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Aug 21, 2006 04:34 PM

Taking the 'rents to dinner...

So my younger bro and I are taking the parents to dinner this Saturday night. It's their 30th anniversary. For their 25th (even though we were younger) we went big and had a surprise party for them all the way in NYC. But this year, neither of us have a lot of funds to spend (not to mention dad's birthday is 3 days later) so we need something nice, but affordable. On top of that I'm going to Miami the following week, so I'll be dining out for every meal...

As for type of food, anything goes. We like all types. Mom doesn't eat meat (fish is fine) but the rest of us do. Ethnic food is an option. We all love sushi. But sometimes the ethnic places aren't as nice for a big anniversary dinner. As for's be great to spend as close to $100 for the 4 of us, maybe a bit more. Cheap, yet classy, or at least how to eat cheap at a classy place.

Any thoughts?

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  1. Oh, by the way. We're big sushi fans, and still haven't found our regular sushi spot, so maybe Sushi Karen? Is this a nice enough place?

    1 Reply
    1. re: cincodemayo1

      The food at Sushi Karen looks good:

      But if $100 is your budget and you back out tax and tip you have $80 for 4. To keep it simple, if you all ordered the Sushi Dinner special of 7 pieces and a roll for $14 X 4 = $56. That leaves $24 which you could, for i.e., use to buy 5 additional two piece sushi orders, averaging $4.75, to share. Is that enough food? But your drinking water only.

    2. You didn't specify your location... but how about Mandaloun in Glendale? You can definitely get out for about $100 there if you're a bit careful, and with $150 you can feast. Then your mom can have vegetarian options and you guys can have meat.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Location is pretty much anywhere...I live in Hollywood, rents in the Valley (Sherman Oaks) so anywhere in between or around those areas.

        What is Mandaloun? Haven't heard about that one. And I recall seeing a post on some japanese skewer place. Can't remember the name...anyone?

        1. re: cincodemayo1

          Mandaloun is nice linen-napkin Lebanese food... the Lebanese are masters at vegetarian food, especially the meze, and it really IS vegetarian, not "oh yeah it has chicken stock in it" vegetarian.

          The Japanese skewer place -- do you mean Robatayaki Shinsengumi? Or Gyu-Kaku? Or Yakitoriya? None of those are nice sit-down places. I mean, they're not bad, but they're not "nice sit down dinner" types of places.

          If you want a real change of pace, go to Daichan in Studio City -- it's "homestyle" Hawaiian-Japanese and you can ask for a table that's somewhat secluded so you can sit and talk... and unless you're total gluttons I can't imagine spending $100 in Daichan.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Not sure if Lebanese is the place for the fam, but I'll have to try it on my own.

            The skewer place might have been Yakitoriya or Robatayaki but it definitely wasn't Gyu-Kaku. That's a favorite of mine, and I actually have a $25 gift certificate and my brother hasn't been, so that could be good, although my mom isn't a huge fan, but it could work.

            Daichan sounds there a conveyor belt like the one on Sawtelle or is that a different place all together?

            At this point I'm thinking Sushi Karen, just because I hear great things, and we still haven't found our regular sushi place. Is it nice enough? I don't need something high class, just something nicer than usual.

            1. re: cincodemayo1

              I think there is (or was) a kaiten sushi place called Daichan; this isn't it. This is in Studio City in the same plaza as Sushi Nozawa.

              This Daichan isn't a sushi restaurant; there are a couple of kindss of sushi (inari for sure) on the menu, but this is a place where you sit at a table, order from a list of very, very good teas, and get mostly small plates. There are bigger portioned dishes as well, and the eel and the poke bowl are both worth eating... but I can't think of another place in the city that's like Daichan Studio City.

      2. How about Cafe Bizou in your parents 'hood. Budget would work and the Sand Dabs for your mom...YUM! Ambience is nice for an Anniversary Dinner.

        2 Replies
        1. re: davinagr

          I've heard good things...prices are good too? I'll have to check it out.

          1. re: cincodemayo1

            Here's a link to their menu. Make a reservation, there will be a short wait, but manageable. My second, fave dish is the chicken with balsamic glaze and mashed potatoes. It's VERY good. Side salad or soup of the day for like a $1 more. Well worth it! Prices are listed:


        2. How about Meals by Genet, in the 1000 block of South Fairfax (just south of Olympic)? Great Ethiopian food, more elegant than your typical Ethiopian place, and they have a European menu (a lot of pastas) as well in case the injera thing weirds anyone out. You can absolutely get out for under $100, probably even with wine. The vegetarian platter is great, and the lamb dishes are out of this world.

          1. Since it's closing down forever next month...take them to the Old Spaghetti Factory on Sunset. Tell them you just gotta see that place one mo' time, not that you're cheap just gotta!