Above: he has my vote. No, that’s not Lou. That’s my comrade and co-conspirator in tasting Howard Rodman at Lou on Vine, my all-time favorite wine bar in the world — yes, in the whole wide world. Howard was just nominated for a Spirit Award for best screenplay (Savage Grace, 2007). Congratulations, Howard!
My travels are taking me away from Austin and back to California, where I’m going to work some holiday parties with my friends at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego (I’ll be pouring on the floor there on Friday and Saturday nights, btw). During the week, I’ll head to LA to take care of some business and surely stop in to taste at my all-time favorite wine bar, Lou on Vine (at the corner of Melrose and Vine in Hollywood).
Above: Lou Amdur, nez extraordinaire and proprietor of the eponymously named Lou on Vine.
Lou’s menu features farm-to-table materia prima and his extensive by-the-glass list never fails to surprise and thrill me, whether with a biodynamic Pecorino from Abruzzo, a stinky Gamay from Beaujolais (Rachel Ray’s favorite, Lou claims wryly), or a grape that I’d never tasted, like Zierfandler from the Thermenregion.
Before I headed out to Austin a few weeks ago, Lou graciously let Howard and me pull the cork on Howard’s 1998 Cascina Francia by Giacomo Conterno, which showed beautifully. I’ve recently tasted the 97 (at Jaynes courtesy John Greer) and the 99 (courtesy David Schacter): while the 99 was still way too tight and the 97 began to open up nicely only after extended aeration, the 98 was simply singing in my opinion.
got a pocket full of nickles
a pocket full of dimes
going back to Watts
drink a little wine
baby don’t you want to go
going back to LA
sweetest place I know
— Johnny Otis Show
I’ll try and stop in their tonight after dinner, thanks DoBi!
In the words of Billy Vera (and the Beaters), tell Lou that I sent you and he’ll charge you double…
Definitely worth the visit… he’s always got something interesting Italian too…
I hear that his food is Sofa King tasty too…maybe Lou’ll know who Holly and the Italians were:-\
we’ll have a screening when you come back, va bene? auguri to howard!
That was one rockin’ place! I agree, one of the best wine bars on earth and a vortex for great wines and very interestiong people. One thing about LA, folks like to talk. Lou was great, he surrounded me with all kinds of interesting wine and people. I was the only Angelino in the bunch, but it was the Hollywood I remember that I never saw. I only wish Nathaniel West had lived to see this Hollywood.
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