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A sip, and a bite

Whether wine geek or novice, it's easy to enjoy what's being poured at these six spots, not to mention what's being served alongside.

September 16, 2004|Leslee Komaiko

Halie Wine Bar & Bistro 112

This cozy boite is modeled after Willi's Wine Bar, a Paris institution popular with British and American expats. But California wines are the stars here. Chef Claud Beltran's menu (the same as at neighboring restaurant Halie) is compact but compelling.

* First courses $7 to $19; second courses $19 to $29. 1030 E. Green St., Pasadena; (626) 440-7087.

Primitivo Wine Bistro

In addition to traditional tapas, this very 2004 tapas bar serves an Italian antipasto plate and a classic French steak. The extensive wine list ventures even further afield, with entries from Canada, Morocco, even China available by the glass.

* Tapas $5 to $15. 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; (310) 396-5353.

Enoteca Drago

Wine director Jeff Morgenthal has assembled an interesting list of 50 Italian wines by the glass, 2.5-ounce taste or quartino (8-ounce carafe) at this bustling wine bar. Try a small plate of grilled baby octopus, or crispy rice croquettes oozing mozzarella.

* Small plates $6 to $13; pizza $10 to $13. 410 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 786-8236.

A.O.C.

Just about everyone raves about the food here: perfect little salads and a fine plate of charcuterie. But the 50 wine-by-the-glass offerings (many small productions, including a few gems from Australia) are equally exciting. Forgot to make a reservation? The two bars are reserved for walk-ins.

* Small plates $7 to $14. 8022 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles; (323) 653-6359.

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills

This fromagerie hosts four cheese and wine tastings each month at a neighborhood venue, always with a particular region or theme in mind. Says manager Tony Princiotta, "It's not school school, but fun school." Reservations required.

* Tastings approximately $50 per person. 419 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 278-2855.

Napa Valley Grille

Something about the decor here says chain. But the warm wild mushroom flatbread is satisfying and you can design your own cheese plate from a selection of nine. To drink, some 40 California wines are offered by the glass.

* Starters $6 to $15; salads $6 to $11. 1100 Glendon Ave., Westwood; (310) 824-3322.

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