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Oct 1, 2007 10:24 AM

L.A.'s Worst Wine List...go!

Ate at Mr. Chow's for the first time this weekend. NOT MY CHOICE. The wine list was the worst I have seen anywhere, ever.

Where are the other awful, dreadful wine lists in this town?

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  1. I assume you mean high markups...

    Mastro's has without a doubt the highest markups in the city 500-700%+...even with a $35 corkage, BYO.

    2 Replies
    1. re: manku

      i don't think the op necessarily meant high markups [although that sucks too]. more likely the problem was either limited options or wines that don't pair well with the food.

      1. re: manku

        Sorry, but the winner is ... Capo.

        (And doubly cursed, b/c of shared ownership w/ Wally's...)

      2. LOL. Funny topic suggestion. How about every neighborhood Thai & Chinese restaurant? That's where Kenwood makes their money.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ElJeffe

          I agree. Although Kenwood would be a significant step up from the usual bottles that appear on the very short list. At least the stemware matches the caliber of the wines, though.

          1. re: monkuboy

            I've seen Charles Shaw going for $10.

            1. re: Pei

              That's pretty severe, a 5x retail markup, lol.

              1. re: Pei

                Well that would be illegal. First, Trader Joes has the exclusive rights on the CS brand. Second, it is illegal for any retailer to sell wine purchased from a retail location (i.e. non-distributor).

          2. Bodega Wine bar. I have no idea how this place can possibly bill itself as a wine bar when all the wines are the same price and are all equally bad. The food isn't great either.

            11 Replies
              1. re: Woolsey

                No. Bodega Wine Bar is in Santa Monica and I believe Pasadena.


                1. re: hrhboo

                  I went to Bodega for a mixer event and had one decent glass of wine but the rest of the menu was Eh. Call it my internal Deathwatch, but a place so underwhelming could never last.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    i have been underwhelmed twice but both times i've been there it's been absolutely packed. god knows how they're doing it but they have some time to go i think.

                    1. re: jbeecher

                      You're right, it is always packed. They also have the worst cheese plate I have ever been served, and it's quite hard to mess up a cheese plate! The atmosphere at the SM location is fun and there aren't many other bars with a similar vibe in the area so I continue to go there.

                2. re: Woolsey

                  I believe Bodega deCordova is out of business.

                  1. re: carter

                    No really? I did hear a rumor it was for sale...

                3. re: hrhboo

                  Yep, totally agree. Not a bad atmosphere but the food has been terrible outside of the painfully easy (hummus) and the wine list is very hit or miss. I've also had very bad luck at BottleRock in Culver City, even though its a place I really want to like.

                  I loved the Vinum Populi pour your own experience.

                  1. re: ElJeffe

                    third this. although, believe it or not, the wines seem to have improved since their opening some years ago (pasadena location reference only).

                  2. re: hrhboo

                    So true! I can appreciate the concept—making wine more accessible—but it was all plonk. I would have been willing to pay more for better.

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      I went to Bodega last night (a Tuesday), and while I agree the wine isn't great (as the bartender astutely put it, "you won't be finding any Opus I on this list") it is drinkable and reasonably priced. On Tuesday night, you can get any bottle of wine on the list for $20 (except wines on the "premium" list). Granted these bottles are probably $8 at Ralph's, but $20 for a passable bottle of wine in a restaurant isn't too terrible. The food's not awful either, but I would say that the food and wine are there to compliment the atmosphere and not the other way around. Definitely not a great foodie hangout, but not a bad place. The chopped salad is actually pretty good and the grilled brie on fig challah was decent as well.

                    2. Red Pearl Kitchen. There are wines that do complement Asian food but I guess that's too hard of a concept for the "wine director" to understand.


                      1. Cezanne in the Le Merigot Hotel. Bodega De Cordoba Wine Bar. Most all mexican restaurants (sangria not included).