Hide & Seek
Chinatown's Secret Wine Shop
Without a doubt, Ling's Wine & Beer Market is by far the most clandestine wine shop in Los Angeles.
Hidden in the back room of an unassuming art gallery, Coagula Curatorial, which is in turn hidden on a Chinatown alleyway filled with touristy shops and faux pagoda storefronts, Ling's Market is nearly impossible to find if you aren't looking for it--which is probably how artist and wine curator Kim Dingle prefers it.
Back in October, the gallery--housed in the former home of a 1970s-era convenience store called Ling's Market--hosted Dingle's "Wine Bar for Children" show, a collection of artwork that included 36 hand-painted bottles of Verdicchio.
After the show's run, Dingle--who was also the owner of Eagle Rock's late, great vegetarian restaurant Fatty's--approached the gallery about transforming its dim and musty back room into an actual bottle shop, naming it in tribute to the one-time owner, Mr. Ling, and stocking it with the kind of local boutique wines she once poured at Fatty's.
Peruse the collection: There's a great 2010 Carol Shelton Monga Zin ($20) made in Rancho Cucamonga from old-vine Zinfandel and a bold cassis-scented 2012 Loring Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon ($30) from Paso Robles.
Oh, and if you want to buy a painting, too, you're in the right place.