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ALEJO’S PRESTO TRATTORIA

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester

(310) 670-6677

4002 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey

(310) 822-0095

You can almost hear the waters guiding the gondolas through the canals here. Alejo’s serves homemade Italian dishes that are sure to bring out the romantic in you. Gaze into your beloved’s eyes, fork feed a morsel of tender veal parmigiana or spicy shrimp al diablo (both $10.95) and watch him/her melt with delight. Continue the sensuous feast with homemade cheesecake ($1.95) and a steaming cappuccino. Paella ($10.95) is featured on Friday and Saturday nights. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner seven nights. Beer and wine (Westchester only); takeout. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

ALL INDIA CAFÉ

39 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 440-0309

12113 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.

(310) 442-5250

Watch the chefs cook up your favorite Indian treats at this home-style Indian café that offers low-fat cooking and all-natural ingredients and spices. Enjoy a variety of dishes, including a wide selection of tandoori and vegetarian entrées, curries and café specialties such as the chicken Frankie — chicken masala cooked with fresh herbs and spices and stuffed in a homemade tortilla with two chutneys and marinated onions ($7.50). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery (West L.A. only); catering; parking. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

AOKI’S SHABU SHABU

11680 Olympic Blvd., West L.A.

(310) 479-7537

If you’re in the mood for great Japanese cuisine, this is the place to stop and take out your chopsticks. Not to be missed are the nabe (one pot) dishes, such as chanko, famous as a meal for sumo wrestlers, or ishikari, filled with delicious shrimp and salmon (both $16.95). This is the only restaurant in L.A. that serves miso nikomi (noodles in a clay pot), with prime beef, chicken, vegetables or shrimp tempura. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun. Beer and wine; takeout; reservations accepted; parking. MC, V.

 

ARIAKE

8925 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills

(310) 358-0888

The restaurant’s name means “beautiful dawn,” and it serves some of the best Japanese food in L.A. Owner and chef Jay Chung prepares delicacies like the patti roll (baked halibut, $10.50), shrimp tempura ($15.50) and salmon teriyaki ($11.50). For dessert, don’t forget to order mochi ice cream to punctuate a memorable dining experience. With the Fox studios right around the corner, there’s a good chance you might run into your favorite star. Stop in during the week for lunch specials (ranging from $5.50–$13.90). Lunch weekdays, dinner seven nights. Full bar; takeout; catering; lot parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

ARIRANG KOREA RESTAURANT

114 W. Union St., Pasadena

(626) 577-8885

With its palace décor, showcase antiques and inset barbecues at every table, Arirang offers a royal dining experience. Everyone raves about the boolgogi gooi ($13.50), thinly sliced beef marinated in a sweet sauce and served with six side dishes that change daily, but always include the essential kimchee, a pickled Chinese cabbage. Vegetarian entrées are also available. The menu is hefty — 50 selections — and the portions are generous. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; delivery; catering; valet parking; weekend reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, MC, V.

 

ATLAS SUPPER CLUB

3760 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

(213) 380-8400

Located in the historic Wiltern complex, Atlas offers global cuisine and nightly entertainment in a glamorous ’30s-style atmosphere. Among the culinary splendors are chicken curry served over saffron rice in a pineapple shell ($17) and charbroiled ahi tuna with wild rice and vegetables in a cilantro-wasabi pesto ($19). Meat-shunners can dine on the Napoleon: roasted eggplant, tomato and goat cheese over baby spinach in a light tomato coulis ($14). Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Tues.–Sat. Full bar; catering; valet; reservations suggested. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

BA BOO’s Chicken at Spaceland

1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake

(323) 661-0056

Ever get hungry when you watch a band play? Well, continue gyrating but starve no more. This place, located within Spaceland’s music venue, caters to your pre-, mid- and post-rock needs. You can enjoy Middle-Eastern dishes, like shawerma — marinated lamb or beef with hummus, salad, rice, sesame sauce and pita bread ($7.35). Similarly priced, the chicken kebab is delicious. It’s primarily takeout here, but a small dining space does exist for the road-weary. Dinner seven nights. Full bar; takeout; delivery; valet parking. AE, MC, V.

