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an affordable, and trendy if possible, place for a birthday?

i'm looking for a place to host my 21st birthday dinner. i've got a group of 12 people, many of us college students so we need something affordable, something $20-30 per entree? but i've also got out of towners coming in so i want to show them something a little special, perhaps trendy, and not too casual.

i'd appreciate any suggestions. thanks!

also, has anybody tried eating at paragon?

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  1. Not necessarily trendy, but a friend of mine recently hosted a party for 16 20 somethings for her boyfriends birthday at Al Masri. It is an Egyptian restaurant and is very accommodating. They have belly dancing which adds to the festive mood. It is sort of out of the way and not "hip" per se...but sounded like it was a great time. She thought if they had kept their drinking in control (which they apparently did not) the price would have been quite cheap. I think it is $30 per person for a full-on meal served family style.

    You can also find a report of mine on a recent dinner that was held in honor of my engagement at The Cosmopolitan Cafe. A little more expensive than what you are looking for, but definitely will impress out of town guests and provides an area to hang out in afterwards.

    Finally, Aziza is always a good place to check out. Their full group dinner is $45 a person, I believe, and is a ton of food. Again, if you can keep the crazy drinking to a minimum it is quite reasonable for what you get.

    Happy 21st!

    JB

    1. I've been to Paragon for a birthday dinner--the prices are decent and the drinks are good, but I had the dryest chicken served at a restaurant in my life there..

      Down in the SOMA district there's a Thai restaurant called "Koh Samui and the Monkey." It's trendy, affordable; food's served family style, cocktails are pretty to drink and better to taste; and it accomodates large groups easily. On top of that, parking is easy to find. Dinner will set each person back about $25-40 w/ drinks.

      The website for Koh Samui is down right now but to get an idea on the prices and the type of food served, check out its sister restaurant's website
      http://www.citizenthai.com/

      Hope you find the perfect restaurant to celebrate your 21st!

      1. There is a new bar/lounge in the upper haight
        The Alembic, 1725 Haight Street, at Cole Street (415-666-0822 or alembicbar.com).

        Poleng Lounge, 1751 Fulton Avenue, between Masonic and Central Avenues (415-441-1710). Sharable fair- you could order items for all of you to share that might average out to be about 30.00 per person. http://www.polenglounge.com/about.html

        Farmer Brown, 25 Mason Street, at Market Street (415-409-3276). This is a fun, hip place. There is a large table in the front, sorta private where you could have your group. We had a b-day party there and I think it is resonable.

        Levende Lounge-1710 Mission Street. I think you can make arrangements with them for set menu items this might be in your range.

        NOPA- fun and good food and reasonable.

        Have super happy 21st Birthday.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lori SF

          I recently called Nopa about a group of ten. The response was A: they can't take reservations (changes decmber 1, don't know when your event is) and B: they can't acommodate a group as large as 10.

        2. Are you JUST looking in the City? Or . . . ???

          1 Reply
          1. re: zin1953

            in the city and maybe around san mateo

          2. Check out Gordon Biersch on the Embarcadero. The food is good, and definitely in the price range you mentioned. There was a posting yesterday that the upstairs dining area is great (surprisingly nicer than the downstairs bar area). Plus a view. And beer. Happy 21st.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sgwood415

              I only recommended Gordon-Biersch for the view. The upstairs dining area is not particularly great, it's just nothing like the zoo downstairs.