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Know Your Food Events: Wine & DineLA, Great American Dine Out, DineLA, Let's Eat LA

It used to be simple: There used to be one event where you'd go out to a restaurant during a certain time, order off a special menu, and then the restaurant would donate proceeds to some charity. Often referred to as "restaurant week" on other cities, the closest we had was Dine Out LA for Share Our Strength. But also Aids for Aids had a Dine Out LA, held for one day only. And then DineLA came along, offering prix fixers for two weeks. We discovered some names and dates and concepts have changed, and someone needed to sort it all out.

1) Wine & Dine LA: Sept. 7-21
Previously known as: N/A
This inaugural event is sponsored by the Los Angeles Visitors Bureau. Participating restaurants have prix fixe menus with wine pairings for Amex card holders. Website has all the menus, prices are around $150 per person with wines. No charity involved.

2) Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out: Sept 21-28
Previously known as: Dine Out LA
Proceeds still benefit SOS, but instead of lunch or dinner prix fixe menus (and a free bottle of Pelligrino) for one day, restaurants agree to donate up to 5% of sales to feed hungry children in America. Know that it's not always 5% of a full day's sales, which Yo! Venice recently found out. Unfortunately, the official website doesn't show what percentage (or percentage of what) each restaurant will donate, so if it really matters, you'll have to call to find out.

3) DineLA: Jan 25-30, Feb 1-6 2009
Previously known as: DineLA
Following the lead of most cities "restaurant weeks," the Los Angeles Visitor's Bureau launched the first DineLA earlier this year. According to them: "The first year was an unprecedented success–with 143 participating restaurants and over 100,000 diners!" Moneywise, the deals are pretty good ($16 to $28 for lunch; $26-$44 for dinner), but of course some people found some menus better than others. The website, however, is damn spiffy and easy to sort through the restaurants and menus offered. No charity involved.

4) Go Eat LA: Feb 26, 2009
Previously known as: Dine Out LA
According to a rep for Aid For Aids, which this annual event benefits, the event was previously associated with Dining Out For Life International, but for various reasons they decided to split from that organization but continue to hold the event. The name was changed from Dining Out For Life to Dine Out LA, but then it was deemed too similar by DOFL organization, which sued Aid For Aids. Therefore, the event is now called Go Eat LA and instead of April, it's held in February. Up to 20% of the day's proceeds go to Aid For Aids.

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