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‘Discoveries’

The Coffee Gallery

WHY You can hang out as long as you like, and the private room is great for a committee meeting. WHAT Maybe it’s not the best coffee in town—and the service is often bizarrely slow—but there’s something endearing about this appealingly scruffy place anyway. For one thing, the live music in the separate concert room [...]

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Kaldi

WHY An authentic and appealing slice of European-style café life, right in the middle of Small Town, U.S.A. WHAT The sultry purple neon sign beckons passersby into this popular hangout in a handsome old brick building across from the library. On the menu: well-made espresso drinks and sunny sidewalk tables, but not much to eat. [...]

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Monte Alban

WHY The many moles—black, yellow, green, red, colorado—served in tamales, with chicken, in all sorts of dishes. Good huevos for breakfast, too. WHAT A fine and most affordable Oaxacan café known for its moles and its breakfast (good cinnamon-infused coffee). Try the mole negro tamale and the huitlachoche and frijoladas, a wonderful mix of beans, [...]

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Totoraku Teriyaki House

WHY To pole-vault into the league of the coolest foodies in town. WHAT One might assume from the ‘Pico Teriyaki House’ sign outside that this might be a divey neighborhood spot for a cheap plate of chicken teriyaki and shrimp tempura. And one would be very, very wrong. This is L.A.’s great ‘secret’ restaurant, where [...]

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Tomato Pie Pizza Joint

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WHY All the standards (plus an excellent white pie), as well as calzones, subs and pastas. WHAT Flavorful New York—style pizzas are turned out at this modest shop with a few locations, each of which has friendly service and efficient delivery. 2457 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, 323.661.6474, tomatopiepizzajoint.com. L & D daily. MC, V. Type: [...]

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Dino’s Chicken & Burgers

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WHY Orange-red chicken marinated in a chile-laced sauce and grilled, resting on a bed of fries deliciously imbued with chicken juice. ; WHAT Despite the name, it’s not about the burgers at this very modest stand; the half-chicken plate has achieved near-legendary status among connoisseurs of cheap eats. ; 2575 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-city, 213.380.3554, [...]

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Beverly Hills Juice Club

WHY Cold-pressed apple-juice blends that are totally delish—try the apple strawberry or apple ginger. WHAT It’s not really in Beverly Hills, but a harmless bit of false advertising is no reason to shun this teeny place, which specializes in cold-pressed fruit juices, wheatgrass, carrot juices and smoothie-like banana-based creations. WHO Healthful sorts on their way [...]

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The Wine Country

WHY Stuff you won’t easily find elsewhere. WHAT Owner Randy Kemner has long championed offbeat varietals, off-the-beaten-track regions and underappreciated importers. The result is a shop with an eclectic array of wines selected for their ability to complement food, with particular strength in aromatic whites, including German, Austrian and Alsatian bottlings. WHO South Bay enthusiasts [...]

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Wine House

WHY For 18,000 square feet devoted to wine, beer and spirits. WHAT Arguably the best wine shop in L.A., the Wine House has it all: great selection, good prices, informed staff and even a little gourmet food section, so you can get a tin of caviar to go with that magnum of Cristal. A year-round [...]

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Woodland Hills Wine Company

WHY It’s all about the Burgs. WHAT A connoisseur’s Mecca, Woodland Hills Wine specializes in (sigh) Burgundies, but the selection of top wines from California, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Italy, Austria and Spain is worth the drive to the west Valley. Woodland Hills also direct-imports many hard-to-find bottlings, including some bargains. Staffers are highly knowledgeable and [...]

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