The Bodega Wine Bar provides wine lovers a casual setting to share plates and try new wines with friends without requiring a deep grapey understanding. Fluff out your cheeks for a cheese plate's offering of the day's selections paired with crackers, nuts, and quince paste ($13) while sipping a glass of Ferreira tawny porto ($9) or one of Bodega's Private Label wines—a Paso Robles red and a Santa Ynez white ($8). While gargling bored doe merlot ($9/glass), snack on a smoked-turkey panini made with tomato, arugula, pesto mayo, and goat cheese ($10). Various pizzas are also available ($11–$13), and beer, cold sake, and soju cocktails await those who don't like wine but want to keep their tongues from shriveling up into a tongue-raisin.
Fill your mouth with a one-two tsunami of fine French bistro cuisine and world-class wine, plus the tongue-rolling joy of saying sommelier, with today's Groupon. For $10, you get a three-wine, three-appetizer Sip and Swirl tasting event ($20 value) at Vinoteque on Melrose. The themed three-course festival begins at 7 p.m. every Tuesday and will feature "Whites of the Loire Valley" on January 26, "Napa and Her Wine" on February 2, and "A Night in the North of Spain" on February 9, with more themes to follow.
Since 1992, California Canteen has bridged the culinary and cultural gap between Californians and Francophiles with its tasty twist on French bistro Mediterranean fare. French favorites populate the menu. Sample the nicoise salad with tuna steak ($14), beef bourguignon ($17.50), or lamb shank osso bucco ($18.25). Meanwhile, enterprising diners and triumvirates can customize comestibles in the three-course dinner ($20.50 4 p.m.–7 p.m., Sunday-Thursday). Alternately, the lunch menu spins a lighter, two-course remix of the prix fixe ($12.95).
At Pizza & Wine Bar, more than 15 pizzas treat palates to topping combos that evoke styles from several American regions. Traditional ingredients such as mozzarella cheese and mushrooms share space on pies with Kobe beef, sausage, homemade tomato sauce, and crushed-red-pepper marinara sauce. There's also pastas with freshly made garlic bread, Kobe or chicken sliders with homemade potato chips, and burgers with natural-cut fries. Wine imported from countries such as Spain, Italy, and Australia, as well as imported beer, complements these dishes, with daily happy hour specials. The facility further accommodates guests with daily wine tastings, private parties for up to 50 guests, and delivery to underground pizza bunkers. Flat-screen TVs also create a sports bar atmosphere, with live games shown daily.
Profiled in the LA Weekly and Minx Society blogs, Cellar 55's Italian-American dishes and fully stocked wine bar quell rumbling stomachs and hydrate parched throats. Diners can peruse a menu inscribed with 14 appetizer options while choosing a savory starter, such as the baked lobster bisque, a pastry puff oozing with cognac-splashed Maine lobster ($12), or the mozzarella-stuffed, bacon wrapped dates ($9). The golden eye specialty pizza layers gooey mozzarella and feta toppings atop sunny-side-up eggs like an optometrist fitting eyeballs with spectacles coated in shredded cheese ($13). The bencotto's ensemble of sliced potatoes and capers pleases vegan palates ($13), and the grilled scallop pizza coats throats with pink sauce speckled with parmesan cheese, herbs, and scallops ($15). Try pours from Cellar 55's diverse white and red wines, including the 2009 soave infused with honeydew melon and a splash of butterscotch ($10/glass), or a 2007 Swanson merlot slowly milked from a cabinet of California tax records.
City Sip tempts guests with a globally focused wine list featuring more than 40 wines by the glass, complemented by a thoughtful menu of cheese, small plates, panini, and more. Swirl, sniff, and sip your way through potable pleasures such as an Alsatian gewürztraminer from Klipfel ($11/glass), a Felino malbec ($12/glass), or another pick from the encyclopedic selection of bubblies, whites, reds, roses, and other vine-based beauties. Like the three-fisted men who harvest the grapes, wine flights provide a one-two-three palate punch, while dessert wines such as a Landskroon morio muscat ($11/glass) gently slap tongues with sweetness. A selection of craft beers including Allagash Curieux ($8) and Eagle Rock Brewery Solidarity ($7), plus a handful of nonalcoholic options, round out the liquid luxuries.