 

Baja Bud’s

Seven locations

(800) 283-BAJA (2252)

In an increasingly crowded market, Baja Bud’s stays true to its original vision: good food, good service, and fresh California/traditional Mexican fare. Grilled chicken, beef and red snapper are the basis for food that is healthy and delicious. Fresh daily: handmade corn tortillas and no-lard flour tortillas (lower in fat than the other guys), served on real plates with real silverware (think of all the plastic you won’t be adding to the landfills!). The catering menu will economically feed eight to 80. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; catering; parking. DIS, MC, V.

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Barbara’s at the Brewery

620 Moulton Ave., No. 110, Los Angeles

(323)-221-9204

Located in the old Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, this former loft has been transformed into a quaint restaurant. Get an eyeful of arwork displayed in the dining room while sipping on vintage wine or microbrews. For dinner, try the exquisite inch-thick grilled pork chop, stuffed with blue cheese and served with mashed potatoes and thyme demi-sauce ($11.95–$14.95), or munch on a traditional favorite like classic pepperoni pizza ($9.95). Lunch and dinner Mon.–Fri. Full bar; takeout; catering. AE, MC, V.

 

BOUCHON

7661 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood

(323) 852-9400

The capital of French gastronomy is Lyons, where the creation of perfect food has been elevated to an art. But you don’t have to fly to France, as there’s a little bit of Lyons in our very own back yard. Take a trip to Bouchon for peerless Gallic dishes, like Quenelle du Lac, whitefish dumpling in lobster sauce ($7.50), or Rillette de Lapin, rabbit paté with croutons ($6). Don’t leave before treating yourself to some of those famous French desserts. Délicieux! Lunch and dinner Mon.–Sat. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations required. AE, MC, V.

 

BREWSKI’S

73 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach

(310) 318-2666

There’s lots more here than just carefully crafted beers and ales. Brewski’s also serves delicious food, like its famous Memphis-style barbecue, fresh seafood and scrumptious tossed salads. Just a stone’s throw from the sand, Brewski’s offers a casual beach atmosphere for you to enjoy with a delicious barbecue-pork sandwich ($7.50) or shanghai chicken salad ($6.95 lunch, $9.95 dinner). The onsite brewery’s vats are almost as impressive as the premium beer they produce; credit California’s Napa vineyards for the fine wines. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout, catering; parking. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

CAFÉ BRASIL

10831 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles

(310) 837-8957

If you have a fondness for intense, exotic dishes served in a relaxing setting, then this is the spot for you. There are plenty of inviting eats to choose from for both vegans and carnivores. Try the tropical shrimp plate ($12.50) or the vegetarian plate ($7.95), both accompanied by fried plantains, black beans, white rice, and soup or salad. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. No alcohol; takeout; catering; parking. MC, V.

CAFE 50’s

11623 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.

(310) 479-1955

Flipping through the jukebox selections here is fun, but deciding what to eat is even more fun. Sandwich devotees are especially fond of the Philly cheesesteak sandwich ($6.25), packed with jack cheese and tender grilled onions. Really hungry? Try a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings ($7.25) or fresh fish ($7.95). Come on “Mellow Mondays” when, from 6 p.m. to midnight, you can chow on a burger or omelet for half price. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations accepted. MC, V.

 

CAFÉ MIRABEAU

440 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

(310) 271-1995

Frederick Fekkai modeled this outdoor café after his native Aix-en-Provence. He even imported an 18th-century Provençal fountain that flows continuously, adding to the serene ambiance. The menu is always changing and features a variety of regional soups, desserts and sandwiches. Signature dishes include the roasted tomato and fennel soup ($4.50), the curried chicken salad on walnut bread ($8.50), and the chicken and wild mushroom pot pie ($12). Available for private parties. Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Sat. Beer and wine; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, MC, V.

 

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN FROZEN PIZZA

Since the first California Pizza Kitchen restaurant opened in Beverly Hills in 1985, the chain has introduced pizzas with innovative toppings people crave. Now, CPK is taking this idea further — to your local supermarket — by launching CPK Frozen Pizza. Now you can enjoy seven of your favorite gourmet pizzas — including barbecue chicken, grilled vegetable, five cheese and tomato, and portobello mixed mushrooms ($4.99 each) — right at home!

