Dinner Dive for B-day Foodie?
Any suggestions for a worthy dive for a birthday dinner. Or a great resturaunt w/a good garden, a view, or a back alley. My boyfriend's birthday and I have writers block. Where should I take him for something special--Help!
The food is pub fare but Cat and Fiddle has one of my favorite patio scenes in town - plus there is the hip, rock'n'roll factor in play.
Hungry Cat has outdoor dining but hardly qualifies as a dive, though the do have an awesome burger and fries, plus bitchin' cocktails.
I am not sure it is still open even but Cafe Noura has/had an open air pation and was always a fun place to bring a group.
Song (as in Saladang Song) in Pasadena serves Thai food and has a great patio.
And let me preface this by saying I have never been, but Alejo's may qualify as a both a dive and a destination for old-school, inexpensive Italian.
There's a magical little place in Brentwood with a sweet little brick patio called Mimi's. On 26/Montana. Quiet. Romantic. Small.
Allegria in Malibu has a pretty patio too. On PCH and great Italian food. The owner is a handsome grey haired guy named Franco. Tell him that Alyson sent you.
Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon has a patio surrounded in frog song at twilight. The food isn't as good as it used to be.
And now for the true DIVE of my recommendations: Froggy's in Topanga Canyon. An old, REALLY cool building that was once a Mason's Club or someething like that. Fresh fish and rice that 's darned good and the patio on the back allows dogs! Painted old picnic tables and funky broken cement, multi levels. Frog song there too!
You didn't specify where, how much, or type of cuisine but did say writer's block; so, for Great Restaurant w/a good garden (meaning outdoor dining?):
West Side Suggestions
Spago - Beverly Hills....Expensive+ with very nice outdoor eating Garden but I must say I've haven't eaten outside since it was the Bistro Garden.
Bel Air Hotel - Bel Air.....Expensive+ with The best garden areas around but probably way way too stuffy.
Wilshire - Santa Monica....Expensive, food ?, but a very well done transformation of the Black Forest's outdoor dining area, trendy/sceney.
Typhoon - Santa Monica Airport....Moderately priced, fun atmosphere with enjoyable food that can please but also still disappoint some people.
Cafe Del Rey - MDR....Reasonably Expensive, new chef with better food, nice place to soak up the marina.
Geoffrey's - Malibu....Expensive, food is nice but not great and has disappointed people maybe because it has a One-of-a-Kind KILLER Ocean View that brings the people in and they relax backstage on food excellence sometimes/maybe.
Divide and Conquer - Split the Great View and Great Food into 2 destinations. Drive onto the Santa Monica Pier and go into that restaurant facing north (I forget the name, but it's a big Coorporate chain wannabe designed by their accountants) and have a happy hour drink, maybe a 50 cent crab cake or wing (you'll probably get what you pay for, so be warned) to tide you over, and soak up the view till full. Then drive to dinner. Not far away on Main Street S.M. is Chinois. If either of you have never been, it's really worth going at least once and for 2 people, sit at the counter and enjoy the show (kitchen).
You right, the OP did say "dive", but went on to say..."Or a great resturaunt w/a good garden,"... And I started my list off with.."so, for Great Restaurant w/a good garden"...
I guess that's why, IMHO, if the Money matters, then a spending limit for the evening is always a good idea in requesting useful dining recommendations.
But if were looking for a "Dive with a View" (or a Garden dinning area), that might be a useful original post title.
26 Beach Street in Marina del Rey, wonderful English Garden, Washington Blvd, cross street Yale,
New Otani Hotel, summers they have a beer garden fest on the roof garden, downtown L.A.
Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport, festive, fun, airplanes lead to flights of fancy
Palms Thai, to see Thai Elvis, Hollywood!