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Wine Bars

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  • Rich Apr 18, 2005 02:48 AM
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What makes a good wine bar and where are the best ones in los Angeles. Bellavino is phenomenal but a little far (Westlake Village)

Any suggestions

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  1. Enoteca Drago in Beverly Hills has a nice selection of italian wines.

    1. AOC on 3rd St. is the busiest one in LA, where reservations are generally 1-2 weeks in advance.

      1. Neither AOC or Enoteca Drago are truly wine bars. They are full service restaurants that have a large selection of wine. AOC is quite enjoyable. I would stick to wine at Enoteca Drago.

        LA doesn't have any great wine bars.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JudiAU

          A.O.C. is a fantastic wine bar. Great food, great service and great ambience. Enoteca is an Enoteca. Concept is that. Best selection of salami, prosciutto, cured pork, and cheeses. Very, very good daily fish, especially the crudo plates.

          I dont understand. A wine bar can not be a restaurant?

          1. re: MJY

            No. A wine bar is a wine bar. The emphasis is on wine and bar and not food. It may or may not serve food but food it not the focus.

            AOC is a restaurant that serves many wines by the glass. It serves good food. It serves good wine. I love AOC but it is not a wine bar.

            For what it is worth Suzanne Goin said the same last year in an interview.

            1. re: JudiAU

              Say what you will, Willi's has food. Le Metro in Knightsbridge has food. And they ARE wine bars. El Vino has food too.

              1. re: mc michael

                I am not sure what your point is. It is true that many wine bars serve food and I stated so before. But again, the point of a wine bar is not food but wine. AOC functions as a restaurant that serves many wines by the glass.

        2. Isn't there one in Pasadena?

          5 Replies
          1. re: mc michael

            Restaurant Halie (see posts), which is a restarurant with a good wine bar and Heritage (several nights a week tastings) which is a retail wine shop are good. Red Carpet in nearby Glendale, lost my business because I can never get a seat at the bar. Le Vendome in Studio City and Le Petite Vendome in La Canada have twice weekly wine tastings - they will be glad to put you on their mailing list.

            1. re: Griller141

              Red Carpet hasn't been as crowded lately and serves, bar none, the best wine in LA. Often wines of $200-300 a bottle that you normally wouldn't have a chance to taste.

              1. re: Ads
                r
                Ross Schwartz

                At the risk of making it even more crowded, Red Carpet is at the top of my list. They pour wine you can't even buy there, just so a person can have the experience. They also have been known to pour cult wines at a pretty decent price, for the same reason.

                1. re: Ross Schwartz

                  I wonder what will be happening with Red Carpet and its tasting program once the sale of the place is completed, probably by the end of the month. Hope they do not change the tastings policy.

            2. re: mc michael

              Are you referring to the one that's part of Restaurant Halie? It's very small and cozy... I'm not a wine expert, so I can't really comment on the selection. However, there were many choices of wine by the glass to pick from. And I really enjoy the two times I've been there.

            3. Not quite a wine bar per se, but Greenblatt's on Sunset has a selection of wines on tap.

              1. I prefer wine bars that offer reasonable selections and a pay-by-the-pour kind of deal and with small plates or at least bread, cheese, etc.

                There are a number of wine bars out there, a lot exist within a wine retail shop. Here is a short list of those:

                1. Silverlake Wine (casual, most night 3-4 bottles poured)
                2. Red Carpet, Glendale (good wines, focus on domestics)
                3. Heritage Wine, Pasadena (again more domestics but a mix)
                4. Bodega, Pasadena (just a wine bar, no great wines, more of a scene)
                5. Colorado Wine Co., Eagle Rock (new shop, stock needs to pick up)
                6. Wine House, West L.A. (major scene on Fridays)
                7. Woodland Hills Wine Co., (great mix, pay by pour)

                All of these places have websites, so surf away.

