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WLA | Mar 4, 2003 06:56 PM

We were headed to Nichols in the Marina last night, (a weekly haunt for us) when I remembered someone had told me that Panini, next door to Aunt Kizzy was worth checking out. We detoured across the parking lot, and ended up being glad we did.

This is an order and pay at the counter and then sit down and someone brings you your food type of place, so you have to be in the mood for that. My wife had an outstanding sandwich with chicken and pesto with an olive tapenade "salsa", (excellent bread - La Brea Bakery like cibiatta bread), with a side of home made potato salad made with new potatoes with the skins left on. I had the halibut special with potatoes au gratin and steamed fresh carrots, broccoli, zucchini and cauliflower. The potatoes au gratin were orgasmically good. The fish was over done, but when I mentioned that to the waiter he brought me another piece really quickly. I think the next time I would have a sandwich or salad, but probably order a side of the au gratin potatoes if I was really hungry.

I heard that this place was opened by a former head chef from the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Don't know if that is true or not.

One extra added benefit for those who like chocolate, Panini is next door to a chocolate, chocolate, chocolate everything store where we bought much too much you know what afterwards.

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