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Savoring the Stuff at Savories

Savories. That’s the name of a new take-out shop/cafe on Beverly Drive. At first, I imagined a store filled with fussy tinned things, finnan haddie (that’s smoked haddock from Scotland) and olives as varied and briny as they come. Was I ever wrong. The goods here are freshly made and scrupulously under salted, with an allegiance, in fact, to things not savory but sweet. “Eat dessert first, life is uncertain.” That’s what the sign on the counter says.

People in the Savories neighborhood already pile in for jumbo-sized hot, fresh muffins, with flavors (blueberry, corn and Cheddar, something chocolater-than-thou) that change daily.

Feeling that life’s uncertain? Savories’ wet, nutty fudge-like brownies would be a steadfast way to blast through space. (Yes, dessert’s coming first today.)

The buttery, thick bread pudding ($5.99 per pound) with vats of hard sauce is completely satisfying (the gentleman serving us kept spooning the topping on . . . ).

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A good measure of the Nourishing Food is equally pleasing. I know that the exquisite curried chicken salad ($9.50 per pound), with its fat raisins, mango chutney, toasted almonds and lushly coated chicken, is halfway to dessert, but, really, it’s one of the best in its class. The lean honey-mustard boneless grilled chicken breast ($8.99 per pound) tastes of wood cooking, and is totally luscious.

Uncertain life that this is, of course, not everything turned out to be equally mesmerizing. The black bean salad was refined and distinct with a swell little kick of cumin, ($6.50 per pound). The Mexican chicken salad, all mashed up, was muddy and confused. The Greek salad with lots of fresh oregano and a pleasing, creamy feta ($6.50 per pound) was very light while the wild rice, pine nut and pepper salad was absolutely indistinct. Sesame noodles were underflavored, raddiatore with a frothy pesto ($7.99 per pound) were more assertive and fun to eat. Green bean salad was lethargic, penne with “tomato pesto” was boring, but the spinach lasagna was lusty, fluffy and reassuring.

If you’re in the mood for exotica, Savories sells Tuscan biscuits, honey dashed with whiskey, and shelves full of other upscale delicacies.

Savories, 240 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. (213) 276-9481. Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sundays. MasterCard and Visa. Street parking.

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