                1. Atmosphere and an awesome selection. Friends of the Vine in Redondo Beach.

                  1. s
                    Susnhine Girl

                    Primitivo Wine Bar on Abbot Kinney in Venice is the closest thing I've seen to a wine bar, with a HUGE selection of wines in all sorts of sizes for tasting, sipping, enjoying. I don't recall being blown away by the food, but I was more there for the wine anyway. Here's a review I found:

                    Tapas specialties evolve here from traditional Spanish into an array of Mediterranean flavors, including marinated lamb chops and lightly fried calamari, cooked in olive oil. Paella--either seafood, vegetarian or a combination of chicken, chorizo and fish--is made from scratch, which explains the 45-minute wait. Because this is a wine bar, the by-the-glass list promises an around-the-world adventure; diners can also choose from half or full glass. There's also a multi-page list, which encapsulates the restaurant's philosophy promising a fun, experimental and international experience.



                    Cost: $$

                    Atmosphere: Hip

                    Parking: Street and valet parking

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Susnhine Girl
                      t
                      thedeliciouslife

                      primitivo's food is just alright, but i do agree that they have a pretty decent selection of wines, and they are available by bottle, half bottle, and glass. but the place gets VERY VERY crowded, so if you're seriously into tasting wine, taking notes, etc...it might be tough.

                      but if you're like me and just want to have fun and get a good wine buzz....;)

                      Link: http://thedeliciouslife.blogspot.com/...

                    2. There is a wine bar in Long Beach called CASAVINO. It's located right on Pine street and have live music on many nights.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: otonitoni

                        Casa Vino rocks - strange location, but the people are friendly and they offer a good amount of boutique wines to choose from. The croustade w/ onion confit is to die for.

                        I also love the new back room at Morry's in Naples (Long Beach). They have renovated the store and created a wine bar/restaurant in the back - really great stuff there.

                        Casa Vino is cheaper though - I prefer hanging out there for a nice glass and good conversation with the owner there.

                        1. re: knoxymama

                          Oooh I'll have to try Morry's. Have you heard about Gaslamp's wine tasting on Thursday? How is it?

                          1. re: otonitoni

                            No, but I have to be honest... I'm not a Gaslamp fan. I had one of the worst meals there. :( The bar looks interesting though!!!

                      2. mission wine in south pasadena.

                        chris meeske, former sommelier at patina, is owner and manager.

                        continuous wine tasting during bus. hours and special wine tasting on saturdays.

                        fun to go after south pas. farmers market.

                        bodie, the french bull dog, is adorable.

                        mission wine
                        1114 Mission Street
                        south pas.

                        1. Here's my list:
                          LOU (724 N.Vine)
                          Bodega Wine Bar (one in Pasadena, one in Santa Monica)
                          Silverlake Wine
                          Vinoteca Farfalla (on Hillhurst)
                          redwhite&bleuzz (Pasadena, opening soon)
                          Campanile (only on Fridays for their Friday Night Flights)
                          Primitivo (Venice)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: OliveBelle

                            i love vinoteca farfalla. was there tonight and had a fantastic 1999 constanti brunello at a very reasonable price. my only complaint is one of the co-owners, santino, and the wait staff is not super knowledgeable about wine. the other owner, john, is an incredible host. good cheeses. service can be horrible to good.

                          2. i went to the colorado wine bar last night. someone said they were a little sparse on inventory in a previous post.

                            when you walk in, that would be your first impression, but the shop's focus right now is quality not quantity and when you consider the number of labels out there, it's refreshing to see a focused selection.

                            also, they have many wines i've not even seen or read about. last night we tried an opera sparkling, fiddlehead sav. blanc, fiddlehead pinot rose (lovely), jc cellars syrah, and a kiona cab from washington.

                            it was busy and the back wine bar is very cool.

                            we'll be back!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: revets2

                              Where is the Colorado wine bar located?

                              1. re: jniceyw

                                2114 colorado blvd. just east of eagle rock blvd.

                                just bought a bottle of the sharecroppers cab. very nice wine for the price.

                                http://www.cowineco.com/

                                john's a really nice guy.

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