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Small Bites: Prohibition menu at Saddle Peak Lodge; offal on offer at Palate Food + Wine (lunch coming Feb. 19)

January 14, 2010 | 12:07 pm


What's old is new again: Saddle Peak Lodge is celebrating the 125-year anniversary of the rustic building it is housed in and 25 years under its current ownership. Given this lengthy history, it's little wonder that the place -- once frequented by Hollywood heavyweights including Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford -- was popular during the Prohibition as well. To that end, Saddle Peak mixologist Chris Barragan has launched a new cocktail menu packed with Prohibition-era favorites including mint juleps; Negronis (Carpano Antica vermouth and Hendrick’s gin); Papa Hemingway daiquiris; Sazeracs; mojitos; and classic Manhattans. In addition to the libations, the kitchen has cooked up some new seafood and vegetarian dishes to complement its menu of game meats. 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas. (818) 222-3888; www.saddlepeaklodge.com.

Innards are in: Octavio Becerra's acclaimed restaurant and wine bar, Palate Food + Wine, in Glendale has introduced an extra-special Wednesday night menu called "offal good," featuring, yes, offal and lots of it. Depending on the temperament of your tummy (and your ability to eat items closely associated with another animal's digestive tract), you may be ecstatic about this news. The three-course, offal-based menu costs $25 and is served from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The inaugural menu consisted of split pea soup with crispy pigs ears and lime; sweet bread with oro blanco, chicory, celery root and pomegranate; and braised oxtail, pomme puree and parsley salad. Future menus might contain cheeks, feet, heart, kidneys, brains, liver, lungs, marrow bone and tongue. In other news, Palate will begin serving lunch every Friday and Saturday from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 19. 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale. (818) 662-9463; www.palatefoodwine.com.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Rabbit, grits and Concord grapes are served at Palate Food + Wine. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times