A selection of the better restaurants in the Beverly-Fairfax area, by Charles Perry, The Times' restaurant critic in Orange County. Prices listed are for food only; tax, tip and beverages are not included. Canter's Fairfax Delicatessen, 419 N. Fairfax Ave., (213) 651-2030. Everybody says Canter's isn't what it used to be, but the place is likely to be packed anyway. Hey, it's an institution, and where else can you go for Eddie Cantor's favorite sandwich--or anything else deli--in the wee hours? The bakery is still great by any standards, with treats like chocolate strudel. Open 24 hours. No credit cards. Dinner for two about $12. The Egg and the Eye, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 933-5596. A civilized place for elegant snacking, a modern equivalent of the ladies' tea room; in fact, civilization is provided by crafts on exhibit in the building and by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art across the street. Quiche, gazpacho and 50 exotic omelets. Open for breakfast Tuesday-Friday, lunch Tuesday-Sunday and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. MasterCard, Visa and American Express accepted. Omelets for two about $15. Fairfax Yugoslavian Restaurant, 442 N. Fairfax Ave., (213) 651-3222. This is one well-named place, Fairfax and Yugoslav: pickled herring and boiled flanken along with veal moussaka and grilled Balkan meat dishes, cheese blintzes along with baklava. Its best-known entree is the well-executed burek plate, but everything's safe. Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday. MasterCard and Visa accepted. Dinner for two about $20. Gardel, 7963 Melrose Ave., (213) 655-0891. Just steps away from Fairfax Avenue is a leading Argentine-Italian restaurant. This means sturdy pasta dishes, garlic in everything (the best item is the roasted chicken with garlic, unless you count the appetizer of whole roasted heads of garlic) and a tango sound track. Open for dinner Monday-Saturday. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $40. Genghis Cohen, 740 N. Fairfax Ave., (213) 653-0640. It's angular and full of energy -- an overnight institution where sharp, showbizzy people eat sharp New York-style Sichuan food. The sweet coleslaw is addictive, the shredded pork is radically hot, and you can get both Dr. Brown's sodas and a garlic Sichuan vodka cocktail. Open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, for dinner Tuesday-Sunday. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $30. Pigalle, 119 S. Fairfax Ave., (213) 930-1883. Semi- nouvelle French cuisine with sleek pink and gray decor had to come to Fairfax. The fare consists mostly of simple French classics, but the chef has been known to serve a striking filet of sole in lime-and-ginger-butter sauce with capers and "French" (fried) sushi. Open for lunch Monday-Friday, for dinner Monday-Saturday . MasterCard, Visa, Carte Blanche and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $40. Ritza, 5468 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 934-2215. Deep blue and dripping with chandeliers, this is a grand nostalgic showcase for Georgian, Russian and Azerbaijan food, with ethnic crooners on weekend nights. The menu is mostly hearty peasant stews and soups. The classic pork shish kebab is lighter and very handsomely presented. Open for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner daily. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Carte Blanche and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $20. Shanghai Winter Garden, 5651 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 934-0505 or (213) 934-4789. Despite the Shanghai name, this old warhorse of upscale Chinese dining is at bottom politely Sichuan, with some other, milder, crowd-pleasing items such as wonton filled with crab and cheese. Its greatest appeal, though, is atmosphere: solid and protected, like an old-time men's club. Open for lunch and dinner daily. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Carte Blanche and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $40. Sher-e Punjab, 5370 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 933-2031. How about a dinner date with history? One of the most famous California Crazy buildings, the old Darkroom camera shop, is now a decent, English-style Indian restaurant serving fragrant vindaloo heavy on the cardamom. The front window still looks like a camera lens, now more exotic than ever. Open for lunch Monday-Saturday, for dinner daily. MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Carte Blanche and Diner's Club accepted. Dinner for two about $20. Tel Aviv Cafe, 509 1/2 N. Fairfax Ave., (213) 655-0332. "Best Felafel in Town," says the sign on the awning, and you can take that to the bank: lively tasting bean patties seasoned with cumin and hot pepper, other Israeli snacks, plus a burger and a New York steak (nothing more than $4.50), in rather plain surroundings that the motherly proprietress enlivens considerably. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. No credit cards. Falafel sandwich $1.75.