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Lost in Lakeside

One of North Side's best seafood values has disappeared from the local food scene. L.A. Grill on Lakeside Avenue closed last week after a two-and-a-half-year run, to the disappointment of neighborhood regulars who snapped up the fish platters and specials but couldn't keep the place filled. The grill earned positive reviews for its Southern classic menu, Key West casual vibe and occasional live music. Its owner could not be reached by press time.

Thai Explosion Continues

New to Shockoe Bottom is another entry in the city's growing Thai-food frenzy. The former bar Tonic is in its third incarnation, this time as a lunch and dinner eatery named Tonic Thai, serving a traditional curry and stir-fry menu. The business at 14 N. 18th St. is open Monday through Saturday.

Goochland's Taste of Tuscany

Julie and Darrin Witten, owners of Manakin Grill, will host a reservation-only wine dinner Jan. 20 featuring wines of Tuscany. Andrea Cragnotti of Corte Alla Flora vineyards and Gary Moore of Siema Wine Imports will share notes on the region and its vintage wines. Call 784-0544 or visit www.manakingrill.com for information.

Israeli Wines Debut Downtown

Some of Richmond's top chefs, including Kenny Bendheim of Anything Goes Catering, Christine Wansleben of Mise En Place, J Frank, David Hughes of Grafiti Grille, and chefs from A Sharper Palate, Fleming's, Sensi, 3 Monkeys and Rostov's Coffee will offer special cuisine, including some kosher items, at the Israeli Wine Fest, Jan. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event, a benefit for Jewish Family Services, pairs Israeli wines with savories and other dishes. The cost is $75 in advance, $100 at the door. Troutman Sanders Building, 1001 Haxall Point downtown. Call 282-5644 or see www.jfsrichmond.org for information.

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