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Nov 7, 2006 06:25 PM


here are the specs though:
needs to be open 11 or later
In the Valley
Quiet and Semi Romantic
Trying not to exceed $100 for the both of us (I can bend a little here)
She loves steak.

Thanks a bunch everyone!

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  1. I haven't been in awhile but 2 places I used to enjoy:

    Pinot Bistro
    12969 Ventura Blvd.
    Studio City, CA 91604

    Wine Bistro

    4 Replies
    1. re: Babette

      If my husband took me to Wine Bistro (even if it wasn't my birthday) - I'd ask for a divorce.

      1. re: bodie

        Specifically, can you say why? I suppose it has been about 6 years since I have been there, which makes my post not so useful, but it would also be useful to know what is wrong.

        1. re: Babette

          I live in the neighborhood and because I'm a masochist - I check this place out about once a year. Once every year or two, someone will say, "Oh WB has hired a new chef and it's gotten a lot better" or something to that effect. But here's the thing, it never does get better. The food is mediocre at best. IMO there is nothing about the wine or the food that is specifically or authentically French. JB the owner acts like he's your best friend when you walk in the door, air kisses and a warm welcome - but what follows is usually neglectful and/or inept service once you are seated. I suppose the salads are passable but the entrees are not and the kitchen can't cook a piece of fish to save their collective lives.
          I would much rather go next door to Out Take - actually I prefer almost anywhere to Wine Bistro.

          1. re: bodie

            Thanks for that, I'll remember to avoid WB next time I'm in the Valley. (I used to work near there & didn't have the negative reaction you have when I had lunches there occasionally--but I can't remember specifics). You reminded me that I enjoyed Out Take one time in the old location, but a google check shows them closing at 10pm, otherwise that might be an option for the OP. It sounds as though Firefly may be the answer, but I have not been there.

    2. While I am not overly fond of either of Babette's choices, I really do like Max at Ventura near Dixie Canyon as well as Mistral diagonally across the intersection. Both will be +/- $120 or so, depending on booze issues, but Max tends to be slightly less expensive when making direct comparisons.
      Wine list at Max more creative and good, and both have full liquor licenses.
      And the filet mignon for $28 at Max with accompanyments is still among the best, anywhere. will provide that info, while Mistral has no website.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carter

        Was in Max last night and they had instituted a brand new menu as of last Friday night, and some of the new items sound wonderful. I ended up being tempted by the specials of parsnip soup and a lamb loin. Both very tasty.
        As to the need for 11p.m., does that mean to be seated, or to still have staff around to finish up your dinner where you might have arrived at say 10p.m. or so? If you call places ahead of time to specify your situation, you might find someone willing to stay open later.

      2. I'm a big fan of Firefly - great meats, salads, drinks, wine, dessert and a fun, romantic atmosphere. My sweetie and I have had a fantastic meal each time we've eaten there and it's now our favorite place in the valley!

        11720 Ventura Blvd
        Studio City, CA
        (818) 762-1833

        1. La Frite quiets down by 9:30pm or so, 15013 ventura Blvd. I think there's another branch in Woodland Hills.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jackattack

            La Frite is too casual and the tables are too close together for a semi-romantic dinner.

          2. I second both the Max and Pinot Bistro recommendations. My last meal @ Pinot Bistro was during the summer & it was quite delicious. Max is also always excellent; inventive food which may be a bit more strongly spiced than Pinot B. if that makes a difference. Both are romantic settings. (I always eat the fish entrees, never beef at either restaurant, so can't address the differences there). No corkage at Pinot Bistro so you can bring your own wine & save $$.

            2 Replies
            1. re: archer

              I definitely recommend Max. It's probably the best "fine dining" restaurant in the Valley. I don't know about the hours though.

              I haven't been to Pinot in a while, but it has the right ambience -- quiet and romantic. My one concern is that most of the Patina-connected restaurants have suffered a downturn in quality in the past few years. I don't know if that has affected Pinot Bistro.

              Brandywine in Woodland Hills is another option. It is in Woodland Hills but, with wine, may push your price limit. It serves French food.

              If your wife really wants a steak, what about Arnie Morton's in Burbank, Ruth Chris' in Woodland Hills, or even Monty's in Woodland Hills? I can't speak to them directly, but

              1. re: Jwsel

                If the restaurant HAS to be open to at least 11:00, then for Thursday Night the following just simply won't work:

                Closing Time - Location
                09:30 - La Frite
                09:30 - Pino Bistro
                10:00 - Wine Bistro
                10:00 - Max
                10:00 - Mistral
                10:00 - Ruth's Chris
                10:00 - Monty's
                10:30 - Brandywine

                The Ones that will work:
                12:00 - Firefly (& their Bar till 2 a.m.)
                11:00 - Morton's (but probably > $$$$ than Firefly & more time constraining)