Bread Pudding at Caña Tapas & Rum Bar

As one of Town Square’s newest dining destinations, Caña features an array of small-plate selections inspired by South American cuisine, and after dinner, what’s better than ending on a sweet note? There’s nothing sweeter than the banana bread pudding, which consists of banana and rum, and is topped with dark caramel and banana crème anglaise. $8, in Town Square, 722-6060.

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Giovanni Mauro

Giovanni Mauro

By Max Jacobson

For those of us who maintain a connection between fine dining and music, I offer, as an example, Giovanni Mauro. He’s the son of Italian parents who run the locals’ favorite Nora’s Cuisine, 6020 W. Flamingo Road, and he’s one of the most passionate Italian chefs in the city. Gio, as everyone calls him, studied opera at Long Beach State University and later in Milan with famed tenor Carlo Bergonzi. He’s fluent in both Italian and Italian cooking. Today, he expends most of his energy at Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria in Boca Park.