in Silver Lake on Glendale Blvd. is delicious Vietnamese and they have a low corkage. ( I tihnk 8$) Sometimes if they're on a wait I will go across the street and pick something out at Silver Lake Wine-- a great wine store with friendly knowledgable staff!

                                                    1. adding onto an 8+ month old thread. =)

                                                      try bella roma spqr in beverlywood. great food and their corkage is $4 iirc.

                                                      1. Cafe Bijou in Pasadena... Corkage is $2 and the entees are amazing.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: vajrasun

                                                          It's Bizou, and I think it's gone up to $3

                                                          1. re: Diana

                                                            Not sure... I haven't been since October, and it was still $2.00 at that time. Even $3.00 is still a steal.