5 Spots to Sip and Nibble—Plus Some Eats To Put On Your Radar This Month
Local wine bars where you can swirl, sip—and more.
CategoryEat & Drink
Written byKaren Young
AboveArcwood Wine Bar
Arcwood Wine Bar
Indoor/outdoor seating provides a relaxed vibe at this neighborhood wine bar in Tarzana. More than 60 wines are offered, most with modest price tags, including 30 by the glass. Arcwood has a reasonably priced list of internationally sourced wines, as well as California varietals from small boutique vineyards. A brief but interesting beer list includes Abita Turbodog brown ale from Louisiana. Seasonal California and Mexican dishes including rolled tacos and a Wagyu cheeseburger blend with southern specialties such as seafood jambalaya and a cast iron-made cornbread served with a melt-in-your-mouth sweet red pepper jelly. Wine flights are $10. Happy hour runs daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to close.
arcwoodrestaurant.com | Photo courtesy Arcwood Wine Bar
Old-world ambience jibes with a vintage wine collection at this chic Sherman Oaks wine bar considered by some to have one of the best selections in Los Angeles. More than 75 wines are offered by the glass and even more by the bottle. Oenophiles will delight at conversing with friendly, knowledgeable sommeliers and diving into a collection that includes vintages dating back to the 1800s. Hang out at the 18-seat, white Carrara marble-top bar amidst antique radios and kitschy signs. For something more intimate, nab a booth or relax on the sofa near the early 20th-century stand-up wooden piano. Nibble on cheese, charcuterie and Marcona almonds or go full throttle with the likes of dayboat scallops, wild-caught sockeye salmon and 12-ounce, 14-day ribeye from Flannery, New York. Or just pair a glass with bread pudding and call it a day.
augustinewinebar.com | Photo courtesy Augustine
Located a bit off the beaten path in Valley Village, this consummate neighborhood wine bar is also open for weekend brunch and dinner. The dimly lit space includes a long bar, a handful of small high-top tables and a tufted, deep blue leather lounge. The wine list features more than 60 wines by the bottle or glass, including rare varietals—some of which have been bought at estate sales. Taps rotate nine ales and lagers and two wines. The weekday daily happy hour runs 5 to 7 p.m., while weekend brunch is an all-day affair that adds $5 mimosas to the wine and beer specials. Dinner offers global dishes, including brisket bao buns, croque monsieur and labneh tzatziki. Don’t miss the weekly grilled cheese special. An added plus: cool tunes streaming straight from an old-school cassette player.
mirabellewinebarla.com | Photo courtesy Mirabelle
Vino Wine & Tapas
Live music and a Spanish vibe complete with rich brick red and mustard hued décor and dimmed lights set this long-standing Encino wine bar apart. A well-priced global selection will please the casual wine drinker, while those seeking finer wines will be more enticed with the reserve collection. Enjoy tapas, such as montaditos (baguette slices with toppings like sausage, anchovies and goat cheese), tortilla Española (omelet), patatas bravas, mussels and bacon-wrapped dates. Among the larger plates: grilled skirt steak and beef short ribs are hearty and good for sharing. Happy hour runs daily 4 to 7 p.m. with $4 to $6 wine and beer and $5 tapas. Live Spanish guitar music starts at 7 p.m. daily.
vinowinetapas.com | Photo courtesy Vino Wine & Tapas
Vintage Wine + Eats
Patrons of the Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City will hardly recognize this modern, airy spot after its recent transformation into a wine bar and full-service restaurant. Take a seat at the marble bar or street-side patio, or if you’re a twosome grab one of the few cozy booths. The wine list showcases 45 varietals by the glass, comprised of such classics as Sancerre and Rioja, as well as boutique, natural and local wines. Pair your sips with sandwiches and salads for lunch and a burger, raclette sweet potato or Louisiana shrimp for dinner. And of course, charcuterie and cheese is offered all day. Look out for happy hour and evening specials like $1 oysters.
vintagestudiocity.com | Photo courtesy Vintage Cheese + Wine
Dining Deals, New Eats and an Ice Cream Collab
dineL.A. Restaurant Week returns with more participants in the 818
If there is a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, dineL.A. Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to dine out somewhere new—or to visit an old favorite. More than 400 restaurants across Los Angeles are participating in this biannual culinary event taking place January 17–31—and nearly 50 are in the San Fernando Valley. Three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus range from $20 to $59, with some exceptions at $99. Among the notable local dining destinations: The Bellwether, Los Balcones, Sugarfish, Saddle Peak Lodge, Mistral, Wood & Water, Scratch|Bar, Sushi|Bar, Bluebird Brasserie and Ruth’s Chris.
discoverlosangeles.com/dinela | Photo courtesy Saddle Peak Lodge
Wanderlust Creamery and Scratch|Bar & Kitchen team up for a cause in January
Scratch|Bar & Kitchen co-owner/pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee has teamed up with Adrienne Borlongan, co-owner of Wanderlust Creamery, to create a limited edition ice cream flavor. The sweet novelty, based on Margarita’s signature dessert at the Encino restaurant she owns with husband Phillip Frankland Lee, is called The Cheese Course. It features triple crème cheese, toasted brioche and smoked honey—all infused into ice cream—and is available through the end of January at Wanderlust Creamery’s Tarzana and Atwater locations. The flavor is made in memory of Scratch Restaurant’s director of operations, Gabriel Wischmeier, who passed away unexpectedly in September. All profits will go to Project Angel Food.
wanderlustcreamery.com | scratchbarla.com | Photo: Angeline Woo
More eats on the Boulevard
Sweetgreen, the national fast-casual chain, opened in Studio City last month featuring an organic, locally sourced menu that includes seasonal salads and grain bowls. Coming soon next door: Philz Coffee.
sweetgreen.com | Photo courtesy Sweetgreen
&Waffles, a breakfast and lunch eatery in NoHo, opened a larger second location in Woodland Hills designed with a breakfast counter, high-top seating and—just in time for football playoffs—big-screen TVs.
andwaffles.com | Photo courtesy &Waffles