|Special tasting menus at N/Naka this week|
You have the day off for Martin Luther King Day today? Lucky you. Go find a relaxing lunch or dinner somewhere - there are plenty of offers on DineLA Restaurant Week roster. Here are some of our picks, including some classics you may have forgotten about.
Someone had to pick up the slack after Campanile closed and there was no longer grilled cheese Thursdays. Taste on Melrose has stepped up to the challenge, now serving a special grilled cheese menu every Tuesdays. Look for creations like aged white cheddar and roasted tomato on white rye, andouille sausage and manchego on oilve bread, and crispy prosciutto with asparagus, fontina and Swiss cheeses (8454 Melrose Ave.; 323-852-6888).
Melrose Place has a handsome new coffee joint, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen, which debuts today. Grab a Stumptown coffee or espresso, maybe an apricot danish, sit by the fireplace. A fuller menu with sandwiches and salads is coming soon (8428 Melrose Place; 323-944-0811).
Whiskey lovers, get thee to Pasadena's Everson Royce - actually, The Armory Center for the Arts next door - to taste eight different American whiskies, both bourbon and rye. The bonus: one of those whiskies is Pappy Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot "B" 12 Year, which is rare to taste without buying your own bottle. Others include Willett Family Estate Single Barrel 8 Year, Old Weller Antique and Colorado Gold, plus cocktails from Talmadge Lowe of Pharmacie LA. Takes place from 6-8 PM, $45 per person (155 N. Raymond Ave.; 626-765-9334).
Although Jeremy Fox is no longer cooking with This Is Not a Pop-Up at Square One, other chefs are lined up for the next few weeks. This weekend sample the Next Food Network Star's Adam Gertler's modern deli creations like halibut quenelle with beet, carrot, bitter greens and horseradish, cold-smoked tuna "pastrami" on rye, and his version of an egg cream. The menu is $50 and goes until Sunday (4854 Fountain Ave.; 323-661-1109).
Chef Bryant Wigger demos some of his Cal-Ital specialties at Trattoria Neapolis today at an intimate cooking class. So you get to see how dishes like roast pumpkin soup with Parmigiana sformato, black-pepper spaghetti carbonara, and grilled ahi with Sicilian fregola are prepared, and then you get to eat them. The class and luncheon takes place from 2-4 PM; $65 per person (336 S. Lake Ave.; 626-792-3000).
The new eat/give/hope dinner series at N/Naka isn't just one of most inexpensive ways to enjoy chef Niki Nakayama's wonderful Japanese-inspired cuisine (her kaseiki tasting menus are some of the best in town), proceeds go to a great cause. For three consecutive Sundays, which kick off today, dine on a special five-course menu for $55 per person with proceeds going to the Leukemia and Lymphona Society, and for every donation of $200 or more made directly to the organization, you will be rewarded with a chef's tasting dinner at N/Naka. The next two dinners take place on February 3 and 10, and reservations are mandatory (3455 Overland Ave.; 310-836-6252).