Here is a sampling of corkage fees and policies at a few local restaurants.
All Wolfgang Puck fine-dining restaurants, including Spago and Cut in Beverly Hills and WP30 downtown: $50 per bottle with a maximum of three bottles. They ask that the wine not be on their wine list.
Mélisse in Santa Monica: $50 for the first two bottles, and $75 for every bottle after that. Buy a bottle from the list and they'll waive one bottle's corkage fee.
Craft in Century City: $30 per bottle. Buy a bottle from the list and they'll waive one bottle's corkage fee. If you're going to bring more than two bottles, call the wine director beforehand.
Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles: $30 per bottle, with a two-bottle maximum. The restaurant asks that you not bring wine that's on the exclusively Italian wine list.
Patina downtown: $30 per bottle and $60 per magnum. Buy a bottle from the list and they'll waive one bottle's corkage fee.
République on the Miracle Mile: $30 a bottle for the first three bottles, $50 for every bottle after that.
Bestia downtown: $30 for the first two bottles, $50 for every bottle after that.
Lucques and AOC in Los Angeles and Tavern in Santa Monica: $25 per bottle. Buy a bottle from the list and they'll waive one bottle's corkage fee.
Bouchon in Beverly Hills: $25 per bottle, with a two-bottle maximum.
Sotto in Los Angeles: $25 per bottle, with a two-bottle maximum. Buy one bottle and they'll waive corkage for one bottle.
Aestus in Santa Monica: $25 per bottle, $10 for bottles 10 years old or older. Purchase a bottle or glasses of wine from their list and corkage is waived.
Papilles in Hollywood: $15 per bottle.
Terrine in Los Angeles: $25 per bottle with a two-bottle limit. Buy a bottle from the list and they'll waive one bottle's corkage fee.
Trois Mec and Petit Trois in Los Angeles: Guests cannot bring any outside wine or beverages.
If you want to bring your own wine
A few rules of thumb if you're going to bring your own wine to a restaurant:
Call to confirm the restaurant's corkage policy.
Check out the restaurant's wine list online to make sure you're not bringing a bottle on their list.
Don't bring a bottle you just picked up in the bargain bin at Trader Joe's. Be respectful by bringing a serious wine. Even better, bring something unusual, rare, old, something to show that you put some thought into the choice and didn't just grab the first bottle handy. It helps too if it's a bottle the sommelier might enjoy tasting.
Bring a backup in case the first bottle is corked (it happens about 5% of the time).
Bring the wine in an appropriate wine bag or carrier. Not cool: a paper bag or your purse.
Present the bottle to the wine steward or server as you arrive, so he or she can provide the correct glassware, chill the bottle down or decant it, whatever's appropriate. Don't pull it out from under the table at the last minute.
If your group is bringing more than two bottles, be sure to call ahead so the sommelier is prepared with the right staff and glassware. Some restaurants allow a maximum of two or three bottles per table. It's always good to call and discuss your needs beforehand.