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Help me with my birthday dinner in South Bay

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amela Mar 26, 2007 05:53 PM

Friday night is my birthday. I'm tired of the local (Manhattan Beach) restaurants. I've scoured the archives and just can't find any place that fits my needs. Which are: not more than 1/2 hour away driving in Friday night traffic, not seafood as my BIG birthday splurge will my first time at Providence on Saturday night (oh I am so excited, thank you board), not extremely pricey for the same reason, would like a nice environment for 3 couples to hear each other talk.
I haven't been to the Bottle Inn in at least a year, any recent visits to recommend it?
Joe's, Hal's, and Lily's have been eliminated for different reasons.
I know this is wishful thinking but I hope someone can come up with a hidden delight!

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    New Trial RE: amela Mar 26, 2007 07:54 PM

    How about Chef Hannes on Main Street in El Segundo?

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      LisaStitch RE: amela Mar 27, 2007 11:34 AM

      1) Caffe Pinguini in Playa
      http://www.caffepinguini.com/

      2) Piknic in Playa
      http://www.piknic.us/index.html

      3) 26 Beach in Venice
      http://www.26beach.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: LisaStitch
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        ElissaInPlaya RE: LisaStitch Mar 27, 2007 03:55 PM

        Beachwood's latest menu is yummy, and the bar is happening and sceney if you're feeling that. I second 26 Beach. I also recommend Cafe del Rey highly, as a higher-end option.

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        Nicole RE: amela Mar 27, 2007 05:52 PM

        How about Christine in Torrance? It's not "extremely pricey" but it's not inexpensive either...it's higher end, but I think the pricing is good for the quality. The menu is on its website www.restaurantchristine.com, so you can get a sense of the pricing and menu and judge for yourself if it meets your needs. Although the actual menu will be slightly different, and there are always specials.

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          amela RE: amela Mar 31, 2007 03:53 PM

          Since we decided that proximity and quiet dining was the most important, we went to Bottle Inn. The best part of the evening was not being rushed. Despite a full house, we enjoyed a three hour meal. Sad to say, the food was mediocre. Maybe it was an off night but I wouldn't recommend going for just the food. Interestingly, there were at least 7 other birthday celebrations last night!
          I definitely want to try Chef Hannes another night as I have heard good things about it.
          Thanks for the suggestions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: amela
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            Densible RE: amela Mar 31, 2007 04:34 PM

            I love Pinguini. Food is consistent, service is good. Have been going there for years. We ate at Gina Lee's last night-pleasantly surprised at quality of pan-asian cuisine and ambience of room for a restaurant in a mini-mall. Chef Melba's in HB is my fav restaurant near beach. The Bottle Inn-eh! Italian food and Mexican are the biggest disappointments for me in this area. Heard great things about Christine-will try tonite perhaps. Went to b-day dinner at HT Grill in RV last week. Had my doubts as last and only time I was there it was mediocre. Happy to report I enjoyed my wedge salad and seared Ahi. They serve a 1/2 litre of decent Sangria for 10 bucks too, which helped.

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