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I love everything Italian, especially the food and wine. So, I eagerly awaited the opening of Eataly in Los Angeles, happy that it would be in Century City, not far from my home. When it opened last month, there were large crowds lined up each day so I waited a few weeks before going. It was worth the wait. Eataly is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Anything and everything Italian that you might want is there. Do not go hungry or you will be in trouble! Entering on Level 2, there is a Lavazza Caffe serving up coffee like you can only get in Italy. Forget triple, grande and tall, just order a proper Italian espresso, a macchiato, or any classic espresso drink. Or indulge in an Italian hot chocolate, thick dark chocolate that is rich but not overly sweet. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a gelato from Il Gelato or a bomboloni (similar to a stuffed doughnut) at Cannoli e Bomboloni. Of course, you may want to save these spots for after you eat.

Petite Taqueria is a Tex-Mex restaurant located on La Cienega in the former Bagatelle space. The last time I was at the space, I was bombarded by white walls, white...

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Cariñena may not be very well known, but according to Wine Enthusiast, it is the “region to watch.” Located in the heart of the Ebro Valley, between Barcelona and Madrid, in Spain’s northeast region of Aragón, Cariñena is the birthplace of the garnacha grape and the second oldest wine region in Spain after Rioja, receiving its DO status in 1932.
I was introduced to this up-and-coming region at the recent Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa. Miami-based wine educator and writer Lyn Farmer led the seminar covering what he says is one of his favorite regions.
Cariñena, in addition to being its own appellation, also has its own grape variety, cariñena. Tight clusters with thick skins and thick stalks, the resulting wine has high acidity, medium tannins and alcohol, medium plus body and a deep red/purple color. Cariñena typically has aromas of raspberry, cranberry sauce and spice (cinnamon and star anise). As this wine ages, it can develop notes of cured and smoked meats.