Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
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Brunello di Montalcino at Valentino, gin and tonics at Greystone

Chianti may be the best-known wine in Tuscany, but it’s Brunello di Montalcino that connoisseurs regard as the region's king of wines. And Friday night, you have a chance to taste some of the best examples at a special dinner put on by the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino honoring Santa Monica’s...

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    • Stars of Cabernet, fortified wines, and dinners with Barolo and Oregon Pinot Noirs

      Stars of Cabernet, fortified wines, and dinners with Barolo and Oregon Pinot Noirs

      'Tis the season to power through wine tastings and festivals and to savor special dinners that pair a menu with the wines of a single producer. Here's a small collection of events coming up soon that might be fun -- and worth your attention. On Friday, the inaugural VinFort event comes to Santa...

    • Wines of Argentina make a strong showing

      Wines of Argentina make a strong showing

      Maybe I've been unlucky, but I've tasted so many indifferent Malbecs lately that the idea of attending a tasting of wines from Argentina didn't exactly set my heart racing. But I found myself, albeit somewhat reluctantly, last Wednesday at a trade and consumer tasting for Wines of Argentina at...

    • AYCE Singaporean chili snow crab, MC Jin at Pot, 'Top Chef' pop-up at The Nosh

      AYCE Singaporean chili snow crab, MC Jin at Pot, 'Top Chef' pop-up at The Nosh

      Starry Kitchen is closing down the restaurant Saturday to cook 2000 pounds of Singaporean chili crab legs. The giant crab boil will benefit the Japanese American Cultural Community Center. Tickets are $75 for adults and $65 for kids, and include all-you-can-eat Singaporean chili snow crab legs...

    • Flatbread, a point of pride from the Mediterranean

      Flatbread, a point of pride from the Mediterranean

      For as long as humans have been cultivating grains, cooks have been baking flatbreads in the embers or on primitive wood-fired ovens. Pizza is a flatbread, beloved the world over. But it's certainly not the only flatbread from the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Consider Turkey's lahmacun spread...

    • Barneys New York has L.A. Stories to tell after its redesign

      Barneys New York has L.A. Stories to tell after its redesign

      Just in time for its 20th anniversary, celebrated on Wednesday night, Barneys New York in Beverly Hills has had a face-lift. The main floor, cosmetics floor and men's fifth floor have all been redesigned, and the store includes the first Freds restaurant on the West Coast, creating a new, see-and-be-seen...

    • King crab and fries at Pearl's Sunset Strip, chef takeover at Melisse, Cut feast

      King crab and fries at Pearl's Sunset Strip, chef takeover at Melisse, Cut feast

      If your idea of a good time is spending an evening elbow deep in crab shells, you'll want to check out the new king crab nights at Pearl's Sunset Strip. The West Hollywood restaurant has introduced a new special that includes a pound of king crab legs and a bowl of Kennebec fries for $27. The special...

    • Freds at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills to open Thursday
      Freds at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills to open Thursday

      Barneys New York in Beverly Hills will open an outlet of Freds, its signature restaurant, in the former fifth-floor Barney Greengrass space Thursday. The Los Angeles version (there are sister restaurants in New York and Chicago), will offer lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. 

      Executive chef Mark...

    • Oktoberfest on tap at Rockenwagner, Lucques, Bar Bouchon and in Ojai
      Oktoberfest on tap at Rockenwagner, Lucques, Bar Bouchon and in Ojai

      Still haven’t firmed up your Oktoberfest plans? Here are some more options.

      Cafe Rockenwagner’s annual party is in full swing, featuring an updated German menu, stein-hoisting contests, and cookie decorating. It runs through Oct. 26. Appetizers include red cabbage fritters, an “Obatza” plate with...

    • Cadet, Sweetgreen coming to Santa Monica, Hakkasan redo
      Cadet, Sweetgreen coming to Santa Monica, Hakkasan redo

      Restaurateur Jeff Weinstein (The Counter, Freddy Smalls) and chef Kris Tominaga (ex-The Hart & the Hunter) are expected to open Cadet in Santa Monica in early October. The restaurant centers around a hearth and wood-fired grill, with a menu influenced by rustic French cooking and local ingredients....

    • Barneys in Beverly Hills is set to introduce diners to Fred
      Barneys in Beverly Hills is set to introduce diners to Fred

      Does Beverly Hills need a new power lunch spot? We're about to find out. Barneys New York is renovating its fifth-floor restaurant space (goodbye, Barney Greengrass) and plans to open an outlet of Freds, its signature restaurant, next month.

      Department store eateries are more of a convenience than...

