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Meat Loaf a la Mode : <i> While the finest restaurants try to create fantasy, the world yearns for meat loaf. </i>

Drew’s An American Cafe, 16260 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 501-8051. Style: Neighborhood restaurant run mainly on good intentions. Setting: Perky, plastic and unpretentious. Recommended : Meat loaf in puff pastry with dollop of sour cream, $14.

Mel ‘n’ Rose’s Coffee Shop, 7313 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 930-0256. Style: ‘50s-style coffee shop run as a coffeehouse for the ‘80s. Setting: Neo diner. Recommended : Meat loaf dinner, includes soup or salad, julienned vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, $8.95.

72 Market Street, 72 Market St., Venice. (213) 392-8720. Style: Quintessence of L.A. dining. Setting: Good food, good music, good art. Recommended: Meat loaf, served with spinach and mashed potatoes, $16.

Stone Soup, 11044 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 985-9544. Style: Midwestern-style mini-mall farmhouse dispensing Junior League-style meals and collectibles. Setting: Quaintly cluttered. Recommended : Meat loaf sandwich, $5.75.

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Yanks, 262 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills. (213) 85-YANKS. Style: Hearty American fills the thirtysomething gap. Setting: Pseudo ‘40s New England with lots of prints, pine and paint. Recommended : Spicy Cajun meat loaf, comes with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, $14.


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