California's Best Wines At Corkbar | Los Angeles, CA

Take a wine tour from Sonoma to Santa Barbara at Corkbar

L.A. has more wine bars than you can throw a corkscrew at, but only one focuses solely on the bounty of California: Corkbar. Set in the ground floor of the new EVO lofts Downtown, it's a sleek, stylish place to try the best of wine country without having to hit the 101.

You'll recognize some of the big names like Clos du Val and Stags' Leap sold by the bottle, but the real finds are offered by the glass. Small-production wines like the bright 2007 Ampelos Syrah Rosé from Santa Ynez Valley ($12) and the dense and spicy 2006 Bokisch Garnacha from Lodi ($12) aren't always easy to find outside the tasting rooms.

For wine-friendly food, there are puffy, sharp-cheddar gougères ($6) and a burger tinged with Asiago cheese ($10)–both are discounted during happy hour (4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday)–and a bright green salad made with Brussels sprouts and warm shredded duck ($10) that shouldn't be missed.

With a huge patio and ample parking, this is another good stop before or after a night at Staples or the Nokia theaters, but the local loft dwellers have really hit a gold mine: The bar sells retail, too.

Corkbar, 403 W. 12th St., Downtown; 213-746-0500 or