Corkbar: Downtown’s oasis for California wines and market-driven cuisine.

CorkbarCorkbar: Downtown’s oasis for California wines and market-driven cuisine.

Just steps from Staples Center downtown, lies a modern oasis outlined by outdoor patios, boasting walls shelved with wine bottles. Corkbar‘s mission is to bring California wine tasting to you, be it by the extensive wine list—sporting selections (40 by the glass) from Paso Robles, Sonoma, Santa Ynez and Napa Vallys and their surroundings—or the cuisine. What you won’t find is a freezer, or a deep fryer; Chef Albert Aviles insists on creating farmers market-driven cuisine created from the freshest ingredients. On his new Fall menu savor the cheddar cheese gougéres and try dipping them in the white bean puree topped with seasonal herbs and truffle oil. Mussels arrive in a coconut curry broth, while tender short ribs bask in mouth watering cheesy polenta—comfort food at its best. Salads combine roasted beets with Maytag blue cheese and endive; arugula, dandelion greens with roasted root vegetables and a red wine-thyme vinaigrette. The mac & cheese, accented with roasted pasilla chilies, is a must, as is the cinnamon brioche bread pudding with creme fraiche and bacon. Stop by for Test Kitchen Tuesdays to try Chef Aviles’ new creations for $2 a taste, or weekday happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. Corkbar, 403 West 12th St., downtown, 213.746.0050. www.corkbar.com

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