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Need a bottle or two of wine for dinner tonight? Want to learn about wine? Where are you picking up your next bottle of wine? Where is the best place...

From morning to night, Bar Avalon in Echo Park is the place to be. Located in the Mohawk Collective development on Sunset Boulevard, Bar Avalon is a casual neighborhood restaurant where you can start your day with coffee and end your day with wine. Bar Avalon is located inside a brick building with floor to ceiling glass walls. Inside the space is has high barn-wood ceilings which make the space seem larger than it is. Exposed brick walls and leather booths warm the space. The open kitchen offers seating so that you can watch the cooks work. You can also sit at the bar that is cleanly decorated with wine bottles. There is also an outside patio where one can dine and also where you will find planters with herbs that the kitchen uses. All in all, it is a cool east-side space.
Birthdays are always a great excuse to eat out. When I was a child, I always picked the same restaurant each year but as an adult, I love to try new places and this year's birthday was no exception. Gathering a group of my foodie friends, we decided to go to Allumette in Echo Park. Located across the street from a supermarket, this fine dining restaurant is rather unassuming.  But, despite the location and the minimal decor, Chef Miles Thompson is serving food that is anything but unassuming. Before we delved into the food, we started with drinks. The bar program at Allumette is lead by Serena Herrick, formerly of Harvard and Stone, who has created an original drink menu using local, artisanal products.