    • 7 super L.A. cheese shops and what they have to offer
      7 super L.A. cheese shops and what they have to offer

      Rows of milky-white triple crèmes, mold-ripened fromage with rumpled rinds, logs of tangy young goat cheese, wedges of luxurious creaminess surrounded by bloomy crusts. These are a few of the splendors of a new wave of neighborhood cheese stores that opened recently across L.A.

      There's DTLA Cheese...

    • Veuve Clicquot truck, Rhone Rangers wine tasting, Terrazza's spirited Thursdays
      Veuve Clicquot truck, Rhone Rangers wine tasting, Terrazza's spirited Thursdays

      Veuve Clicquot is launching a cross-country tour of its Clicquot Mail truck with a couple stops in the Los Angeles area. The truck is named after the Clicquot Mail collection of products that includes a Champagne bottle carrier shaped like a letter and another in the shape of a mailbox. The first...

    • Mediterranean favorite Momed opens a new location in Atwater Village
      Mediterranean favorite Momed opens a new location in Atwater Village

      Alex Sarkissian, owner of eastern Mediterranean restaurant Momed in Beverly Hills, has opened a second location, this one in the Atwater Crossing development in Atwater Village. The indoor-outdoor restaurant that occupies more than 7,000 square feet of space in an industrial building on La Casitas...

    • What's the most-visited great restaurant in Los Angeles? Border Grill
      What's the most-visited great restaurant in Los Angeles? Border Grill

      Southern California is full of great restaurants. But which ones do people really go to the most?

      At least according to the voters at Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants, it’s Border Grill by a landslide, followed by the Kogi BBQ Truck, Langer’s Delicatessen and the Mozza-plex (Pizzeria and Osteria...

    • 7 French spots for a Bastille Day fête
      7 French spots for a Bastille Day fête

      Bastille Day is Monday, July 14, and this weekend bistros around Los Angeles are showing off their French pride. If you want to get back to your French roots, or if you took a year of Francais in high school, or if you just have an immense affinity for cheese, this is the holiday for you. Check...

    • DineL.A. restaurant week: Where to get the best bang for your buck
      DineL.A. restaurant week: Where to get the best bang for your buck

      DineL.A., the two-week Los Angeles restaurant tasting event, is happening July 14 to 27. Eateries around the city are offering special, prix-fixe menus designed to give diners a taste at a discounted price. 

      Those in the know use DineL.A. as an opportunity to try all the restaurants on their bucket...

    • Vending machines going gourmet for upscale customers
      Vending machines going gourmet for upscale customers

      At Hollywood & Highland Center, mere steps from Hollywood Boulevard's souvenir-hawking dives, tourists can drop up to $1,000 on fine caviar.

      But they aren't pampered with white-glove service. Tins of the delicacy are dispensed at the tap of a button — from a vending machine.

      After decades of serving...

    • Chocolatiers Hasty and Jacques Torres create tasteful West Coast home
      Chocolatiers Hasty and Jacques Torres create tasteful West Coast home

      With businesses based on two coasts and intensely busy schedules, chocolatiers Hasty and Jacques Torres craved a calming and inspiring environment in their Beverly Hills condominium. They also wanted their West Coast residence, purchased in 2010, to have an open living area for cooking and entertaining.

      ...

    • Events: Tea cocktails, Women in Wine, Silverton and Tracht at Santa Anita
      Events: Tea cocktails, Women in Wine, Silverton and Tracht at Santa Anita

      American Tea Room's "Tea*Vent" is hours away. From 6 to 8 p.m., L.A. mixologist Matthew Biancaniello will use the retailer's teas in cocktails. Attendees will learn how to create four tea-infused cocktails and get a preview of American Tea Room’s new menu by Valerie Confections for an all-inclusive...

    • Chef of the Moment: Freddy Vargas is earl of sandwiches at Scarpetta's Paninoteca
      Chef of the Moment: Freddy Vargas is earl of sandwiches at Scarpetta's Paninoteca

      Freddy Vargas, the chef de cuisine at Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, is inviting everyone into his kitchen for a sandwich. By night, Vargas is guiding a rustic Italian menu that includes seasonal primi, handmade pastas and grilled meats. But by day, he’s running Paninoteca, a sandwich shop he operates...

    • World Cup dining: Can anyone tell us a great Dutch restaurant?
      World Cup dining: Can anyone tell us a great Dutch restaurant?

      Spain v. Netherlands, Friday, noon.

      This is the World Cup game all the real soccer fans are into, a rematch of the 2010 finalists in a group-stage contest. If you are in the habit of saying things like "tactical football," outfit your children in Xavi jerseys or mourn the torn ACL of Kevin Strootman,...

