As the years have led to urban expansion, only one Los Angeles winery has stood the test of time. The San Antonio Winery and Restaurant in Lincoln Heights is so beloved as a local drinking institution, it was given cultural monument status in 1966. Since then, the hidden-away winery, down a few side streets in an industrial part of the downtown area, has been quietly serving up glasses of fine wine from their Italian-style villa. Terracotta roofs and tall greenery line the exterior of this operational winery, which has been bottling since 1917. Free wine tastings and tours are available daily, and the attached Maddalena restaurant serves homey Italian food.
The Wine Crush tantalizes palates with a collection of more than 500 boutique wines gathered from around the globe. During a tasting, couples can cozy up while clinking glasses graced by liquid manifestations of red, white, and rose. The Wine Crush pours a smattering of small-production grape nectars between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and every tasting gives guests the chance to taste at least five varieties.
Soft lighting and tastefully modern music welcome guests to The Wine Bar, a comfortable library of libation where patrons pleasurably peruse wines, beers, and shrunken plates. Twenty-two wines from around the world gather to test tongues with grapey glugs of Fat Cat's 2008 pinot grigio and Parone's Chilean syrah (all bottles are $30). The Wine Bar's one score and five beers include a multitude of bottled options, such as North Coast Brewing Co.'s Old Rasputin—a cassock-black, Russian-style stout infused with complex flavors, 75 IBUs, 9% ABV, and imperviousness to bullets ($6)—or drafts such as Paulaner's German hefeweizen. Because the stomach cannot digest liquid without accompanying solids, customers can snack on assorted cheeses with olives and crackers ($10) or traditional hummus with a heated pita ($8).
Cuisine Type: French
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 26
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Crepes, brunch, traditional French fare
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Creme Benedict for brunch. It's a traditional egg Benedict served over real crab and caramelized onions. Filet mignon for dinner prepared with a choice of six made-to-order sauces.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The atmosphere is a slice of Paris in downtown Long Beach, an authentique French cafe. Fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
All recipes are those of a successful restaurant owner from France who has relocated to California.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have an extensive selection of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert items all made fresh from scratch upon order. Many gluten free and vegetarian options.
A warm breeze wafts over the iron chairs and benches gathered under palm trees. Lights glow on the airy porches of the buildings across the courtyard. Inside, guests clink wineglasses under a spiral of white string lights, surrounded by bistro tables topped with floral arrangements and tall wooden wine racks. CA Wine Room's outdoor and indoor seating immerses visitors in an intimate atmosphere inspired by the state's coastal and Spanish roots.
CA Wine Room's wine director, Noah Buffet, extends this local focus to his menu: he features only California wines and specializes in smaller batches from family wineries. The selection spans cabernets, chardonnays, and zinfandels from the coast of Mendocino County, Napa Valley, and the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and there's a handful of California craft beers on tap as well. Live music often complements drinking here: guest musicians, including pianists, monkeys with accordions, and folk bands, play each Thursday, and the lounge hosts live jazz every Saturday night.
Gallons of craft beer from the States and beyond flow from taps at Brix at the Shore. Always changing, the ales, stouts, and sakes efficiently slake thirst and inspire new and experienced beer fans alike to pair a glass with one of the deli-style specialties. Appetizers, including soft pretzels served with jalape?o-honey mustard, pave palates for the arrival of pizzas, deli sandwiches, and kobe- and Angus-beef burgers. The menu transports eaters to the East Coast?not just because it unfolds into a giant wind sail, but also because its dishes express a whimsical sense of New York City nostalgia. The Fuhgeddaboudit pastrami sandwich, The Mitzvah corned-beef sandwich, and the Verklempt?an Angus patty on challah with pastrami, swiss, and slaw?keep Big Apple cravers happy while firmly planted on Golden State soil.