|Courtesy of Fat Dog|
The Chinese New Year begins today - The Year of the Dragon - which us being celebrated at Chi Dynasty in Studio City with a gala party from 6-9 PM tonight, including the traditional Lion Dance, and both complimentary appetizers and gift bags. And, of course, this is a propitious day on which to order the Chinese Chicken Salad - the dish for which Chi Dynasty is most famous (818-753-5300).
Celebrate the joys of locavore wine production from 6:30-8:30 PM at M Street Kitchen with its "Toast of the Coast" event - a tasting of 25 coastal wines, with small dishes like bacon-wrapped dates, spicy deviled eggs and mini lobster rolls, all for $25 per person. Twenty-five wines at $1 per taste? We'll toast to that (310-396-9145).
Taft Building American Wood & Vine is joining with cult butchers Lindy & Grundy for a four-course pig dinner including housemade charcuterie, slow-roasted pork shoulder, pork cheek ravioli and, of course, chocolate-covered bacon - along with a discussion of sustainability for carnivores (8:30 PM; $50 per person; 323-334-3360).
And for those who want even more carnivorous feasting, there's the monthly Morso della Bestia (Bite of the Beast) tonight at Locanda del Lago, offering a five-courser built around Cervena venison from New Zealand - including venison carpaccio, venison ravioli and roasted leg of venison (7 PM; $60 per person; 310-451-3525).
Join Champagne Taittinger artistic director Vitalie Taittinger for a tasting of - what else? - four Taittinger champagnes at L'Ermitage Beverly Hills (9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 323-850-5558), including the highly acclaimed Brut Millesime 2004 (6:30 to 8:30 PM; $35 per person; 310-278-3344).
Those with a Pinot obsession can satisfy their need (and then some) by spending the afternoon (from 1-5 PM) at the Pinot Days Southern California Grand Festival at the Barker Hanger at Santa Monica Airport, where 80 vintners will be there to pour tastes of more than 300 Pinots. There's also a cafe run by Le Pain Quotidien for those feeling a bit peckish ($60 per person; go to www.pinotdays.com).
If you're looking for a reasonably priced lunch time alternative, head for The Fat Dog gastropub for a daily $8 soup and sandwich combo, with a selection of nine different pairings, including minestrone with a sandwich of prosciutto and arugula on ciabatta; French onion soup with a braised short rib and Gruyère sandwich; and parsnip purée with a BBQ beef Sloppy Joe with coleslaw (323-951-0030).