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Sushi and Then Some The Uptown restaurant space that had recently been the contemporary Creole café Table One now houses the new Japanese restaurant Takumi (2800 Magazine St., 265-0421) serving a diverse and ambitious bill of fare. The standard California roll shares the menu with steamed foie gras custard and an elaborate appetizer plate combining Kobe beef skewers, duck, pork belly and beef tongue. Grilled spiny lobster with king crab and sea urchin paste is just one of the elaborate entrées, while the list of rolls covers such familiar territory as crunchy, dynamite and snow crab. The space still looks much the same as it did as Table One, though the downstairs dining room now has dramatic, high-backed booths and a sushi-making station adjacent to the long bar. Yo Ho Ho Ho Rum takes center stage at the next event from Tales of the Cocktail , the local organization that hosts the annual cocktail festival of the same name each year. This latest program, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8, is called Rum Field Training School and is described as a "boot camp on the spirit of rum." The itinerary for the day includes a historical overview by Wayne Curtis , a recent New Orleans transplant and author of And a Bottle of Rum; a tour of the newly rebuilt Celebration Distillation , the Gentilly-based makers of Old New Orleans Rum ; and lunch at Café Adelaide (300 Poydras St., 595-3305;, where rum cocktails will be paired for each course. The event fee is $150. Participants will take away a signed copy of Curtis' book and a bottle of Old New Orleans Rum. See for details. Duke Plays Santa Chef Duke LoCicero is planning a party this Saturday, Dec. 8, at Café Giovanni (117 Decatur St., 529-2154; to celebrate the restaurant's 16th anniversary and to raise money for the Chef Duke Foundation for Kids , which will provide gifts for children at Tulane Hospital and Children's Hospital. The party includes an open bar and selections from the Café Giovanni menu. There will be performances by singer Ingrid Lucia , the Fleur de Tease burlesque troupe and comedian Wild Bill , plus live and silent auctions. The party begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs $100 per person with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy of about a $20 value.

— McNulty

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