 

CASBAH CAFÉ

3900 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 664-7000

Step into the cozy Casbah Café, which is also part boutique. While you decide what to try on, treat yourself to one of the many assorted baked goods, croissants, teas and coffees. The handwritten chalk menu displays other fine dishes that are served every day. Lunch and dinner seven days. No alcohol; takeout; parking available. MC, V.

 

The Cash Cow Café

8301 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

(323) 822-0671

After opening only two months ago, this Soho, New York–style diner is already packed on the weekends. Think of it as our piece of the East Coast surrounded by all that West Hollywood has to offer. It’s said the best French toast in town is made here, and everyone raves about the meat loaf. There’s a wide selection of omelets, pastas, salads, chicken and seafood, and two can dine for under $20. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. BYOB; takeout; catering; parking. Cash only.

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CASITA DEL CAMPO

1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake

(323) 662-4255

Owner Rudy Del Campo, one of the Sharks in the film West Side Story, opened this charming L.A. hangout in 1962, where everything, from the bejeweled table lamps inside to the teeming waterfall fountain out front, was handmade by the man himself. Go for the margaritas ($4.25–$7), with fresh-squeezed lime juice daily, and every flavor from banana to melon. For the main course, the grilled mahi mahi with tomatos and onions ($9.95) is quite satisfying, as is the pollo mole ($9.95). Afterward, you can dance the night away at nearby Rudolpho’s (2500 Riverside Drive, Silver Lake), a club run by Rudy’s sons. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; parking; reservations accepted. AE, DIS, MC, V.

 

CAT & FIDDLE

6530 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood

(323) 468-3800

The courtyard may look Spanish, but once inside the atmosphere is decidedly English. Quaff one of many fine, imported beers while playing a game of darts with your mates, or grab a seat near the cozy fireplace. You can fortify yourself with some homemade bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes, $10.50), or when available, the fresh fish and chips (owners Kim and Paula say fresh makes all the difference). Don’t miss happy hour Mon.–Fri. and free live jazz on Sun. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; delivery; catering; valet parking; reservations accepted. AE, MC, V.

 

CAVA

8384 W. Third St., Los Angeles

(323) 658-8898

Located in the Beverly Plaza Hotel, this restaurant is big on zesty Caribbean and Latin dishes. For breakfast, try the thick buttermilk pancakes, soaked with maple syrup and piled high with sautéed bananas ($6.50). Or for dinner, munch on one of the 20 popular tapas, including the skillet-crisped rock-shrimp cakes with capered tartar sauce ($7.25). For the main course, try the ever-tender filet mignon, prepared tableside and served with shallots, in a light, spicy diablo sauce ($24, Wed.–Sat. only). Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; delivery; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

CHA CHA CHICKEN

1906 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica

(310) 581-1684

Located a breath away from the Pacific Ocean, this lively spot is a favorite among jerk-chicken lovers. Relax on the patio and sink your teeth into hearty dishes like the spicy black pepper shrimp, tender jerk shrimp served with dirty rice, black beans, plantains and red-cabbage slaw ($8.95), or the ropa vieja, simmering shredded beef served with dirty rice, black beans, plaintains and two corn tortillas ($6.95). Veggie lovers can try the spinach quesadilla, served with dirty rice, black beans, jerk sauce and sour cream ($6.75). Lunch and dinner seven days, brunch weekends. Takeout; catering; parking. Cash only.

 

CHAO KRUNG

111 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles

(323) 939-8361

One wall of Chao Krung features a tribute to Vietnam-era journalists, an unaffected solicitousness that is extended to customers. Waitresses in traditional costume lead guests past Buddhist murals to richly hued wooden tables, where diners can enjoy pad Thai ($6.75), chicken larb salad ($6.95) or Thai spring rolls ($4.95 for five). Highly recommended are the seasonal sticky rice with sweet mango ($5) and the homemade coconut ice cream ($2.75). Available for private parties. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking. AE, DIS, MC, V.

