This week, Besha Rodell reviews Sherman Oaks' Augustine Wine Bar, the sophomore effort of Bar Covell Owners Dustin Lancaster and Matthew Kaner done in partnership with Dave Gibbs. The LA Weekly critic only touches on the menu that "does not lack for ambition. But the more reaching the dish, the more dubious the execution." The food scores two stars, but the real focus of the review are the outrageously discounted vintage wines offered by the glass:
For instance, one evening Augustine was pouring a 1958 Château Haut Brion Graves by the glass for $100 a pop. It's not a bottle completely unavailable to the public — you can buy one here in Los Angeles at Wally's Wine & Spirits for $1,900. Given that the regular formula for pricing wine is to charge by the glass roughly what the establishment paid wholesale for the bottle, you begin to see the head-spinning values Augustine regularly offers. The vintage wines generally range from $20 to $100 per glass and $100 to $1,000 per bottle. The high end of that range might get you, for instance, a 1928 Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac, a bottle you could maybe pick up retail in London for double that price or in Hong Kong for five times as much. [LAW]
Rodell is astounded by the wines that "plebeians such as ourselves would usually have access to, and certainly not by the glass," and ultimately calls the unsustainable business model "God's work."
The Elsewhere: The pizza and fried chicken at Pizza Romana far exceeds Midtown Lunch's expectations, Angela Matano runs down eight great octopus dishes in LA, and Eddie Lin dines at LA Live newcomer Triple 8.