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Sep 7, 2006 11:41 PM

Need eastside dinner rec for BF's mom's b'day - help, please!

Am thinking about taking the BF's mom out to dinner for her b'day later this month, if I can figure out a good spot to take her...

Here's the stats:
*I would like it to be eastside (about a 15-20 minute radius of Azusa would be ideal -- but am willing to branch out for the right place)
*No Mexican (she is an AMAZING cook and Mexican food is her specialty)
*Last year, the BF took her to a shogun/bennihana type place and she loved it - it was her first experience with anything remotely sushi, and she liked it. He's thinking of taking her to The Hump this year so she can see the live shrimp 'in action'.
*I'm not sure how she'd do with other ethinc (like indian/thai) - so nothing like that
*Italian is fine, as is meat, chicken, seafood...
*She's not used to going out to "fine dining" places, so I don't want to overwhelm her with an overly verbose menu (like Bistro K) or a 'too fancy/formal' place -- although, isn't 'fancy/special' what b'day dinners are for? ;) (...guess it depends on who you are asking!)
*BF is being NO help and only says she's extremely picky/hard to please when it comes to eating out. I don't necessarily think she is as picky as he alludes, although, what do I know? I think it's more that she doesn't go to restaurants that often because she cooks so much at home... and her cooking is so much better than most restaurants.

I'm thinking (because she really enjoyed the bennihana experience) some place that has interactive cooking might be good -- or something that's a unique dining experience in some way... but am coming up completely blank.

I am starting to believe this is an impossible mission -- and may just scrap the idea altogether. She's had a really difficult year, works insanely hard, is always giving to others, and I'd love for her to have a special b'day (the family usually celebrates the weekend after her b'day, but no one can take her out on the actual day - which in my family is just wrong! - so I thought it would be fun if just she and I went out that night - which we've never done before, btw, so that's an interesting element all in itself!)

Any spots come to mind???


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  1. I have some suggestions, although they aren't interactive. First, there's a restaurant called Off Citrus in Covina that is wonderful. It has a nice bistro restaurant feel to it and the food is excellent. You can see the menu below:

    There's also a Chinese restaurant called Townsent in Azusa on San Bernardino between Vincent and Azusa. Right now, it's going through some re-modeling, but I've taken friends and family there for a long time and everyone's always pretty happy.

    There's also a Brazilian BBQ in West Covina on Azusa Blvd called Green Fields. All you can eat BBQ and the restaurant has an extensive salad bar as well as other entree items.

    Also on Azusa is Northwoods Inn, which definitely is not fancy, but I've always liked the whole cabin in the woods restaurant theme. I think it's a fun idea. Their garlic bread, red cabbage, cobb salad are some of my favorite things to order. Their steaks and seafood items are also good, if not spectacular.

    Anyway, those are some ideas and if I think of any more, I'll let you know.


    1 Reply
    1. re: pleasurepalate

      thank you so much!! Off Citrus sounds lovely -- thanks for the menu link -- and I love the Brazilian BBQ idea -- I think she'd really like that. Thanks so much for all your input - I really appreciate it! (I was having a serious brain freeze!!)

    2. What about a fondue restaurant? Like the Melting Pot in Pasadena.

      Many brazilian BBQ places, like the one mentioned before, can be quite fun - with a lot of food.

      1. How about something she would never, ever do herself? Like smoke some BBQ for 12+ hours?

        It's right in your backyard.

        It's certainly not an 'event' type place, but the staff and owners are friendly. The place is homey without being hole-in-the-wall, and the BBQ is simply the best outside of Texas.

        Canyon City Barbeque
        (626) 815-4227
        347 N San Gabriel Ave
        Azusa, CA 91702

        1 Reply
        1. re: ozzygee

          The funny thing is - smoking some BBQ for 12+ hours WOULD be something she would do! haha... but, I love the idea. Might not be right for the b'day - but definitely a spot to check out! Thanks for the tip! :)