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Lou: A Great Little Wine Bar

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When I was in Los Angeles recently, I had the good fortune to stumble upon what should be my favorite new winebar (it was sort of directed stumbling, in truth; Minneapolis Star-Tribune food critic Rick Nelson's uncle is the chef, and he sent me toward it). In fact, the only thing keeping it from being my favorite place for a quick glass of vino is that it's about 2,400 miles from my apartment. But that aside, Lou is a nifty little place located in an unlikely corner of a strip shopping center on Vine just north of Melrose, adjacent to a laundromat and about seventy feet from a Thai massage joint. It's relatively unmarked—even though there's a sign saying Lou, I kept thinking I wasn't in the right place—but once you step inside you're in an appealingly low-lit nook full of appealingly low-key-yet-hip Angelenos, most of them holding glasses of wine and noshing on cheese, charcuterie and larger dishes (Chorizo with black lentils, garlic confit and fried egg, for instance) off the menu, under a chalk drawing on the wall of a pig holding a glass of wine.

Lou focuses on small-production, organic/biodynamic/post-organic (whatever post-organic means) wines, thirty of which are available by the glass at any given time, and is "unabashedly Eurocentric," as the website says. If you're into that sort of thing, you'll recognize or at least be intrigued by offerings like the 2006 Guy Breton Morgon for $14 a glass, 2007 Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon Blanc for $8 a glass, or Huber & Bleger Crémant d'Alsace Rosé NV for $10 a glass...though it may well be that those choices have changed since I was there. Regardless, I still think they're providing plates of "pig candy," which is essentially candied artisanal bacon, for five bucks. Candied pork? Uh-huh. I'm in.

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