Eerie Eats Around SoCal

We get waaay too excited to see menu items reflect the Halloween season: "steak" becomes "stake" (as in Dracula) and restaurants break out the cauldrons bubbling dry-ice for the buffet table. With that in mind, we got giddy reading Zagat's terrifying two cents on the best monster-like meals around the Southland (thanks Eater LA for pointing your foodie flashlight).

Locanda del Lago is on there (we've always thought the name of the Santa Monica-based eatery sounded sweeping and dramatic, like something from a novel, so that it celebrates Halloween makes sense). So is Joe's in Venice, which is doing a voodoo to-do.

But if we could only check out one Halloween-y dinner we'd probably fly our broom down to Five Crowns in Corona del Mar. The cozy, old-world dining room always seemed like the kind of place Ichabod Crane would put his boots up for the night. The elegant Lawry's landmark hardly has to turn up the Halloween because it boasts a touch of that spirit all year long.

Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar

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