HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it
TELL US

major chow gal turns 39 --must be expensive

Amanda Enclade Sep 7, 2006 02:56 AM

I am looking forward to my big birthday celebration of 39 years. Need recs for amazing food and atmosphere. I am not into red meat but love poultry, fish and veggies. All ethinicities accepted and it must be expensive. I am considering la botte and via vennetto.

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Bob Brooks Sep 7, 2006 03:03 AM

    I think you NEED the tasting menu at Spago.

    1. f
      fat kitty Sep 7, 2006 03:08 AM

      I am going to be celebrating my 12 year anniversary and wanted to really splurge (just started a new job, etc.). So, I made reservations for the 9 course tasting menu at Providence, w/ wine pairings. Yes, it's going to be very expensive! I pretty much only eat seafood (no meat) and my husband loves seafood, too, so I'm really looking forward to it.

      Have fun!

      1. wilafur Sep 7, 2006 03:16 AM

        how about urasawa?

        1. k
          kevin Sep 7, 2006 03:43 AM

          go for urasawa, and ordered a couple bottles of their finest dai gingjo sake just to make sure it's expensive enough.

          1. r
            RicRios Sep 7, 2006 03:47 AM

            If EXPENSIVE is the name of the game, your destination is CAPO. Not including wines, of course...

            1. t
              TomSwift Sep 7, 2006 03:58 AM

              Urasawa, naturally. If mere expense is a 50%+ criterion you can do much more expensive, especially in Las Vegas. But if you want really expensive, local, and the most exceptional sushi you'll have this side of the Pacific (at least on the Pacific coast), Urasawa is your spot. The atmosphere is "amazing" but in a clear, clean, minimalist way. Do it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: TomSwift
                russkar Sep 7, 2006 04:03 AM

                URASAWA, I second the motion.

                1. re: TomSwift
                  Pablo Sep 7, 2006 09:57 PM

                  URASAWA, I third the motion!

                2. s
                  Silverlaker Sep 7, 2006 04:18 AM

                  GRACE has a great vegetarian entrees plus poultry and seafood dishes. While not super expensive -- dinner for two with drinks/aps/entree/dessert will set you back about $250. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary here and were well treated --

                  1. l
                    LuluTheMagnificent Sep 7, 2006 04:50 AM

                    four seasons!

                    1. p
                      Pesky_Humans Sep 7, 2006 05:01 AM

                      Nishimura for sushi or the tasting menu at Water Grill for cooked fish. Either will knock your socks off and be... ahem - appropriately impressive for your guests. ©

                      1. n
                        normalheightsfoodie Sep 7, 2006 05:16 AM

                        Water Grill is great, went there a couple of weeks ago, but you can not beat the atmosphere at SPAGO. I love the outside table by the fountain, but there is a great round table in the back room too that can seat a group of people nicely.

                        Happy Birthday.

                        1. Amanda Enclade Sep 7, 2006 03:57 PM

                          Unfortunately my gal pals are not sushi lovers like me so Urasawa is out. I am going to check into Spago, Providence and Grace but any more suggestions would be appreciated. I have until October 1.

                          1. Silver Lake Guy Sep 7, 2006 04:59 PM

                            FOr the SO's 40th, I surprised him by renting a limo that whisked us off to Spago for their tasting menu, followed by a moonlight drive in Malibu. Therefore, for your 39th and with the expensive criteria, I vote for tasting menus at Providence or Spago but then ... what the h*ll are you going to do when you're 40???

                            1. ipsedixit Sep 7, 2006 05:05 PM

                              Like Bob (above), I agree that the Tasting Menu at SPAGO should be right up there for consideration.

                              Should also consider MELISSE (tasting menu) or maybe drop by L'ORANGERIE before it closes shop for good.

                              1. n
                                New Trial Sep 7, 2006 07:21 PM

                                You might consider going for one of the Chef's tables as an unique experience. Hotel Bel Air, Melisse and Providence all offer them. Not sure if Spago does but it would be worth asking. As the time draws closer for the demise of L'Orangerie (Deecember), my expectation is that the food and service will suffer as they will not be replenishing the quality ingredients as readily and staff will have left for other jobs. It will likely still be visually stunning though.

