You don't have to be a vino expert to love wine bars and the great small plates (known as tapas) they usually offer. From Silver Lake to Westwood, here is a list of the top wine bars in Los Angeles.
This upscale wine bar from the folks who brought you Lucques, features the usual wine, cheese and charcuterie with the bonus of exotic and unusual specials from its wood burning oven. These include asparagus with kumquat salsa and black olives, and trout with spicy chorizo and pickled golden raisins. They host regular 'Flights and Bites' events. Check their site for up-to-date details.
8022 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
A reasonably priced Silver Lake mainstay that boasts not only beer and wine lists, but a soda pop list as well. So if it's not a Chianti kind of night maybe you'll opt for Mexican Coke or Faygo Rock & Rye instead. The menu changes often, advertising such tasty plates as duck confit, deviled eggs, different types of chorizos and a selection of veggies and grains that should delight most vegetarians.
2442 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Primitivo has wines from all over the world--Australia, Italy, Chile, Spain, France, South Africa, Argentina and the U.S. They host events like wine tastings, 'Sangria Sundays,' 'Thirsty Thursdays,' and happy hour. Tapas offerings include a lovely beet salad with orange segments, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese in an orange honey vinaigrette.
1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
The focus here is on boutique vineyards from around the world. Sparkling creative cocktails are also available. As the name implies, farmers market inspired dishes grace the menu--whose creator prides himself on seasonal dishes. The atmosphere recalls a big tree house, charming and, well, rustic. Perfect for a first date or a warm rekindling.
1119 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tucked away in Little Tokyo, this wine bar brings whimsy and kitsch to the table with hostesses decked out in French maid costumes--truly staying with the tone of the Japanese neighborhood (as these sorts of costumes are popular in Japan). And, let's not forget the karaoke antics that go on here. There's also a sake menu if you really want to ferment in the Japanese vibe. The food menu includes items like seafood carpaccio , meat fondue, tuna tataki salad and shrimp salad.
428 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
West Siders enjoy the view from the top, Upstairs, that is. This wine store, restaurant and bar features and extensive 'Wines by the Glass Program.' Chef Todd Barrie has fashioned small Mediterranean plates perfectly paired with given wines. For a set $55, wine and food lovers can partake of 'Wine and Dine Wednesdays'--a four-course meal including four wines from around the world (with a brief discussion of the wines).
2311 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
In the heart of Old Town Pasadena, this wine bar boasts over 400 wines from all over the globe. Their chef (the former chef of Opus Bar & Grill and Aubergine) has created a nice petite plates menu. This includes pan-seared Whitefish and 'Date Poppers' (Serrano ham, Gorgonzola and pickled Jalapenos). Up to 100 wines are available by the glass.
70 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
One of the more established wine bar/restaurants in LA, this Los Feliz hot spot features everything from grilled aged Brazilian style skirt steak to ceviche. Be warned that the exotically worded menu is best appreciated if you speak Italian. The great wine and beer selections are subject to frequent change on the board. Happy hour daily.
1968 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90189
Its original location in Culver City closed, but now Vinoteque is back on Melrose Ave. The winebar offers the usual small plates, fashioned by chef Joshua Smookler, along with a wide selection of wines.
7469 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046