Luna Vine Wine Bar

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1/8
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
2012 White Hawk Tercero Viognier at Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
2010 White Hawk Cordon Syrah at Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
2012 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais at Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Cheese and charcuterie board at Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Luna Vine
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Luna Vine
8/8
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Luna Vine
Burbank

Between the top-notch vino and engaging staff, this Magnolia Park gem is just the boîte to awaken your palate. The staff has put together a score of excellent varietals—from a Santa Barbara calm, cool and collected 2010 White Hawk Cordon Syrah ($13) to Coto de Hayas' brazenly bold 2011 "Garnacha Centenaria." Guests would be remiss not to sip these alongside small plates off Executive Chef Wes Pumphrey's carefully curated American-Mediterranean menu: try the lamb meatballs ($12), the charcuterie and cheese boards ($17-$30), and the pistachio biscotti with a side of spiced chocolate for dessert ($7). Inside the nondescript former art space on Magnolia Boulevard, a gregarious neighborhood crowd lingers over their food and drink while low-key servers refill empty glasses and help those bemused navigate the 40-strong wine list. The atmosphere is pure merriment, without even an ounce of pretension.

Vitals

Good for: Tasting a world of wine you would rarely come across in one place. Order by the half glass to fully appreciate the amazing selection. The bar staff is friendly and eager, and no question is too silly. This is also a solid locals hang. Sure, you will find a few couples holding hands, whispering sweet nothings as they feed each other cheese. Mainly, though, Luna Vine is just a lively, cozy spot for friends to compare what is in their glasses. Take advantage of "studio" hour from 4-6pm when there are half-off specials on selected wines and beers.

The scene: From the looks of the place—a narrow, industrial chic bodega illuminated by Edison lightbulbs—you would expect yet another haughty urban wine room. But a closer look at the clientele reveals a casually dressed bunch, just your average neighborhood folk looking for some good wine and a palatable bite in Burbank. Ladies on their "night out" chit-chat around larger tables while amorous couples opt for the intimate high-tops crafted from repurposed wood. Winos head straight to the bar, naturally.

The playlist: Not your typical wine bar mix. Beastie Boys, Cyndi Lauper, and Aerosmith make for a lively atmosphere fit for wooing a date or catching up with comrades.

The bartender says: The wine program focuses on new and old world boutique styles, with a "Think Globally and Drink Locally" motto. Same goes for the fare: all dishes are prepared with organic ingredients sourced from local farms and farmers markets.

Drink this: If you have never tasted wine from vines aged 100 years old, then treat yourself to 2011 Coto de Hayas "Garnacha Centenaria" ($5.50/half glass), a poignant and spicy wine made with a pronounced nose of blackberries, blueberries and cassis. Also try the 2011 Pueblo Del Sol Malbec ($4.50/half glass), a smooth, well-balanced variety from Uruguay, deep red with a delicate aroma of vanilla and cherries. If wine isn't your thing, there is a good selection of beer on tap, like Kinetic Brewing Company's Belgian Strong Pale Ale ($8), a gold ale that's light on the spice bitterness, and Iceland-brewed Borg Brugghus' Imperial Stout "Garun" ($10).

Venue name: Luna Vine Wine Bar
Contact:
Address: 3206 W Magnolia Blvd
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Sun-Thu 4-11pm; Fri-Sat 4pm-midnight
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