For nine evenings in a row at his Santa Monica restaurant Wilshire, chef Andrew Kirschner will warm up for his big night at the James Beard House in Manhattan on April 30. Kirschner is cooking a prix-fixe menu April 16 through April 25, excluding Sunday, in preparation for the event. Fifty bucks for the meal and $25 for the wine pairings by Paige 23 (winemaker Christopher Keller will be at the NYC event) is a bargain compared to membership and the cost of the dinner at the Beard House, not to mention travel and accommodations in New York.

What's on the menu? Kirschner will be perfecting his morel dumplings with asparagus cream and Parmesan, Dungeness crab with green papaya and mango salad, Moroccan spiced spring lamb, and he'll serve sides of Cowgirl Creamery's springtime St. Pat cheese that's gently coddled in nettles along with beautifully intense Roaring Forties blue (items about which Kirschner obviously need not worry). A strawberry-and-white-chocolate gateau wraps things up.

Do a civic good deed and help Kirschner be on his top West Coast game by the time he gets to West 12th Street.

2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 586-1707 or

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