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Jan 4, 2008 10:21 AM

Underground Restaurant Wine Lists?

Hi All:

I'm casting a net across the country to find restaurants that are either small, unassuming, or off the beaten path that have unexpectedly cool wine lists. The best example in my town (I'm in LA) is a sandwich shop downtown called Phillippe the Original (est. 1918) where you can actually wash down your French Dip sandwich with a glass of Silver Oak Cab. Another good example is this cool Chinese restaurant in San Ramon, CA, that has an unprecedented selection of Burgundy.

Are there any holes in any walls you know with undiscovered, unexpected, underground killer wine selections?


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  1. One of our columnists loves Jadis in New York City. She says "This is hands-down my favorite space in the city. Lovely exposed brick, olde world lanterns, affordable yet comprehensive wine list and best of all - a little outside area that is small and cozy, yet looks out over a grassy courtyard so you get a sense of space. While all their food appears to be yummy, I recommend the cheese plate & especially their bowl of olives. They roll them in some sort of pesto situation that makes them delicious all on their own."

    When I saw this thread, her strong recommendation came to mind! The full article is here - - if anyone wanted to read it. It's about the best little spots in NYC.

    1. Got to have Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas on that list. Not exactly unknown by LV food- and wine-hounds, but still pretty great juice for a dinky-looking strip-mall Thai place (albeit some of the best Thai food I've had anywhere).

      The reislings are great, but the kicker is the reds from southern rhone - to say nothing of the prices.

      Locally (I'm in Miami), there's a gas station just off US1 that has a nice little tapas bar/restaurant in the back called El Carajo, and an unexpectedly good wine selection where you can take any wine off the shelf and pay $10 corkage. I've seen Ridge Montebello there, Numathia ...

      El Carajo International Tapas & Wine
      2465 SW 17th Ave, Miami, FL 33145

      Lotus of Siam
      953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

      2 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        El Carajo? That certainly shows Chutzpah...

        1. re: RicRios

          Or cojones. Apparently the city won't let them put up a sign.

      2. I have two:

        In Vancouver, there's a funky restaurant on Commercial Drive called, "WaSubeez Cafe". Their wine list is killer and very affordable. You just wouldn't expect it from a place like this.