                                1. s
                                  Silverlaker Sep 7, 2006 07:50 PM

                                  Since you mentioned "gal pals" -- I'm really thinking GRACE would be a good match. It has a youngish (30's/40's) vibe and Providence, from what I hear, is basically all seafood -- Grace has much more of a choice and the food is fantastic (and the desserts -- donuts dish, fun & delish). While I've never been to Spago, I must say it seems a little oldish to me (I know I've never been, I should shut up!) -- Grace just might be more fun and def upscale. I don't know -- am I wrong? (Btw, I'm in your demo -- 30 something and I love Grace).

                                  You should look at the Providence menu and make sure everyone would like to eat seafood -- when I go for an upscale meal, I like having more of a choice. Let us know what you decide!

                                  1. s
                                    Silverlaker Sep 7, 2006 09:31 PM

                                    Here's also recs from Jonathan Gold when someone asked a similiar question about upscale bday dinners in his column (happen to be perusing) --

                                    "The new steak house Cut is extraordinary. If your parents are wealthy, you might suggest the sushi at Mori or even Urasawa. The $115 menu at Sona unfolds like a beautiful, gauzy dream. But at the moment, I would suggest Providence without hesitation. Michael Cimarusti is at the top of his game, both in sourcing seafood from all over the world and in cooking it exactly the way it demands to be cooked, innovative enough to captivate you through the course of a two-hour dinner but grounded enough in classical French cuisine that there is always a reference point. The wine list is varied and superb. And the new pastry chef, Adrian Vasquez, is rewriting the rules of dessert, unafraid to treat pineapple as a kind of foie gras, splash ras al hanout in ice cream or serve a flight of sugars. Get the tasting menu. 5855 Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 460-4170."

                                    1. a
                                      AquaW Sep 7, 2006 11:16 PM

                                      I wish I could say "must be expensive" . . .

                                      that being said, Providence gets my vote too. And you gotta try their dessert prix-fixe if you're going there! Grace also has yummy desserts, but I haven't gone there to eat anything else yet . . .

                                      I'd recommend L'Orangerie too but agree with New Trial that quality may go down as stock & staff start dwindling.

                                      1. j
                                        Jesdamala Sep 7, 2006 11:29 PM

                                        As much as I have loved L'Orangerie over the years, just doesn't strike me as a fun place to celebrate with the girls.
                                        Years and years ago I hosted an all girls party at The Ivy, on Robertson, and all went home with gifts of individual small boxes of baked goodies for any guys who may be hanging around at home, or kids, or whomever,whatever...or just for breakfast the next day!

                                        1. Ciao Bob Sep 8, 2006 04:53 AM

                                          Providence, Sona, Melisse, Grace, Ortolan, Spago. All will fit your needs. Pretend you are going to be 234 years old and go to ALL of them!

                                          1. f
                                            Frank_Santa_Monica Sep 8, 2006 07:01 AM

                                            You should hop on a plane to Las Vegas and have the 16 course tasting menu at Joel Robuchon at $360 a person. Or you can have the 6 course tasting menu at $225. It's formal attire.

                                            It's an experience you won't forget. There are PLENTY of flights so you can return the same day, even! There's an 11:59 PM out of Vegas to LAX. You just have to get an early start.

                                            If you return the same day, you might want to go with the six course.

                                            The casino holds a few tables, so if you're a big party, you should call soon.

                                            My friend and I did it a couple weeks ago (the dinner in Vegas the same day thing). What's crazy is, the place is packed!

                                            If you would like to stay home, here's another idea. I heard that Giorgio from Giorgio's in Santa Monica has prepared dinner for small parties in private homes. If I had the money, I would definitely do that. It's probably a mint, though, because you have to hire a server and an assistant.

                                            1. Amanda Enclade Sep 10, 2006 02:21 PM

                                              I am excited about them all--leaning towards GRACE oir SPAGO

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Amanda Enclade
                                                wilafur Sep 10, 2006 10:33 PM

                                                i'd take the spago tasting menu w/ wine pairings over grace.

                                                have a great time!

                                              Show Hidden Posts