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This Week: Warm Glows

THE FIVE

January 24, 2008|Jessica Gelt

The musical crackle of a roaring fire combined with the sedative effect of good food and drink provide an unparalleled recipe for winding down. So next time you need a break, shed your mittens and head for the following hearths.

COLD SPRING TAVERN

Founded as a roadside tavern along a stagecoach route, Cold Spring keeps its pioneer-style charm with a small weathered-wood and stone restaurant, four fireplaces and adjacent log cabin bar. The roasted tri-tip BBQ sandwiches are unparalleled and the crisp and flaky onion rings have few equals. 5995 Stagecoach Rd., Santa Barbara, (805) 967-0066

YE OLDE KING'S HEAD

Heavy wooden chairs and tables and an imposing stone hearth make consuming what is arguably the best plate of golden fish and chips in town a very English experience indeed. 116 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 451-1402

OSTERIA LA BUCA

This enchanting Italian eatery recently opened a cozy upstairs dining room with a cheerful fireplace. The kitchen -- which cranks out astounding made-from-scratch pasta --was closed for "improvements" for most of the month, but just reopened. 5210 1/2 Melrose, (323) 462-1900

EAT. ON SUNSET

Nothing screams class like a slick fireplace in a sleek lounge, which is exactly what you'll find at this neighborhood-y Hollywood restaurant. Cuddle up to that special agent-type in your life and nosh on small bites from the bar menu. Our favorites are the grilled artichokes with chili butter and the salmon sliders. 1448 N. Gower St., (323) 461-8800

LUCQUES

The converted carriage house that serves as the base for Suzanne Goin's culinary masterstrokes is also equipped with a somewhat Dickensian brick fireplace. But beyond the sooty hearth, the rest of the restaurant is all upscale class with a menu of French-Mediterranean fare like braised veal cheeks with farro, chestnuts and red flame grapes. 8474 Melrose Ave., (323) 655-6277

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-- Jessica.Gelt@latimes.com

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