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NEWS BITES

Peking Duck a Call Away

December 05, 1991|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition

Peking duck, that crisp-skinned, succulent Chinese delicacy that usually requires such a long preparation, is the special of the month at Shanghai Inn in Santa Ana's South Coast Plaza Village. Most restaurants require a day's notice to serve it, but throughout December, a call one hour ahead to Shanghai Inn will get you this glistening entree, carved table side, then tucked with scallions and plum sauce into a tender crepe. $8.95 for half a duck, $16.95 for a whole one. (714) 754-4344.

Guy Sockrider, chef of Monique Restaurant, has taken over the management from Hassan Essaly, but his new duties will not separate him from the kitchen. He will be changing the menu every Friday and adding lower-priced dinners, in the $9 to $12 range. He has expanded the wine list and added imported beers, and starting in January, he will focus on different regional foods with $25 dinners on the second Wednesday of each month. 31727 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. (714) 499-5359.

Bella Gente, which features foods of central and southern Italy, is now open for lunch with a lighter menu at prices ranging from $5 to $8, Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 31371 Niguel Road, Laguna Niguel. (714) 489-1976.

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