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.
Chefs at redwhite+bluezz sling exceptionally tasty salads, soups, entrees, and desserts forged from creative ingredients and accented with upscale libations. The luxurious menu unleashes contemporary influences upon classic recipes, such as a starter of fondue kicked into the 21st century by a squad of lobster, spinach, artichoke hearts, fontina, and sliced baguette ($14). Main courses flank the all-American meatiness of a buffalo rib eye with pommes lyonnaise, burrata and tomato gratin ($32) and hide vegetarian surprises such as pumpkin gnocchi served with roasted spaghetti squash and a pool of pistachio buerre noisette ($21). Quell sweet teeth clamoring for attention with unshareable desserts such as the vineyard-inspired cookie-mousse Eton Mess ($7).
Like the woman from whom it takes its name, Roxolana Restaurant captures the imagination. An Ottoman empress in the 16th century, the Ukrainian-born Roxolana earned fame and adoration by rising from slave to sultan's wife, then to puddle of borscht. Her namesake restaurant evokes the olden days with a décor of traditional Ukrainian folk art such as rushnyk, or hand-embroidered towels, and oberig, or decorative wreaths.
Roxolana Restaurant's father-son team of Ukrainian chefs grill succulent meats, lace dishes with housemade spicy cayenne-tomato sauce, and whip up desserts such as red-wine mousse. They match their traditional dishes with barbecue ribs and light lunch fare. A generous selection of wines and beers refreshes throats parched from struggling to pronounce entree selections.
Within its contemporary confines, point08 tickles the senses with potable, edible, and audible delights. Like a Lilliputian urban planner, the menu thinks small, focusing on mini servings and featuring diminutive masterpieces such as Kobe beef sliders with blue cheese, bacon aioli, arugula, and caramelized onions all resting majestically betwixt buns from King's Hawaiian Bread ($10). Lobster corn dogs encase scrumptious crustacean tails in a lightly fried corn covering and partner them with sweet chili gel and spicy whole-grain mustard ($12).
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.
Providing an urbane setting for late-night tête-à-tetes and fine martini concoctions, Esquire Bar & Lounge sets imbibers within a warmly hued lounge, offset by elegant chandeliers and ensconced lighting. Make a toast with draft selections such as Stella Artois and Newcastle ($6 each). Fine spirits for neat-leaning tipplers include Patrón Añejo ($11) and MacCallan 18 ($18), with mixed drinks such as long island iced teas also available to sip or use to transport fish in ($11). DJs spin on the weekends, soundtracking warm conversations and dance moves.