Dear Mr. Gold:

I like to go out in the middle of the week, but I'm afraid to walk into a dead, empty restaurant. In the harsh reality of a slow night, it can feel like an odd, cheerless, hopeless encounter with all that's wrong with the universe — especially when I know there's got to be a fun, happy, buzzing alternative, maybe one running special meals and deals on its slower nights. Any suggestions?

—Spike, L.A.


Dear Spike:

As you suggest, some restaurants, even some very good ones, do have special deals on their slower nights — including Marché, the subject of this week's restaurant column, which has splendid four-course, $30 prix fixe market meals on Sunday nights. It's one of the best deals in town. Monday night is always a great time to head to Lou, the wine bar at the foot of Vine, which always has themed meals usually based around a seasonal food (choucroute, cassoulet, the season's first asparagus, new olive oil) and five appropriate wines, for $55. Tuesday nights, Eric Greenspan of the Foundry rolls up his sleeves to make fried chicken, pulled pork and grits 'n' greens for his Bluesy Tuesday, an informal, boozy evening with live blues and roots music where nothing on the special menu costs more than $10. Wednesday is Offal Good at Palate, a 21-gun salute to innards — last week saw cardiac night, with chicken-heart fattoush, lamb-heart shawarma and beef-heart kebabs with prawns and romesco sauce, three courses for $25. And of course, Thursdays belong to Grilled Cheese Night at Campanile, the evening that started this trend more than a decade ago.

LA Weekly