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Bday dinner suggestions for a group of fun young thirtysomethings?

Hi 'Hounds,

I'm already starting to think about my bday dinner in November and would love to hear some ideas. My ideal venue would be a place with great creative food with a really fun vibe to set the party mood. (Good music and decor would be great too.) I'm thinking entrees $15-25 or so, or a good value tasting menu ($30-40) would be great too.

Right now I'm considering Chameau, Opus, and possibly Cube for their good value tasting menu and BYOB/no corkage. On the higher end, I've also been wanting to try Koi, the new Katsu-Ya, or Little Door, but haven't made it there.

Oh yeah, the other consideration is location. My friends and I will all be coming from the Westside/South Bay area, but I'd like to pick a place convenient to going out to hit some fun bars afterward.

Am I asking for too much? :)

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  1. With your price point, I'd rule out Little Door right now. Last time I was there with a group, it was well over $75 per person.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanaB

      I'd go with Koi (great for a birthday party but, when drinking, it can get expensive) - but not for the food, necessarily, more for the atmosphere. Although I've had great food off the cooked menu.

      Citizen Smith another good idea from the lists you've been given.

      What about Chaya Venice (I know you want to go out in Hollywood, but..)

      I LOVE the Dan Tanas suggestion, too - worth considering.

      What about AOC?

    2. Coming from the Westside, have you considered Culver City? They have a bunch of yummy spots and a cool little bar scene. Personally I enjoy Beacon for Asian style cuisine, but there's also that new wine/tapas place Bottle Rock. Bars like Saints and Sinners and the little hole in the wall Carbon are near. Also, what about Venice. Joe's on Abbot Kinney is always great food and there are plenty of bars all right there in walking distance. The Room, the Brig etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kellydeez

        Does Sinners and Saints serve food?

      2. I'd say point your finger at a map of Venice and go that way. If you are all wine drinkers, Primitivo Wine Bistro has a good selection and is a small plates rest. Good for sharing. Beechwood is nice and they have outdoor seating with a fireplace. Food, drinks, crowd all good but I wouldn't describe it as eclectic. Koi is WAY overpriced and frankly the sushi is just as good, crowd just as fun at Geisha House in Hywd and that has the ultimate party vibe with great service. Another fun joint in the mid-city area is Luna Park. All of these places are good for parties. I can shoot you a HUGE list of ideas if you want. Let me know.

        1. Primitivo is an excellent call for somebody coming from South Bay.

          1. Hi All,

            Thanks a bunch for the input. Been to Beechwood, Primitivo (kinda think the food is so-so), and pretty much every place (restaurant and bar) on Abbott Kinney, and I've been slowly but surely checking off all the new places in Culver City (Ford's, Beacon, BottleRock (LOVE it)). Haven't tried Wilson yet.

            I guess since it's a special occasion, I'm looking to venture out of the hood, if you know what I mean. Get dressed up fancy and paint the town red kinda night. I am looking for a party spot like Geisha House, but I'm also a foodie, so I need substance with my sizzle. BF took his chef-brother to Geisha House when he was in town, and while they thought the scene was decent, they thought the sushi was just ok. I love Luna Park (boy, do they make nice smokey margarita!), but I'm thinking a little more swanky than that...

            Njbaemg, would welcome your HUGE list of ideas.

            Thanks again...

            1. Okay - that's actually good to know. Makes things way easier to suggest. If you want swanky... you're going to pay for swanky, so I'll suggest mid-level to craziness places. In no particular order. Hope this helps!

              Citizen Smith
              Nic & Stef's
              Tiger Lily
              Simon LA
              Dan Tana's
              Sunset Beach
              Cha Cha Cha

              1. Yeah, skip little door - though a gorgeous room - through the roof prices and really mediocre cooking imho. If you want that vibe, however, the same designers did Cliff's Edge in Silverlake. Might creep up a little on the prices but not too much more than what you are asking about. Check out menus for just about any one of them on menupages.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: cinzia

                  Cliff's Edge is really gorgeous at night--but only go for drinks. I was so bummed about the food, it's right down the street from me and I so. so. so wanted it to be good. It was, ehhhh. Just OK.

                2. what about L'Scorpion or Social Hollywood

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tdo ca

                    I think Social is out of the OP's given price range unless they get creative and just do apps and cocktails.

                    1. re: bodie

                      saw Koi and Little Door in post...

                  2. Katana for sushi and robata, then head out to the bar and club scene in Hollywood.

                    Or, Saddle Ranch Chop House for nice, big portions in food and DRINKS. If it's your birthday, you are not going to remember the end of the night there. Huge, free chocolate cake and free shots. Margaritas, etc. are simply too large for one person to consume. And the bull? You gotta get bucked. And get the shirt, too. :)

                    Happy Birthday!

                    1. O-Bar in West Hollywood? I like the booths, bar...

                      Asian Yatai Bar - ? Haven't made it there yet but looks fun.

                      1. Upstairs 2 (above the Wine House). Almost any wine you can think of by the class (with low corkage if bought at the stoor as well), and a nice nouveau-tapas menu. Pretty reasonably prices - rent per square foot is a little lower between a strip club and the 405 than on Melrose.

                        1. My husband had a birthday party for me (and about 30 friends)at Koutoubia in westwood last night. Everyone had a great time. Great drinks. Everyone has called today to say how much fun they had- good food, belly dancer-- something different. worth checking out. my husband said the price was fair and he looked into a bunch of places.


                          1. Thanks all...yeah, I was originally thinking Moroccan would be fun, but I looooooove the idea of doing a tequila tasting at L'Scorpian. The menu seems limited - does anyone know how the food is?