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June 19, 2008|S. Irene Virbila | Times Restaurant Critic

Critic's Preview

Absinthe and Jazz at the Foundry Now that absinthe, the wicked French drink once banned because of its wormwood content, can be legally obtained here in the States, energetic chef Eric Greenspan has instituted a Thursday night jazz series at the Foundry on Melrose in which he will be doing "that whole absinthe thing, where we'll be burning sugar cubes and summoning green fairies and the whole nine." The music, this month from the Robbie Marshall group, starts at 9 p.m. Oh, and come hungry for grilled cheese sandwiches and other noshes from the bar menu or order up a full dinner. 7463 Melrose Ave., L.A.; (323) 651-0915; www.the foundryonmelrose.com

Charlie Palmer Restaurant Charlie Palmer first made his mark in the Big Apple with Aureole on the Upper East Side. He later opened a splashy Vegas outpost in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, complete with "wine angels" fetching bottles by ascending a glass wine tower via ropes. He's got the wine country covered with Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. And now comes Charlie Palmer Restaurant in Bloomingdale's at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Starting at 5:30 p.m., dine on shrimp kebabs with tamarind chive glaze, ricotta tortellini with sweet peas or lemon grass-poached lobster, just to name a few. Main courses, $26 to $35. 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa; (714) 352-2525.

Loteria Grill Hollywood Slated to open Tuesday, the new Hollywood locale of Loteria Grill in the Farmers Market is not only bigger than the original lunch stand, but will have table service -- and a full bar. Oh, happy day. That means you can have a margarita to go with your nopalitos, enchilada, carnitas or chilaquiles instead of a tamarindo. 6627 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; (323) 465-2500; www.loteriagrill.com

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Hot Dish: This Week

Festival Italia wine-tasting dinner at Patina Indulge in the rich joys of Italian food and wine as presented by Patina executive chef Theo Schoenegger and sommelier Eric Espuny. The four-course dinner, which includes smoked trout mousse, pappa al pomodoro, pistachio biscotti and Vin Santo di Montepulciano, is the last of three "Sommelier Series" dinners Patina is hosting this summer. 7 p.m., Wed., $150 per person, 141 S. Grand Ave., L.A., (213) 972-3331.

Passport to Carson at the South Bay Pavilion Support the Boys & Girls Club of Carson while getting your eat on. On Saturday a variety of tasty local restaurants will set up booths in the Sears parking lot at Del Amo and Avalon boulevards and the Boys & Girls Club will sell passports to folks wishing to sample the food. Ten dollars will buy you all the tastes you can handle. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat., $10 per passport, 20700 S. Avalon Blvd., Carson, (310) 605-6711, Ext. 203.

Kitchen 24, Hollywood The recently opened, late-night, breakfast-centric eatery the Waffle has stiff competition in Hollywood's newest 24-hour uber-diner Kitchen 24. Located along Cahuenga's fearsome party corridor, Kitchen 24 offers the alcohol-sodden masses a decent shot of dodging a hangover by making available piles of gently greased hash browns, salty bacon, wondrous egg dishes and sweet waffles during the crucial hours between last call and bedtime. Oh, and it also serves alcohol until 2 a.m. if you choose to throw caution to the wind. 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd., L.A.; (323) 465-2424; www.kitchen24.info

Crudobar at Breadbar This special menu of Spanish- and Japanese-influenced small bites created by chef Noriyuki Sugie proved so popular after its premiere last month that Breadbar decided to extend its run through July 31. The food is served on fine-bone Japanese china and includes innovative and complex creations like mirugai ceviche with young coconut, tapioca, red onions and cilantro and quinoa-crusted scallops with cocoa bean salad. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tue. through Sat., 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., R-2, Century City, (310) 277-3770.

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Jessica.Gelt @latimes.com

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