 

Chaya Venice

110 Navy St., Venice

(310) 396-1179

In the heart of Venice is a chic neighborhood restaurant with a high-tech sushi bar and free-floating starfish-shaped lamps. The menu is as varied as Venice itself, with plenty of seafood, pasta, steak, chicken and salads. Go for the angel-hair pasta with tomato and fresh basil ($9) or reel in miso-marinated Chilean seabass with Yuzu butter sauce and wasabi pesto ($20). Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner seven nights. Full bar; takeout; catering; parking. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

CHI DYNASTY

2112 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz

(323) 667-3388

With a menu listing some 80 selections, this is a tempting place to satisfy that craving for good Chinese food. What about steamed fish fillet in ginger scallion sauce ($11.75) or mushroom delight ($9.25)? If you’ve got a real appetite, try one of Mr. Chi’s specialties, like shrimp à la Chi ($12.75), vegetarian Beijing duck ($9.25) or sesame chicken ($10.25). Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

CHIN CHIN

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8618 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

(310) 652-1818

12215 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

(818) 985-9090

13455 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey

(310) 823-9999

206 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills

(310) 248-5252

11740 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood

(310) 826-2525

16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino

(818) 783-1717

Grab those chopsticks and dig in at this trendy yet laid-back Chinese eatery, as famous for star sightings (especially in WeHo) as for its savory fare. The shredded Chinese chicken salad is a popular favorite, loaded with white-meat chicken and tossed with a tangy ginger dressing ($7.50). Can’t decide between mu-shu chicken or shrimp fried rice? Luckily, there’s the “dim sum and then some” combo: three half-orders of a selection of goodies including appetizers, soups and salads ($9.50). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; delivery (not WeHo); takeout; catering; lot parking. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

COBALT CANTINA

4326 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 953-9991

616 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood

(310) 659-8691

Whether you are on the east or west side of town, a Cobalt Cantina can’t be too far away. There’s always a crowd on hand to feast on Cal-Mex delights like Cobalt Chimichanga ($9.95) or the soft tacos with grilled vegetables, chicken or steak ($7.95–$10.95). How about pomodoro pasta ($8.95) for dinner, served in a simple tomato sauce with parsley, serrano chile and lemon? Drop in Saturday night for half-price margaritas. Lunch and dinner seven days, brunch Sun. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

CRUSTACEAN RESTAURANT

9646 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills

(310) 205-8990

Revisit the old-world elegance of French colonial Vietnam at Crustacean, where chef Helene An guards her secret recipes so zealously that six “sacred dishes” are prepared in a private, steel-encased kitchen. We highly recommend the Dungeness crab, simmered in sake, chardonnay and cognac ($33.95), or the unforgettable colossal royal tiger prawns, charbroiled with secret spices and served over garlic noodles ($33.95). For music lovers, there’s live jazz performances nightly. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Mon.–Sat. Full bar; valet parking; reservations recommended. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

Cyrano

8840 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood

(310) 271-4193

How about dining on fine California-French cuisine while enjoying a spacious mountaintop view of the city? You can take a stroll through the design district after savoring Cyrano’s tomato salad full of fresh asparagus, blue cheese and basil ($9), or something heartier like ahi tuna topped with soba noodles, snow peas and shiitake mushrooms ($19). Dinner Mon.–Sat. Full Bar; catering; valet parking; reservations essential. AE, MC, V.

 

DADO RISTORANTE AND PIZZARIA

2002 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A.

(310) 575-1544

This ain’t your run-of-the-mill pizza joint. Sure, the slices are to die for, but we’re talkin’ a non-traditional variety of regional Italian dishes served with a distinct California flair. How about the grilled scampi served over a bed of soft, sweet oranges ($7.95). If you’re really hungry, bring some friends and try the baked sea bass (yeah, the whole thing) served over a bed of rock salt with a few roasted potatoes and a medley of vegetables for good measure ($28.95). Lunch Mon.–Fri, dinner seven nights. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations accepted. AE, MC, V.

 

DEBBIE’S BISTRO

9475 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills

(310) 275-3330

Fresh flowers accent sleek marble tables at this inviting eatery. Feed your eyes on the art lining the walls, while you dine on delectable goodies like sandwiches (vegetarian, smoked turkey and grilled chicken breast, $7.25–$7.75), with shoestring potatoes and a cucumber salad. Also available for lunch are burgers, pastas and pizzas. For dinner try penne melanzane and linguini primavera ($9.75), stuffed chicken breast ($12.75) and crusted salmon dressed in a cilantro-pesto sauce ($14.50). Lunch and dinner Mon.–Sat. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking available; reservations suggested. AE, MC, V.

