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Piercing taste buds

Food on a stick is just plain fun. No utensils required.

Chakra Restaurant & Lounge

In addition to four satay options -- chicken, steak, prawns and tofu, and available as an assortment served dramatically atop a bamboo raft -- this pan-Asian spot does an entree of skewered panko- and coconut-coated shrimp that are deep-fried for maximum crunch. It’s a generous portion paired with jasmine rice and a sweet and sour Thai chili sauce that chef Colin Sako says is called “Jesus sauce” in his native Hawaii.

* Coconut shrimp skewers, $18. 304 12th St., Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-1881.

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Wilson

Michael Wilson does three types of skewers at dinnertime. There are prawns seasoned with turmeric and fennel seed and served with a red cabbage slaw, chunks of lamb paired with tzatziki, and escargot skewered on rosemary twigs and cooked with plenty of garlic, butter and porcini mushrooms. Bread crumbs are added toward the end for a bit of crispiness.

* Escargot skewers, $14. 8631 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 287-2093.

Luna Park

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At this lively, eclectic restaurant, the bartenders know how to blend ‘em and the kitchen turns out an appealing assortment of tasty and fun eats. Order the pupu platter, and a small hibachi grill is delivered to your table along with a skewer of Thai-style beef, another of curried pork and a couple of Sichuan chicken wings.

* Pupu platter, $10.50. 672 S. La Brea Ave., L.A., (323) 934-2110.

The Roof Garden at the Peninsula Hotel

This alfresco poolside spot is one of the best-kept secrets in Beverly Hills. It got a makeover not long ago, complete with de rigueur fire feature. Try the Argentine-style skirt steak skewers. The meat is marinated in Quilmes beer, lime and garlic, then grilled. Chimichurri sauce and a salad of radishes and cucumbers are the final touches.

* Skewers, $13. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 551-2888.

Opus

Meson G veteran Josef Centeno, newly appointed chef, is doing several skewers on the bar menu. Chicken breast is paired with a spicy mole-esque chocolate sauce. Chunks of short rib along with shiitake mushrooms and heirloom cherry tomatoes get a poblano cashew sauce.

* Chicken skewers, $9. 3760 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (213) 738-1600.

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