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AOC, Dominick's or Cobras & Matadors for a birthday dinner?

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I'm celebrating my birthday this Saturday and have reservations at three restaurants (AOC, Dominick's and Cobras & Matadors on Beverly), and need help deciding which one to go to.

It's a party of five people in their late 20s and while we'll be going elsewhere for drinks afterwards, I'd still like to dine in a lively, fun atmosphere to make it more of an occasion. As for cost, I'd like to keep the bill reasonable since I'm picking up the tab for everyone, but all three are in my price range, so not too much of a concern. AOC is one of my favorite restaurants in LA and I like Cobras & Matadors as well, but never been to Dom's. I guess I'm trying to find the perfect birthday blend of good food and festive atmosphere. Any thoughts?

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  1. i'd go to aoc. they have those booths which would be cozy for 5 or upstairs, and it's just a bit more special than the others. i've been to festive gatherings @ all 3 restaurants, and i think aoc is your favorite for a very good reason. happy birthday!

    1. I second AOC - I've been to all three (and celebrated my B-day at AOC) and I think the food/wines/atmosphere is the best there.
      Except for their pastries/desserts. If they come into the equation I'd choose Dominick's instead.

      1. AOC

        1. I really like Domonicks- had a great dinner party there a few months ago- great food really lively I always feel swick after US-syle tapas- too many different types of rich rich foods and i thin AOC is kinda passee

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          1. re: ew84

            As I said to another friend of mine who's a wine person after it was mentioned among us that people have been down on AOC about that very thing: hey, that just means there's less of a wait for the rest of us to eat and drink!

            By all means, go somewhere trendier! I'll take the booth someone else isn't taking up.

          2. AOC. C&M is too loud, Dominick's too old.

            Side note: AOC passee? Who gives a crap if it isn't trendy anymore? It's great.

            1. AOC! One of the best meals I've had. 5 people is a good size to order a nice variety of their tapas-style dishes. food at Dominick's is just not that great...very forgettable for me. Never tried C&M.

              1. AOC- my fave

                1. Hi, Chows! Thanks for the feedback. I see you all are big AOC fans like myself. Still going to be a tough call, but I really appreciate you helping make the decision.

                  Thanks again!