    • 6 stress-free picnic boxes to pick up for the 4th of July
      6 stress-free picnic boxes to pick up for the 4th of July

      Red-checkered blankets and wicker baskets may seem like a cliche, but the American picnic is making a comeback in Los Angeles, just in time for Independence Day. Don't be fooled, your childhood picnic favorites aren't on the menu this 4th of July. Many popular restaurants in the L.A. area are offering...

    • American Tea Room plans to open new shop downtown
      American Tea Room plans to open new shop downtown

      American Tea Room announced a new Los Angeles store in the works. The Beverly Hills tea retailer is opening a second location in downtown Los Angeles' Arts District.

      The 5,600-square-foot space on Santa Fe Avenue will include a tasting room and "oasis garden tea lounge" as well as its corporate...

    • Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills to close, ending a chapter in L.A. restaurant lore
      Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills to close, ending a chapter in L.A. restaurant lore

      Beverly Hills institution Kate Mantilini, opened by the late actor Harry Lewis and wife Marilyn in the 1980s, has announced it will close June 14 after 27 years. 

      The restaurant, which was part of Lewis' Hamburger Hamlet umbrella of restaurants, became a fixture on Wilshire Boulevard, known for...

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are musts for mussels
      Three L.A. restaurants that are musts for mussels

      There's something so sensual, and somehow soothing, about slipping a soft, sweet steamed mussel out of its shell into your mouth. Mussels have a funk and richness all their own. Some mollusk lovers go for the big green-lipped variety from New Zealand. They're not my favorites, I confess. I prefer...

    • Where to get Mother's Day brunch
      Where to get Mother's Day brunch

      Give mom the gift of brunch on Mother's Day. Here are some restaurants and bars around town offering brunch specials. 

      The Abbey Food + Bar will have a "drag-centric" brunch hosted by West Hollywood diva "Momma." All moms in attendance will receive a free mimosa with the purchase of an entree....

    • Boozy boba, 3-D latte art: 5 quintessential L.A. tea house drinks
      Boozy boba, 3-D latte art: 5 quintessential L.A. tea house drinks

      Tea doesn’t get enough credit. But luckily, Los Angeles has turned into a hub for tea shops; there is by no means a shortage. Head on over to the San Gabriel Valley and you will find that tea shops outnumber their coffee counterparts.

      The usual offerings are plain teas, milk teas and flavored boba...

    • Darren Criss, Lea Michele perform at Taste for a Cure fundraiser
      Darren Criss, Lea Michele perform at Taste for a Cure fundraiser

      The event: Taste for a Cure, a fundraiser for UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation honoring Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, featured a stand-up routine by comedian Tom Papa, two songs by Darren Criss and a surprise duet by Criss and Lea Michele, which surprised Michele as...

    • For Beverly Hills' centennial, a 15,000-slice cake — of course
      For Beverly Hills' centennial, a 15,000-slice cake — of course

      Sound excessive? That's the point, say organizers about the massive designer cake, which features town landmarks including City Hall.

    • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best
      Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

      The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

      ...

    • Cooking classes: Jamie Oliver's truck, culinary scholarships and bread from scratch
      Cooking classes: Jamie Oliver's truck, culinary scholarships and bread from scratch

      Looking to teach your kids (or anyone else) how to break the fast-food habit? Television chef Jamie Oliver’s Big Rig Teaching Kitchen will be visiting South Los Angeles in April. There will be a series of free cooking classes beginning April 8 and running through April 25. Sign up online.

      The one-hour...

    • Jonathan Gold | L.A. restaurant review: Scratch Bar is comic relief
      Jonathan Gold | L.A. restaurant review: Scratch Bar is comic relief

      Counter Intelligence: Chef Phillip Frankland Lee of Scratch Bar, a hyper-modern gastropub in Beverly Hills, crafts whimsical dishes into novel presentations that taste good.

    • Low on income but living in Beverly Hills
      Low on income but living in Beverly Hills

      At Beverly Hills' only HUD-subsidized housing complex, the gap between rich and poor is plainly evident.

    • Chef of the Moment: At Curtis Stone's Maude, get ready for artichokes
      Chef of the Moment: At Curtis Stone's Maude, get ready for artichokes

      Maude is Curtis Stone's first restaurant. It's a 25-seater that opened in Beverly Hills earlier this month. There,  the Australian celebrity chef waxes culinary with a set menu featuring one seasonal ingredient. Stone, a Melbourne native, has appeared on "The Next Great Restaurant" and "Top Chef...

    • Compound where singer Katy Perry never made a grand entrance sells
      Compound where singer Katy Perry never made a grand entrance sells

      Katy Perry has sold her fortress-like property in Hollywood Hills West for $5.565 million. She bought it in 2011 with then-husband Russell Brand, but they never moved in and divorced a year later.

    • Actress Zoe Saldana explores new worlds with home sale
      Actress Zoe Saldana explores new worlds with home sale

      Saldana sells her contemporary-style home in Los Feliz for $1.149 million.

