Downtown's Corkbar wants your help in the kitchen. On Tuesdays, beginning at 5 pm and continuing until “it runs out,” they host “Test Kitchen Tuesdays.” Chef Albert Avila dishes out best-of-the-farmer's market surprise small plates like Cabernet braised oxtail with fennel dusted green tomatoes, candied fennel chips & marrow emulsion, or stone crab claw with tomato/cucumber water, papaya, & basil aioli. The best part? These little plates only set you back $2–which will leave you some cash for a glass of wine from Corkbar's California-centric list to complement the dish.

If you need more reasons to visit, check Corkbar's event calendar for upcoming Winemaker events. These low-key and casual evenings are a great way to try wines that may be new to you, and offer very reasonably priced flights. It's also a great way to ask questions of California vintners, who stroll around and chat with patrons(a recent event featured Randall Graham, founder of Bonny Doon).

Need one more reason? Sunday Dinner at Corkbar, a 3-course, prix fixe market-driven menu with optional wine pairings. You can call ahead to find out what the menu will be, or join Corkbar's Facebook page, and get invites to all Corkbar events, including advance notice of what's coming up on Test Kitchen Tuesdays.

Chef Avila's "Cowboy Bruschetta" from a recent Test Kitchen Tuesday event.; Credit: Dawna Nolan

Chef Avila's “Cowboy Bruschetta” from a recent Test Kitchen Tuesday event.; Credit: Dawna Nolan

Corkbar, 403 W. 12th St. L.A., (213) 746-0050

LA Weekly