Where to have more than peanuts with your cocktail.
Ca' del Sole: How about bruschetta topped with either grilled portabello mushrooms and speck (aged ham) or roasted peppers, capers and anchovies? Or deep-fried caciocavallo cheese wrapped in an anchovy? Or fried artichoke hearts in tangy lemon sauce? (Bruschetta, $3.50; deep-fried caciocavallo, $3, deep-fried artichoke hearts served with Venetian lemon sauce, $3.25.) Ca' del Sole, 4100 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood, (818) 985-4669.
\f7 Rockenwagner: Hans Rockenwagner has opened a wine and snack lounge (the "Wunder Bar") where you can sample unusual wines and snack on blackboard specials such as lobster grilled cheese, chilled garlic soup with grapes and almonds and mini-\o7 weisswurst\f7 with Bavarian mustard on a fresh pretzel roll. (Lobster grilled cheese, $8; chilled garlic soup, $4; mini-\o7 weisswurst \f7 with Bavarian mustard, $4.50.) \o7 Rockenwagner, Edgemar Complex, 2435 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 399-6504.
\f7 Fenix at the Argyle: If neither an ounce of "Tsar Nicoulai" caviar, shrimp ceviche or calamari with tamarind tartar sauce sounds substantial enough, the varied bar menu also features a bacon-avocado cheeseburger and even a steak with \o7 pommes frites\f7 . (Caviar, $55 to $75 an ounce; shrimp ceviche, $12; crispy calamari, $14; Fenix burger, $13; steak \o7 frites\f7 with baby greens, $26\o7 .) Fenix at the Argyle, Argyle Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-6677.
\f7 Pinot Provence: Start with olives--picholines with lemon peel and fresh lavender, Nicoises marinated with garlic and anchovies, Sherry-soaked Casablancas with roasted peppers and smoked ham. Then move on to the revolving cheese plate, big Caesar salad or lemon and herb crusted chicken. (Olives, $2.95 to $3.75; cheese plate, $9.50; Caesar salad, $8.25; lemon and herb crusted chicken, $14.) \o7 Pinot Provence, Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 444-5900.
\f7 Father's Office: This bar offers goat cheese gratinee with olive tapenade and tomatoes, its own cured white anchovies, Mission figs with Cabrales blue cheese wrapped in Serrano ham and grilled, and even finger-food-sized lamb chops. (Warm goat cheese gratinee, $5.50; house-cured white anchovies, $3.50; "figs in a blanket," $7.50; Colorado "lamb lollipops," $14.50.) \o7 Father's Office, 1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 393-2337.
\f7 Lucques: Here's a bar that serves wonderful comfort food after 10 p.m.: spaghetti carbonara, omelet with fresh herbs and Fontina cheese, steak with bearnaise sauce and French fries, grilled Cantal cheese sandwich with roasted shallots. (Spaghetti carbonara, $20; omelet with soft herbs and Fontina, $10; steak \o7 frites\f7 , $12; grilled Cantal cheese sandwich, $10.) \o7 Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 655-6277.\f7