    • Spyglass exec Roger Birnbaum sells Beverly Hills home for $13 million
      Spyglass exec Roger Birnbaum sells Beverly Hills home for $13 million

      Entertainment industry executive Roger Birnbaum and his wife, Pamela, have sold their Beverly Hills home for $13 million.

      Built in 2006, the nearly 7,200-square-foot contemporary farmhouse was a project of former talent manager and high-end remodeler Sandy Gallin. The Birnbaums bought the house...

    • Thanksgiving 2013: Where to eat out on the holiday
      Thanksgiving 2013: Where to eat out on the holiday

      Cooking a full Thanksgiving meal is a lot of work. If you'd like someone else to worry about the cooking, here are some places that will be open and ready to serve Thanksgiving lunch and dinner.  

      33 Taps is offering a special "Next Day" turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving and the week after. It's...

    • Stephen Webster's 'Last Supper': food, art, jewelry to die for
      Stephen Webster's 'Last Supper': food, art, jewelry to die for

      It was an evening to die for. On Saturday, British jewelry designer Stephen Webster hosted a provocative event mixing contemporary art and food in the upstairs gallery above his Rodeo Drive store.

      Titled "The Last Supper," it was the West Coast debut of photographs depicting the final meals of...

    • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu
      Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

      Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt.

      Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

    • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza
      The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

      In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix.

      800 Degrees Neapolitan...

    • Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.
      Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.

    • 9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now
      9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now

      A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf,...

    • 28 great L.A. bakeries
      28 great L.A. bakeries

      Maybe it was the rise of kouign amann -- the uber-buttery, caramelized "it" pastry from Brittany -- and better access to fresh-baked baguettes that lately has helped reinvigorate an Angeleno culture of neighborhood bakeries, all butter and sugar and love.

      There's a bakery out there to suit any...

    • The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner
      The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner

      You're a coffee fiend keeping track of every new specialty coffee shop that opens in L.A.? With one new cafe opening after another, it's not so easy anymore. But it is a lot easier to come across a great brewed coffee or perfect pull of espresso, whether in south Santa Monica or North Hollywood,...

    • 5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)
      5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

      It's easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I've eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica.

      I've had the original Cronut, the "half-croissant, half doughnut"...

    • Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix
      Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix

      There's an art to making falafel so that the ground garbanzo beans are perfectly light and fluffy, the exterior crisp but not greasy, the mix of textures and spices habit-forming.

      Falafel's exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have started in Egypt, then made its way through the Middle...

    • MSG-free bowl
      No MSG, no worries

    • Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.
      Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.

      Shortly after Chipper Pastron opened the first Juice Farm in Pasadena in January, a developer asked if he'd be interested in setting up another in the same neighborhood. No way, Pastron said, thinking there wouldn't be enough demand.

      Six months in and he and his partners are negotiating a space...

    • L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard
      L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard

      The stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard often referred to as Little Osaka recently has expanded so quickly that it's bursting beyond its traditional boundaries. With so many new restaurant openings, they're popping up north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Olympic. 

      Shin Sen Gumi officially opened...

    • Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix
      Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix

      Chicken karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken, is addictive. Unlike its American cousin, karaage are boneless, cut small and mostly dark meat. It's easy to pop five into your mouth in quick succession. The coating, made of potato starch, is light, almost paper thin and delicate. And the...

    • Best banh mi sandwiches
      Best banh mi sandwiches

    • Where to find the best bibimbap
      Where to find the best bibimbap

      Several locations specialize in the many varieties of the favorite Korean mixed-rice dish.

    • Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook
      Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

      99 EASY DINNER RECIPES to help you when you need something fast.

    • The $10,000 martini
      The $10,000 martini

      The $10,000 martini from Vaucluse is literally on the rock - a one-carat, rough cut diamond added to the drink.

    • The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season
      The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season

      Critic's Choice: Josie Restaurant, Patina at Disney Hall and Saddle Peak Lodge are there to indulge your hankering for wild boar, elk, quail and other manner of game.

    • 25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more
      25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more

      Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes for margaritas and tacos and other great fare. Avocado tips: Best way to get unbruised avocado

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets
      Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets

      Critic's Choice: Bucato, Girasol and Farmshop are three L.A. restaurants that know how to do brunch right, which can be a lifesaver when you have houseguests.

    • Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California
      Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California

      Dining out for $5 or less may seem like a fantasy, but Southern California has much to offer for those on a tight budget. For affordable Vietnamese fare, venture to Garden Grove. Or look to food trucks for inexpensive eats. Even some pricier restaurants offer cheap eats during happy hours.

    • Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.
      Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.

      Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.

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