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First Impressions: Sizing Up Shane’s

“We’ve only been open five days!” says the proprietor, clutching his head and attempting to placate one couple who have been waiting for a table. “I’ll have a table for you in a minute,” he says soothingly to another. “See, those people over there are just paying.” He takes a distracted survey of the room; the brand-new Shane’s, 2932 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, (213) 470-6223, is very small and very full.

And no wonder; the interior by Barbara Lazaroff is enough to attract a crowd. The room looks like a sort of compressed Southwestern version of Chinois, with colorful tiles applied in dizzying profusion and lively art everywhere you turn. There’s an appealing menu too, ranging from pizza and pasta to grilled fish and such Southwestern specialties as goat-cheese quesadillas served with beef, or duck tacos. Grilled chicken with lime-butter sauce is dwarfed by a great heap of French fries mingled with strings of onions. The noise level is high, the prices are quite moderate, and you may learn a lot more than you care to know about the people hovering by your table and hoping that you’ll hurry up and finish your meal.


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