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Cue it up

January 04, 2007|Leslee Komaiko

You can whet your appetite with a game of pool at these spots.

James Beach

Well before comfort food became faddish, it's been the specialty at this 10-year-old neighborhood dining room. Consider the nightly specials such as Tuesday chicken potpie and Thursday fried chicken. In the charming, adjacent Craftsman, a.k.a. the Clubhouse, always a civilized party scene on Friday and Saturday nights, there's a single pool table.

* Potpie special, $13. 60 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, (310) 823-5396.

Barney's Beanery

In addition to a full-size double-decker bus and a foosball table, this Old Town outpost, the newest of the three Barney's Beanery locations, has three pool tables in the main dining room and 10 more upstairs. To eat? Barney's is best known for its chili, which you can order with or without beans. But because they offer breakfast all day, you can follow up your game with an omelet or an order of French toast.

* Chili, $5.75. 99 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 405-9777.

The Rack

Talk about a leisurely lunch. Enjoy a midday repast at this sleek year-old spot in Westfield Promenade and for dessert, you get a complimentary half-hour of pool on one of the 17 tables. The eclectic menu features the usual pool hall fare -- wings, nachos -- as well as more ambitious offerings such as "candied Asian beef," skirt steak marinated in ginger and lemon grass and grilled over an open flame.

* Asian beef, $17.95. 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd. No. 2150, Woodland Hills, (818) 716-0123.

Red Pearl Kitchen

At this sexy 4-month-old Asian spot, you can shoot pool in the lounge under a canopy of Chinese paper umbrellas. There's just one table, but often it's free. When you work up sufficient appetite, share some black pepper-caramel shrimp and curried cauliflower. Come on a Sunday night and take advantage of the 50% discount on all bottles of wines.

* Shrimp, $16. 6703 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 525-1415.

The Shack

Rumor is the lone pool table at this low-key hang isn't exactly even. But Philly expats are willing to forgive this. After all, the kitchen does a respectable cheese steak. Not a cheese steak person? The signature burger, an over-the-top creation starring a Louisiana hot link atop a charbroiled patty, is also popular.

* Shack burger, $7.25. 2518 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 449-1171.

-- Leslee Komaiko

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