Stimulus-Inspired Meals

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It’s been 23 years since my dining columns and broadcast reviews were christened as The Curious Palate, so I am more than a little identified with that tag. Imagine my surprise to discover that, by design or coincidence, there is a recently arrived Curious Palate Café on Venice Blvd. in Mar Vista. It’s evidently an adventurous lunch counter where some unfamiliar but nutritious ingredients are present in pressed sandwiches and salads. The place is evidently off to a prosperous start, and I reluctantly wish them well. There is no connection with my byline; no one asked my permission to tap my ID, and I wasn’t invited to the gala opening way across town. Of course, it could be the short arm of coincidence, and it’s difficult to protect a title (you can legally call your ditty Stardust). But I fervently hope this doesn’t morph into a chain operation.
For several successful years, the remarkable Il Tiramisu Ristorante in Sherman Oaks has presented its highly anticipated monthly multi-course Wine Dinner. The event has always been a worthy value but the newly trimmed, stimulus-inspired $50 (plus tax and gratuity) provides a timely touch on Thursday, March 26th when the wines of Rancho Sisquoc in Santa Barbara County will be featured with a lavish menu including a main course of herb-crusted beef tri-tip roast with roasted veggies and Chianti. Reservations are required at the elegant, but friendly, family-owned landmark where the stimulus-reduced wine dinner event price will continue on the third Thursday of each month until the twisted economy gets straightened out.
It seems like everybody wanted to get into the stimulus act. The Stonefire Grill has a new stimulus take-out deal. About $20 buys a full pound tri-tip steak plus a 12-inch pizza with two-toppings, small salad and eight breadsticks. What a deal (available at their trio of Valley locations)!
A few more Valley Stimulus napkin notes. The Cheesecake Factory has a new nationwide tapas-style small plate and snack menu ranging from $3.95 to $6.95. The Denny’s chain offers a weekday Express Slam served from 6 a.m. til 4 p.m. with two eggs. A pair of pancakes plus two bacon strips or sausage links for $4. Roy’s, in Woodland Hills, has a stimulus three-course prix fixe  at $25 but only through March, so hurry on down!.

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