Gregg Hunter’s Newspace

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“Here’s to the ladies who lunch” while shopping at IKEA where on any Tuesday you can order a plate of 15 Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and loganberry jam for a thrifty $2.49; a $1.50 savings. Or order a $4.99 chicken tenders meal and get a second order on any dish of equal value “free” thru February 18. In case you didn’t know, IKEA is located at 600 N. San Fernando Rd.

Buca di Beppo is a fun place for party groups where the Italian food is plentiful, pleasant and inexpensive at its dozen spacious locations including Encino, Universal City and Pasadena. The ambiance is colorful, the wine flows and the mood is geared for raucous fun. Take the gang!

If fresh fish is your favorite thing, consider Hooked on Fish in the Encino Town Center, 17200 Ventura Blvd. #225. For daily finny specials straight from the sea, call (818) 981- 4665.

The former Bank Heist (destroyed by fire) has re-emerged as The Federal Bar at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. The bar features craft beers, wines and a full bar and food items like a gourmet burger and flatbread pizzas. Valet available.

Texas style “dry rub” barbecue is featured at the new Smoke City Barbeque at 5242 Van Nuys Blvd in Sherman Oaks. Frankly funky, the spacious place encourages folks to order small tasting orders they can sample by the pound before dining.

There are two smokers on the premises where all meats and poultry are smoked from 12 to 20 hours for full flavor. Guests order at the counter and are served at unadorned picnic tables. Tasty side dishes are ala carte. The Market is nothing fancy but barbeque doesn’t get much better than this. Take out and catering are available.

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The Curious Palate

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