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Explore the top wine and dining spots Tinseltown has to offer.

  1. Top left photo courtesy Covell / Bottom left photo courtesy Mr. Chow / Top right photo by Rob Shanahan / Middle right photo by Brian Mulchy / Bottom right photo courtesy Urth Caffe

    Top Wine Bars of Los Angeles

    Bottle Rock
    “Buy what you drink” at this combo bar-and-retail-store, where they’ll pop any of their 800-plus bottles with a two-glass commitment. 

    No need to know your Vermentino from your Verdicchio here, where the bartenders’ recommendations come from therapy-like conversations rather than printed lists.

    Vertical Wine Bistro
    Enjoy Old World wines in Old Pasadena, with vertical (same winery, diff vintage) & horizontal (same vintage, diff winery) flights.

    Entering its second decade, Suzanne Goin’s trendsetting wine-and small-plates bar offers entirely sustainable, organic, or biodynamic wines at its new location. 

    An affable Silver Lake oasis with a creative, food-friendly list to match the market-driven Mediterranean menu. 

    California Wine Country recreated in Downtown LA, with over 70 wines to taste on the firelit patio. 

    Pour Haus 
    It doesn’t get more unpretentious than the bargain prices and board games at this spirited spot. 

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    Award-Winning Tips for Entertaining

    Earn rave reviews thanks to party pointers from Christopher O’Connell, executive sous chef at The Beverly Hilton, which hosts the Golden Globe Awards.

    Think Theme
    An overall concept—Italian antipasti, Asian street food—creates harmony between recipes and eases wine pairings.

    Get Ahead
    Flavors in soups and stews intensify if cooked in advance. Many dishes thrive with pre-prepping—O’Connell favors sea bass marinated in olive oil and orange juice, then roasted.

    Cook Whatever Takes Longest First
    Prime example is Thanksgiving—hustle that turkey into the oven.

    Vegetarian Variations
    For non-carnivores, serve a one-shot entrée that covers all bases—vegan, gluten free and lactose free.

    Centerpiece Savvy
    Choose low arrangements that don’t block faces across the table. Think beyond flowers—O’Connell likes decorating with raw vegetables that are ingredients in the recipes.

  3. Top left photo by Lisa Franchot / Bottom left photo courtesy Corkbar / Top right photo courtesy AOC / Middle right photo courtesy Pour Haus / Bottom right photo courtesy Vertical Wine Bistro

    Dining with the Stars

    Nobu Malibu
    Take in an oceanfront stargazing every night at this Japanese fave’s stunning new location. 

    Food takes center stage at Moroccan-born Chef Abdessamad “Ben” Benameur and Ryan Gosling’s Beverly Hills hideaway. 

    Urth Caffé
    Organic coffee draws members of HBO’s Entourage and such health-minded stars as Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba and Queen Latifah. 

    La Descarga
    Share mojitos with Zooey Deschanel or Brad Pitt at this Cuban speakeasy—if you can find the secret entrance. 

    Mr. Chow
    Watch the famed hand-pulled noodle show, or equally lissome regulars like Sandra Bullock, Heidi Klum or Linda Evangelista.

    Unpretentious types like Ellen DeGeneres, Gwen Stefani and Amanda Seyfried flock to this convivial, affordable Italian spot.  

Published on November 24, 2015
Topics: California Travel GuideFood + Travel