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looking for a Super-Duper Spot for Child's birthday dinner (or fun Japanese, Thai, Korean, Burmese, Indian or Chinese restaurant)- Westside

Hi,

I am hoping to find a fun place for a birthday dinner for my daughter who will be turning ten. It would be fun to find a place that creates a hoopla(!!) for birthdays or if not, a fun Japanese, Thai, Korean, Burmese, Indian or Chinese restaurant since those are her favorites. If the place with all the hoopla is an ice cream centric place there would need to a non-dairy option because she can not have dairy. We live in Santa Monica and it is a school night; so a place nearby would be perfect.

Thank you so much!

I can't wait to see what you come up with!!

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  1. Even though I rarely see children there, I am going to suggest Musha. It shouldn't be too crowded on a weeknight. But the reasons I choose Musha are:

    -we had a 25 year old's birthday party there, and we had so much fun we felt like we were 10
    -the manager was so nice and so professional when I called. He helped me pick out a few appetizers to have ready as soon as people started arriving.
    -The food is fun fun fun! Fish seared tableside with a blowtorch, food served in hot pots over charcoal burners, BBQ meat that you grill tableside, risotto mixed tableside in a giant wheel of parmesan. It does require that you have well behaved 10 year olds, but the 10 year olds I know would love it.
    -We brought a cake to put in their fridge before dinner, and when we had all finished eating the staff actually put in 25 candles and carted the cake out before I had a chance to run back and give them the candles I had purchased but forgotten to give them earlier! Then they brought out the lit cake, turned off all the lights in the restaurant, and made everyone sing happy birthday.

    Not exactly Chuck E. Cheese, but so much fun!

    1. Wow! Musha, does sound great! What a fun party you had!

      What type of food does Musha serve and where is it located? Do you know the approximate cost per entree? I just realized that my dad will probably pick up the tab and he doesn't like to part with a lot.

      Our almost ten year old is very well behaved and welcomed where children are usually not.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sparklegem

        I think most 10 year olds would find it a lot of fun, but wanted to throw out the warning since there are a lot of flames for a meal.

        People on this board say the Torrance Musha is superior, but I love the SM one and haven't ventured as far as Torrance yet. If you have a large party like we did (12), they'll set aside half the large room for you. If there are just 4-6 of you, you might get one of the curtained back rooms which are more private.

        As for what kind of food, etc, a website is worth a thousand of my words: http://www.japaneserestaurantnavi.com...

      2. Thank you, Pei! I have been doing some searching since my last post and came up with that website, some blogs and reviews. It is perfect!!!! Thank you so much! It sounds just what we like and is only fourteen blocks from where we live. We have recently move here from Portland; so we are trying find all the great places to eat. This one sounds like it will be our favorite! I do not know if we will be able to wait until her birthday to try it. Do you have any other suggestions for Santa Monica?

        Very Best,
        Gem

        1 Reply
        1. re: sparklegem

          You're so welcome; I'm glad it sounds like what you're looking for.

          I forgot to mention that last time, we spent $25/pp before tax/tip/alcohol. But we were a group of all adults, and a lot of hungry young men.

          Santa Monica's a tough town for mid-range quality dining, and I'm still trying to figure it out myself. Jack n' Jill's would be fun for a family brunch some time, Ocean Avenue Seafood has happy hour specials on oysters (sometimes they feature an oyster I like, other times no).

          Caffe Luxxe on Montana has pretty good espresso drinks, though you'll be sorely disappointed by LA coffee if you're from Portland (I love Anna Bananas and Stumptown, and I know I didn't get to try everything Portland has to offer).

          Literati Cafe has good food at decent prices, and a deliciously large, fluffy, crispy waffle for $6. Literati II (the adjoining, fancy dinner place next to the cafe) has great reviews on this board.

          Finally, I just tried Nook and really enjoyed it. www.nookbistro.com. This is the only place on this list that I might hesitate to bring a child. For lunch, probably not a problem. But during dinner it's a lot of people in suits and people on dates, drinking wine in a dimly lit room. I don't think anyone would mind a well-behaved child, but your kid probably wouldn't love it there.

        2. You can't go wrong with Benihana on 4th Street. Kids LOVE it. We had my daughter's 10th birthday there, and it was a HUGE success. We brought a cake too!

          1. Thank you for all the recommendations. I will definitely check them out. Out favorite so far is Tacos por Favor (but not our daughter's- she definitely prefers Asian food).

            My husband is the coffee drinker of our family. He has been to Caffee Luxxe several times but I like the French bakery (I do not know what is is called) since I do not drink coffee but do have to do R & D on baked goods.

            In Portland, our friends owned Cafe d'Italia and it was our favorite for coffee. They just sold it but I am sure that it is still good. Stumptown was our second favorite since Starbucks closed down Torrefazione.

            Thanks Again and
            Very Best,
            Gem

            1. Happy New Year All,

              I am still looking for that birthday spot, if anyone has any suggestions. We went to Musha tonight and it was ok but I probably won't be back (if I can help it- my daughter really liked the bar b que'd meat). Would love some help if anyone can think of anything.
              TIA,
              Gem

              1. What about Gyu Kaku? Nothing says party like grilling your own meat. The closest to you is on Pico and Westwood I believe.

                1. It's Italian but Bucca Di Beppo on 2nd St. in Santa Monica is a good way to feed a bunch of kids and is several steps above Chuck E. Cheese in terms of quality of food.