 

DUKE’S MALIBU

21150 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu

(310) 317-0777

317 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach

(714) 374-6446

If you can pronounce Kahanamoku, you’ve earned the right to eat at this place named after Duke K., Hawaii’s legendary surfer. Savor hearty island dishes like panko-dipped calamari with guava sauce and exotic Hawaiian fish, complemented by the sounds of exotic Polynesian music (Sat. only). Where’s the beef, you say? How about some prime rib ($13–$20) or pork ribs with Duke’s own mango barbecue sauce ($17)? Lunch Tue.–Sat., dinner seven nights, Sunday brunch. Full bar; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DIS, MC, V.

 

DU-PAR’S RESTAURANTS AND BAKERIES

8571 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica (new location)

(310) 659-7009

6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles

(323) 933-8446

12036 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

(818) 766-4437

75 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks

(805) 373-8785

Delicious food and friendly service have made Du-par’s one of the city’s busiest restaurants. With breakfast served all day, you won’t miss out on its award-winning hot cakes or French toast. The omelets ($7–$8) are superb, and the meat pies (steak, chicken, or steak and kidney) are perennial favorites ($7–$9). All locations have onsite bakeries where delectable pies and pastries are prepared daily. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar (Thousand Oaks and Santa Monica only); takeout; parking. AE, MC, DC, DIS, V.

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The Eclectic Cafe

5156 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood

(818) 760-2233

Specializing in California-eclectic cuisine served in a candlelit setting, this place serves, count ‘em, 26 varieties of fresh-made pastas and more! For lunch, try the savory portobello-mushroom sandwich or the Cajun chicken with angel-hair pasta (both at $9.95), and sate your thirst with a microbrew or a glass of wine. Freshness is the standard here, evident in an assortment of splendid fish dishes, like salmon and ahi tuna ($14.95), that comes with seasoned risotto and chef’s vegetables. Lunch and dinner seven days, brunch Sun. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations essential. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

El Rincon Criollo

4361 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City

(310) 391-4478

This family-owned café serves hearty, classic Cuban fare minus the grease or frills. Start off with a little fried yucca ($3), lightly salted and fried, giving it a potatolike consistency. The Cuban roast pork ($7.50) is hard to beat, lightly seasoned and bursting with flavor, served alongside a hefty portion of white rice and black beans. Be sure and complement your meal with a fresh cup of Cuban coffee ($1.50). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; catering. MC, V.

 

EL TEXATE

316 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

(310) 399-1115

Drop in at this Oaxacan-style restaurant, where color is everywhere, starting with a dazzling collection of straw hats adorning the walls. Then there’s the irresistible mole sauce in a fiery red, yellow or green, and the wildly popular, chocolate-based mole negro sauce. Choose one and savor it served over white rice with chicken or pork ($8.99), or go for the barbecued goat, cooked with avocado-tree leaves, tomatoes and red peppers ($8.99). Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; catering; parking. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

EL TORITO GRILL

21321 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance

(310) 543-1896

You best take a cab to this restaurant, because after sampling a few premium tequilas and plowing through an avalanche of tortillas or some Firedancer Popcorn Shrimp ($7.95), you won’t want to take off — let alone take the wheel. C’mon, blow that New Year’s diet with a hand-shaken margarita and the jalapeño spinach-artichoke dip ($6.95). Then continue the fiesta with a platter of sizzling steak, shrimp or chicken fajitas ($10.95–$13.95). Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; catering; delivery; parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

ENCOUNTER RESTAURANT

209 World Way, LAX

(310) 215-5151

So your flight’s delayed for two hours and you didn’t have time to eat before you dashed to the airport? Don’t pout. Just beam up to this space-age restaurant with floating barstools and dine on balsamic glazed pork chop ($24). And just before boarding, calm those pre-flight nerves with a martini at the mellow moon-crater bar. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

EREWHON NATURAL FOODS

7660 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 937-0777

This is not your regular market, it’s a super natural-food market and home of the “healthycatessen,” where you’ll find over 60 hot and cold dishes, including vegetarian goodies, free-range chicken, homemade soups and one very impressive salad bar ($1.99 & up). If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then go for the sugar-free treats offered at the bakery, or a delicious made-to-order smoothie. Fax orders accepted. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Wine; takeout; parking. AE, DIS, MC, V.

