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* Something Different B-day Party *

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WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 06:06 PM

So a really good friend of mine is celebrating his b-day in a few weeks. I talked to him today and he said he wants to do something "different". Now he's pretty well versed food/resturant wise. He loves Hot Pot, Korean BBQ, Mexican food, Indian,etc. I know he does not like Ethiopian food.

So any chowhounders know of anything "different" that I can surprise him with?

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    FishFood RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 06:27 PM

    I posted this same response to someone else last night. The food isn't so unique in Los Angeles, but the place is definitely different, and for a celebration, it can be a lot of fun:

    Not at all sure if you're interested in it, but one option would be The Gardens of Taxco in West Hollywood.

    It's not so much a ritzy scene as a romantic Mexican type place. The atmosphere is very different, lively and fun. It's kind of modeled after a low lit colorful Mexican. dining room The service is very good, with very friendly, hospitable staff (the minute you've taken a sip from your margarita, they fill it up from the pitcher on the table).

    It's kind of a low lights, crowded, friendly staff, good (not the best in Los Angeles - but very good) Mexican food type place. There are 5 dinner options (chicken, steak, vegetarian, seafood and I believe something else), each 5 courses.

    If you're looking to dress up and eat gourmet, it's not the spot. But for a celebration toasted with margaritas, I'd definitely suggest it.

    2 things:

    1. the salsa they serve with the chips is incredible, and it's usually some time before the first course, and in between courses, but lay off the chips. The meal is ridiculously huge.

    2. They only offer a house margarita which is blended, and orangy-yellow - not traditional, but it packs a punch and seems to grow on you as the courses are served.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FishFood
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      WandererLA RE: FishFood Nov 13, 2006 06:39 PM

      That is an excellent suggestion. We took him there 4 years ago! LOL! I know I'm running out of options. Plus he can't eat seafood which limits the choices.

    2. SauceSupreme RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 06:34 PM

      If you're feeling adventurous, how about Dar Maghreb, the Moroccan belly-dancer joint on Sunset. They have a prix-fixe menu with (what I can only assume is) traditional Moroccan fare; lots of aromatic flavors to be paired with squab and so on.

      http://www.darmaghrebrestaurant.com/

      1. f
        FishFood RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 07:34 PM

        1 other suggestion:

        A few weeks ago a Russian friend of mine took a few friends out to a place called Roberts Russian Cuisine on La Brea in Hollywood. He chose it saying it was where all the Russians throw their parties (if they're not too big - the place is pretty small).

        It doesn't look like much from the outside, and the inside isn't done up ridiculously as some Russian places are - in fact, it's not really done up at all. Very low key.

        The food was incredible, and the place couldn't be more authentic. The only problem is that the owners barely speak English, and assumed everyone at the table spoke Russian. The place would be kind of intimidating if there wasn't someone who actually understood what was being said to us.

        We ate a 2 hour lunch, rounded off with some baklavah, some ice-cream thing dipped in chocolate and Armenian (...seems a lot like Turkish) coffee.

        If you can invite a Russian, or aren't intimidated by people asking you questions in a foreign language, do it. The menu has English on it. Start with a lot of appetizers for the table.

        Everybody really enjoyed it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FishFood
          hrhboo RE: FishFood Nov 13, 2006 10:18 PM

          The ice-cream thing dipped in chocolate is actually cheese.

        2. chica RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 10:10 PM

          What about a fondue restaurant?

          1. bodie RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 10:24 PM

            Marrakech in Studio City is a fun place for a party, probably much along the lines of Dar Maghreb. I don't know which neighborhood works best for your group but Morroccan is great for a group.

            1. ipsedixit RE: WandererLA Nov 13, 2006 10:24 PM

              How about Vietnamese bon bay mon (or 7-courses of beef)?

              Vietnam House in SGV does a good rendition.

              VIETNAM HOUSE
              710 West Las Tunas Dr.,
              San Gabriel,
              (626) 282-6327

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