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Restaurants | IN THE MOOD


November 26, 1998

More and more restaurants are serving a cheese course between dinner and dessert.

* Spago Beverly Hills: If you order Lee Hefter's eight-course tasting menu, the cheese course might include Brillat-Savarin, a triple-cream from Normandy; Brin d'Amour, a Corsican raw sheep's milk cheese rolled in herbs; Langres, a fragrant raw milk cheese from Champagne; Stilton, the famous English blue cheese; Pont l'Eve^que, from Normandy; and shaved Te^te de Moine ("monk's head"), a raw Swiss-made cheese that is shaved into flower-like ruffles with a special device. (Tasting menu, $85.) Spago Beverly Hills, 176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 385-0880.

* Troquet: Here you make your own cheese selection. Owner Lisa Goodell recommends cheeses from Egg Farm Dairy in Peekskill, N.Y.; a nutty 3-year-old Colby from her grandmother's neighbor in Wisconsin; the "Wabash Cannonball," a goat cheese from Iowa; and a hard, aged sheep's milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves from Idaho. Round out your selection with a French triple cream--St. Andre or Brillat-Savarin. (Cheese selection, $10.50.) Troquet, South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa; (714) 708-6865.

* Campanile: Five cheeses from four countries are offered: There are Berkswell, an English sheep's milk cheese; Vermont Camembert; a goat's milk Cheddar from Peekskill, N.Y.; Vacherin, one of the finest Swiss cow's milk cheeses made; and Picon, a Spanish Cabrales made from a blend of cow's, sheep's and goat's milk. Cheeses served with oat biscuits. (Three cheeses, $15; five cheeses, $19.50.) Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 938-1447.

* Lavande: Chef Alain Giraud's cheese plate includes a soft California goat cheese, Swiss Te^te de Moine, a Spanish Manchego and a French Roquefort. (Cheese plate, $9.) Lavande, Loew's Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; (310) 576-3130.

* Coco Pazzo: New chef Joseph Antonishek keeps six to 12 cheeses in-house at all times, so his plate may include Te^te de Moine, Alsatian Meunster, Tomme de Brebis (a Corsican sheep's milk cheese), Braghutta de Tartuffo (an Italian sheep's milk cheese flavored with white truffles), Gorgonzola, Reggiano-Parmigiano and pecorino. Cheeses served with pecan raisin bread and fruits. (Cheese plate, $16.) Coco Pazzo, Mondrian Hotel, 8440 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (323) 848-6000.

* Lucques: Chef Suzanne Goin offers a plate of three cheeses. At the moment, you'll get Pierre Robert, a triple-cream; Perail de Brebis, a soft sheep's milk cheese; and Bleu des Causses, a terrific pungent, salty blue cheese. (Three cheeses, $10.) Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 655-6277.

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