 

EUROCHOW

1099 Westwood Blvd., Westwood

(310) 209-0066

Created by the world-renowned Mr. Chow, Eurochow is a landmark restaurant located in a historic building in Westwood. You can enjoy authentic Italian and Chinese dishes, as well as fresh seafood, in a stunning environment. Some highlights from the menu include glazed prawns, spare ribs, Shanghai Little Dragon, spaghetti with lobster, and filet mignon. And you don’t have to break the bank to dine here; every dish is priced under $20. Don’t forget to try the specialty martinis! Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; parking; reservations optional. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

eWINE. COM

This is a brand-new online wine and spirits shopping service. You simply type in your request, and eWine.com goes to work to find your item. Yet, the easy-to-access Web site is more than just a shopping portal, it also provides product information, keeps you posted on upcoming wine events and is home to the eWine Stock Index. Starting March 1, the eWine.com will go global and integrate retailers from around the world. All at your fingertips.

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Farmers Market

6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles

(323) 933-9211

A landmark at Fairfax and Third, this venerable, 65-year-old market is an L.A. treasure that makes an enjoyable outing any season of the year. There are shops, fruit and vegetable stands, tourists, bars, karaoke and all that food: crepes, burgers, pies, barbecue sandwiches, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Cajun cuisine, to name just a few. Every Angeleno should be thankful this place is still around. Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; parking. AE, MC, V.

 

FLYING LEAP CAFÉ

2538 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake

(323) 661-0618

A great place for an intimate meal with friends, this popular locale serves hearty American food in an inviting, candlelit setting. Among many choices on the menu are a juicy, top-sirloin steak ($13.95); the classic Silver Lake salad, with baby greens, sausage, corn, onion, apples and lemon-herb dressing ($7.95); and the delectable half-pound burgers with your choice of toppings (from $6.50). From Tuesday to Thursday, the blue-plate specials feature an entrée, salad and desert for just $7.95. Dinner Tues.–Sun. Full bar; takeout; parking. DIS, MC, V.

 

FOOD.COM

(415) 403-5200

Founded in 1996, this service offers home and business meals on the Internet. With over 14,000 restaurants (Indian, Italian, Mexican, etc.) on the service nationwide (1,000-plus restaurants in L.A.) and more than 800,000 members, this one-stop shopping site is the exclusive takeout and delivery partner of American Online. Also available for the consumer is a dining guide with information on 150,000 restaurants across the United States. If shopping is your bag, check out the Marketplace for select retailers of specialty foods, items and gifts. Just register, enter your address, then presto! — you are on their database. V.

 

GATE OF INDIA

7300 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood

(323) 874-6673

The folds of black and burgundy cloth billowing from the ceiling are more reminiscent of a work of art by Christo than a restaurant; but once the food arrives, there’s no question you’re here to chow. The menu features a wonderfully tangy chicken tikka masala ($5.95 lunch, $9.95 a la carte) and lamb pasanda cooked with almonds and cashews in a creamy meat sauce ($5.95, $9.95). Drop in for lunch for a 10-course buffet ($6.95). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations recommended. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

GAYLORD’S INDIA RESTAURANT

50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills

(310) 652-3838

With a new menu and wine list, this is a must-stop for Indian-food connoisseurs. Out of the traditional clay ovens come gourmet delicacies such as the seekh kebab, minced lamb mixed with onion, herbs and spices ($13.75). Exquisite curries of all sorts and seafood such as sautéed prawns with vegetables ($16) are just some of the other highlights served here. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout, delivery; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

GERLACH’S GRILLE

1075 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 799-7575

A mind-boggling variety of juicy flame-broiled kebabs — from lemon-and-saffron marinated chicken ($9.95) to brochettes of fire-roasted eggplant, squash and tomato ($7.95) — await meat lovers and vegetarians alike at this mostly takeout bistro. Just about every sandwich, burger and seafood plate on the eclectic menu is served up with fragrant basmati rice and salad or soup. If the kebabs don’t fill you, try one of 10 different seafood tacos ($4.95–$5.95). Lunch and dinner seven days; takeout; delivery; catering. AE, DIS, MC, V.

