Sherman Oaks/Studio City b-day dinner for 10/12 recs?
We were thinking along the lines of Casa Vega but large group and a Friday night is an insurance nightmare.
Does not have to be Mexican but something lively with good cocktails.
Thanks in advance.
I'm not familiar with Casa Vega (will have to try!), but you might want to consider Micelli's (Italian), where Ventura Blvd. meets Cahuenga, very near Universal City. It's great fun, full bar, singing waiters, etc. Downside - can be a bit noisy.
If you call ahead, any place should handle 12 people, Even Casa Vega, which is really dark, y the way.
Il Tiramisu would be nice. Not sure about the cocktails.
You could try the famous and ivy covered Firefly on Ventura in Studio City. Many celebrity sightings-good cocktails.
If you could handle a chain, there is Cheesecake Factory in SO or -eh Bucca Di beppo in Universal City or Tarzana. Good for parties. As for food, best not think too hard about that.
How about Moroccan Feasting at Mandaloun?
Also good is the Great Greek. Get a Greek Feast for 12. the waiters start dancing, and usually pull up diners to join them. Opa! Too bad Sushi Tap closed. Tap dancing Sushi waiters was fun.
Good for Cocktails and fun but only OK for food is Tokyo Delve's Sushi in No Ho. Cheezy 80's music, dancing on chairs and barstools, games-lotsa fun! Lively desribed it. better call quick for the reservation!
Try Ca Del Sol (on Caheunga) outside on the patio, perfect this time of year -- and their bar is nice, too.
Senor Fred on Ventura just west of Woodman can be a lot of fun, and the food is definitely an improvement over the vega. Mostly booths in the restaurant, yet the patio provides plenty of opportunity for tables of 10-12. Margs are really good as are most other beverages I've had here.
I went to Senor Fred yesterday for the first time in several years. It was better than I remember it being, but that is not a ringing endorsement. Service was spotty and we had to hunt down our server for refills. The waitress also botched two of our three entrees. (Note to server -- when you have multi-item combinations, write them down.) The chile relleno was the best item. It had some goat cheese mixed in with the traditional queso and it gave a wonderful tang. The guacamole was also good -- very garlicky, with a lot of cilantro. The fish tacos were okay; they could have used more crema. My friends liked their enchiladas and tamales, but said they were nothing to write home about. I would go back for the chile relleno and guacamole, but not much else.
It was very dark, but it probably would be a good place for drinks.
I agree about the rellenos, yet feel the specialties are the best part of the menu, not the traditional tamale/taco/enchilada items.
The goat cheese relleno that accompanies the lamb shank entree makes for a superb meal, and not one you might think about in a Mexican restaurant.
Also, the Cochinita pibil is very good, as is the salmon dish. In fact, friend and wife from Calabasas come just to get the salmon dish, they feel it is that good. Me, well I like it, yet I cook an even better salmon dish at home, so have no need to, essentially, walk across the street to get it at Fred's.
I had a similar experience.
Frankly, I wasn't impressed by the salmon dish I got, decribed as "covered in a mango salsa" I think those few confetti like fleks were mango, I couldn't taste them. It was overcooked, too. The final blow was that my sister ordered a "medium" piece (hey, the waitress asked) and I ordered a "large" When they came out, both pieces were the exact same size! The waitress was surly when I pointed this out and asked her if she preferred to 1) get me a bigger piece or 2) take my sister's back and bring her out a smaller piece.
But some people seem to love it.