Los Angeles' best-kept secrets often are found in strip malls. One such secret is Lou Wine Shop & Tastings in Los Feliz. This temple to obscure and exceptionally tasty wines was opened by the city's cult wine guru, Lou Amdur, who briefly had the shop Lou Wine & Provisions next to East Hollywood's ever-happening Sqirl, before opening his current Hillhurst Avenue locale. Amdur is an occasional columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, where he shares his expertise and culinary tastes, but if you have a vino-related question for him, you can simply pop in to his minimalist Barbara Bestor–designed shop and ask him yourself: What's the best vinho verde? Or what exactly is the new volcanic wine trend all about? Inside you might find a picnic-ready rosé or, if your timing is right, there will be a tasting. Past weekly spreads have included fresh uni alongside French wines, or fried chicken with flights of Champagne. Amdur isn't afraid to get a little funky. The shop recently had a “raunchy wine theme” night, in which he noted that earthy flavors speak to our lizard brains and primal desires, warning: “Some wines will be decanted.”

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