 

GIGI BRASSERIE

8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

(310) 358-3900

Located at the Hotel Sofitel, this Parisian bistro serves French cuisine that’s so authentic it’ll have you dreaming of a leisurely stroll along the Seine. Where else will you find escargot ($7.25), steak tartar ($14.50) and bouillabaisse ($16.75) all on one menu? Relax on the patio, while nibbling a flaky croissant baked at the onsite patisserie, and dream of gay Paris! Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days, brunch Sun. Full bar; catering; valet parking. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

Giovanni’s Trattoria

10026 Venice Blvd., Culver City

(310) 839-1757

If that magical Jersey-shore Italian joint featured in the movie Big Night had a real-life West Coast counterpart, it would have to be Giovanni’s, a family restaurant run by two brothers — Angelo, who cooks, and Giovanni, who serves. Try the fogottini di melenzane, grilled eggplant drenched in ricotta cheese and fresh tomato sauce ($4.50), or penne alla vodka, thick pasta topped with rich tomato sauce, just enough cream and a touch of Absolut ($7.95). Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Mon.–Sat. No alcohol; takeout; catering; parking; reservations accepted. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

GOURMET COFFEE WAREHOUSE

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671 Rose Ave., Venice

(310) 392-6479

The motto here is “wholesale to the people,” and, if the rock-bottom prices don’t lure you, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee will. Everyday folk get the same deal as the business buyers: five-pound bags of high-end coffee at an average price of $6.20 per pound. Also available are bulk teas (over 100 varieties that are blended and flavored on the premises), chocolates and mugs. Feeling peckish? Dunk some house-baked biscotti or other tasty treats in a fresh brew of potent, dark-roasted black gold. All coffees are roasted on site. Open seven days. Parking available. AE, MC, V.

 

HOME

1760 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz

(323) 669-0211

Voted L.A.’s best kid-friendly restaurant by Los Angeles magazine, this cozy place features a dining room, a toy room and beautiful outdoor patio with fountain and goldfish. Just like the name says, you will feel at home here, with a menu offering home-cooked American dishes. Favorites include the Sky High turkey sandwich (hand-carved turkey, coleslaw and cranberry sauce piled on sourdough) and a curry chicken salad and vegetarian wrap (both $6.95). Breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days. BYOB; takeout; delivery; catering; parking. AE, MC, V.

 

HOUSE OF BLUES

8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

(323) 848-5100

With seven bars, live music nightly and a dazzling collection of Southern folk art, this is the party palace extraordinaire. The signature dish is a spicy Creole jambalaya, made with rice, shellfish, spicy sausage and ham, and spiked with potent habanero peppers ($10.95 lunch, $13.95 dinner). From the backyard smokehouse comes Southern-style ribs ($12.95 lunch, $14.95 dinner) and smoked half-chicken with Barq’s root-beer gravy ($14.95, dinner only). Lunch Mon.–Sat., dinner seven nights, gospel brunch Sun., 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.

 

INDOCHINE

8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 655-4777

With its superb French-Vietnamese dishes, Indochine has been a hit with celebrities and restaurant critics since opening three years ago. Among many favorites are tom chien (crispy shrimp stuffed with asparagus and shitake mushrooms) and moine chha huy khnay (spicy sliced chicken with lemongrass, ginger, Asian basil and sweet potato crisps). The impressive wine list is an oenophile’s delight, and for dessert, try the chocolate truffle cake. Dinner for two, food only, $45–$75. Dinner seven nights. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, MC, V.

 

JAMBA JUICE

Various locations

(888) JAMBA-12; www.jambajuice.com

Even after a five-course meal, the delightful aroma of fresh fruit here will have you salivating all over again. Choose from a bevy of fruity concoctions with catchy names like Lime Sublime and Mango-A-Go-Go ($2.95–$3.95), sweetened with sorbets and sherbets. With every smoothie comes a free boost — vitamin and herbal supplements — and the real health nuts can go in for a shot of wheat grass juice ($1.25 with orange-slice chaser), supercharged with vitamins A and C. Open seven days. Takeout. Cash only.

 

Written by Patrick Burleigh, Nicole Campos, Bryce Coleman, Kristin Fiore, Wendy Gilmartin, Mike Gutierrez, Chuck Mindenhall IV, Rita Neyter, Matt Pevic, Christine Pelisek, Stefan Thiel and Nicole Whelan.

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