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Pencil This In: Tuesday

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TALK: Pulizer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold moderates a Zócalo discussion that focuses on “The Mexican Restaurant in Los Angeles.” Joining in on the roundtable are Gilberto Cetina of the Yucatecan restaurant Chichen Itza, Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana, and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill.

7 pm // Central Library – Mark Taper Auditorium // 630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles // Free. (Reservations are recommended.)

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DANCE: 3rd Street Dance presents a Tuesday night Argentine Tango Practica for everyone who’s interested in the dance. All levels are welcome and light snacks and refreshments will be served.

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8:30 pm to 1 am // 3rd Street Dance // 8558 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles // $8.

TEA TIME: If you want do afternoon high tea – or pretend you’re British – then do it at the Biltmore. This holiday version features holiday pastries, cookies and drinks.

2-5 pm // Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles // 506 Grand Ave., Los Angeles // $35 for adults ($45 for tea with a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne) and $25 for kids ages 4 to 11.

POLITICS: The Center for Healthy Communities’ Health Politics ‘08 series continues with the “Putting Reform Through the Spin Cycle” panel. Campaign strategists from both major parties discuss how health care will affect the upcoming election and what reform might look like after a pass through the political spin cycle. Moderated by Mark Halperin of TIME magazine, the panel includes Bill Carrick, Chris Lehane, Mike Murphy and Dan Schnur.

7 pm // The Center for Healthy Communities // 1000 N. Alameda Ave., Los Angeles // Free.

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POETRY: Join the weekly poetry reading at the Cobalt Café, hosted by Rick Lupert. Tonight’s featured reader is Hilda Weiss, but there’s plenty of open-mike time. We heard that crowd is also welcoming toward newcomers aka “fresh meat.” There’s a seven-minute time limit to all readings (whew!) and a one-drink minimum (no alcohol, all ages).

9 pm // Cobalt Café // 22047 Sherman Way, Canoga Park // Free.