|Night + Market; photo by Whitney Adams|
April is National Grilled Cheese Month (you knew that, of course) and to celebrate, The Counter is serving a different special grilled cheese sandwich every week, beginning with The Western (Tillamook cheddar, American cheese, Black Forest ham, fried onion strings and sweet BBQ sauce). In the weeks to come, there's The Kicker made with jalapeno jack; The Grill Greek, with feta and provolone; and the Red, White & Blue, with Swiss, blue cheese and roasted red peppers (multiple locations).
Chef Kris Yenbamroong at Night + Market has a commitment to introducing dishes to this evening adjunct to Talesai that are unknown in Los Angeles. And he's come up with a classic - the Northern Thai "tamale" called hor ab, made with skinny shishamo smelt, topped with smelt eggs that are cured in fish and chile sauce. He suggests eating it with a Beerlao, the national beer of Laos (310-275-9724).
One of the best deals in town has to be the daily lunch two-courser served at Lilly's French Café & Wine Bar, where $12 a person gets you a choice of soup or salad, followed by a steak sandwich, a croque monsieur, a grilled vegetable sandwich, a chicken sandwich, an omelet - or whatever the special of the day happens to be. Sit on the outside patio; you may never get back to work (310-314-0004).
To celebrate the first day of the 2012 baseball season, BLD presents its fifth annual Hot Dog Night, serving housemade dogs, buns, ketchup, mustard, piccalilli relish, sauerkraut and beer-battered onion rings from 6 PM on (it's like going to Dodger Stadium, but with much easier parking.)
If you work in the towers of Century City, you can throw yourself into the gridlock heading in every direction at 5 PM on a Friday. Or you can stroll to Toscanova for its Italian happy hour with drinks priced at half off and free bar snacks served from 4 to 8 PM - long enough for the traffic to get back to its normal snarl (310-551-0499).
If you feel the need for a second Passover seder, but don't want to do the cooking, head for Street, where Rabbi Eleanor Steinman of Congregation Kol Ami will preside over a meal by chefs Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger. Expect the likes of fava bean besara, smoked fish and potato bimueolos, matzo ball soup, warm halloumi salad, Moroccan lamb (or Moroccan vegetable tagine), matzo crepes, eggplant hummus and spiced apple cake (offered from 6 PM on; $55 per person; 323-203-0500).
To celebrate Easter in a proper Southern Italian fashion, Sotto chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack are offering an à la carte nose-to-tail lamb menu including regional specialties like Sardinian pane frattau (made with lamb livers and cardoon thisles; lamb tongue with fregola (a couscous-like pasta), salsa verde and olives; and grilled leg of lamb with egg, lemon and artichokes -- priced from $15 to $18, served at dinner only, with a new list of Southern Italian wines the restaurant describes as "both classical and radical" (310-277-0210).