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Datebook: A Napa escape, L.A. WineFest, Champagne feasts and more

June 3, 2009 |  4:42 pm



An anniversary of savings Beacon, an Asian cafe, celebrates its five-year anniversary through June 17 by offering a special menu of $5 small plates along with $5 glasses of wine and cocktails. Time to get that miso-marinated black cod you've been craving. Beacon, 3280 Helms Ave., Culver City. (310) 838-7500. www.beacon-la.com.

Tequila time Join Malo beverage director Christine D'Abrosca for a low-cost evening of tequila tasting and complimentary taco noshing. Agave highlights will include Casa Noble, Partida and Comisario. A DJ will keep things lively. Malo, 4326 Sunset Blvd., L.A. 7 to 10 p.m. $15. (323) 664-1011. www.malorestaurant.com.


Weekend getaway Whisk that special someone up north for the annual Auction Napa Valley, which boasts four days of parties and open houses at many wineries along California 29. The grand tasting event features more than 100 wineries, intimate dinner parties and, of course, a live auction at which bidders get a chance to snag one of 43 rare and one-of-a-kind lots. Event locations and ticket prices vary. For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.napavintners.com/anv.


Battle of the vine If you're a fan of competition, you might enjoy the Napa versus Sonoma wine dinner hosted at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Enjoy a four-course dinner, featuring two courses paired with wines from both Napa and Sonoma, then engage in a lively debate with your compatriots about which wine provides the best accompaniment. Dishes include filet mignon and wonton-crusted ahi  and Bodega Bay crab cocktail. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 800 W. Olympic Blvd. 6:30 p.m. $55. (213) 745-9911. www.flemingssteakhouse.com.


Wine all day L.A. WineFest is back for its fourth year of grape-fueled fun. Billed as L.A.'s biggest annual wine-tasting and educational event, the festival features more than 100 wineries from around the world, cheese pairings, craft beers, artisan spirits and live jazz. A silent auction will benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation and Hollywood YMCA. Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave. Saturday and Sunday, 2 to 6 p.m. $55 one-day pass or $100 weekend pass. www.lawinefest.com.


Splendor in the grass: Enjoy an afternoon of Francophile delight Sunday during the Picnic des Chefs Food & Wine Fair hosted by Club Culinaire of French Cuisine. Favorite L.A. chefs, including Josie Le Balch and Neal Fraser, will cook. Elysian Park/Monticello Old Lodge at Scott Avenue and Stadium Way. 11:30 a.m. aperitifs and lunch, 3:30 p.m. raffle. $50. (949) 295-0506. www.clubculinaire.us


A Champagne feast Indulge in a four-course meal at Mélisse featuring the Champagnes Krug Grand Cuvée as well as the 1998, 1985 and 1982 Krug. Owner Olivier Krug will be on hand to discuss each offering. Chef Josiah Citrin's menu includes duck confit croquettes, Santa Barbara prawn ravioli and spring veal loin with potato-leek fritters. Mélisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 7:30 p.m. $150. (310) 395-0881. www.melisse.com.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Grilled shrimp and green tea soba noodles at Beacon in Culver City. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times