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The Restaurant Guide 2003

Wine list

June 22, 2003|S. Irene Virbila

More on that Valentino wine list--owner Piero Selvaggio has been building his collection for 30 years, and, by any measure, the list is phenomenal. Encompassing about 150,000 bottles, its strength is its depth. His Italian selection is better than almost any cellar in Italy. In addition to wines from practically every major Italian label--and in multiple vintages--he includes the first offerings from new small producers in every region of Italy.

Patina's longtime sommelier, Chris Meeske, is at the top of his game. While you may blanch at the restaurant's wine markups, Patina's is a dream list, especially strong on highly sought-after California Chardonnays, Cabernets and Rhone varietals, as well as red and white Burgundies.

Though Campanile's wine list is not what it once was, it still embraces more eclectic and interesting wines than most, including a nice collection of Austrian and German labels. Angelini Osteria has a strong Italian list with a large selection of interesting and reasonably priced regional wines and an innovative carafe program.

At Opaline, David Rosoff has compiled a smart little food-friendly list with something for everyone--and at affordable prices. He knows his stuff and is very approachable. Ask him to choose a wine, and he'll give you something sure to please. A.O.C. dispenses 50 wines by the glass (or carafe). The choices are savvy, and at this food-and-wine bar it's easy to turn a meal into a wine tasting.

The prize for the most stubborn wine policy goes to Bastide, where everything is French, and, sorry, you can't bring your own California (or any other) bottle. That said, Christophe Rolland is a capable sommelier with a background at three-star restaurants in France and Monaco. Napa Rose, at the Grand Californian Hotel near Disney Downtown, takes the opposite tack with a list that proposes nearly 800 California wines. It may be Disneyland adjacent, but it's serious about wine, sending 26 staff members through sommelier training.--S.I.V.

A.O.C., 8022 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 653-6359. Angelini Osteria, 7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 297-0070. Bastide, 8475 Melrose Place, Los Angeles; (323) 651-5950. Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 938-1447. Napa Rose, Grand Californian Hotel, 1600 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim; (714) 300-7170. Opaline, 7450 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 857-6725. Patina, 5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 467-1108. Valentino, 3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 829-4313.

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