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Jun 27, 2007 01:29 PM

Pres a Vi or Foreign Cinema?

I'm planning a summer dinner get together for about 15 of us and was thinking either the communal table at Pres a Vi or an outdoor table at Foreign Cinema. Which do you think would be better? (Service, food, atmosphere)

And any other similar suggestions (price, vibe, food) are welcome. Thanks.

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  1. I;ve been to both. Pricewise they are similar, vibe is a bit funkier at FC, PV seems a bit more upscale. I thought the food was average in both places, but would be willing to give each a 2nd try because both have very cool atmospheres.

    1. Your idea raises a question in my mind: will resaurants offer reservations for their communal tables?

      I haven't been to Pres a Vi but have eaten at Foreign Cinema...I went heavy on the oysters, drinks and dessert and had a nice time and thought the food I had was good and the service was very good. We sat in the courtyard (or whatever) room where they were showing the film. Great setting and outside looked very nice.

      1. Foreigh Cinema, hands down. Pres a Vi has a very suburban-corporate chain feel (an upscale Cheesecake Factory?) with a menu that's all over the map and poorly executed to boot. FC is much more hip and has a lot more character, in terms of both the setting and the clientele - plus, their menu is well-edited and seasonally appropriate - they turn out good food.

        1. Two different species- Foreign Cinema and I go way back.. at a time where it was one of the few cool, hot spots to go to for a lager part. For 15 people FC can easily accommodate, I am not crazy about the food for dinner and leave each one with a tab and somewhat good food, large parties are always hard. However, if none of your guest has never been there and are willing to pay 70.00 + each then it might work. Pres a Vi has some good aspects- great wine fights, good wine list, fabulous patio, bar bites are good.. Otherwise no offense I feel like I am in Orange County theme restaurant, corporate bad design, food is pricey and not great. Sorry I am no help.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lori SF

            It'd be hard to get to $70+ each unless you drank a lot at Foreign Cinema...there is one $30 entree, but the rest are $23 and under. The starters top out at $11, desserts at $6. You'd have room for a couple of drinks (or three) each with tax and tip and I guess you'd get to $70 each if everyone eats 3 full courses.

            1. re: ccbweb

              well you have not been out with my friends, lol. You start with cocktails, order a starter, then entree, maybe dessert, several botles of wine, tip, tax and there you go.. I don't know much but I do know my many dinners at FC and it was always about 70.00 ea. and that was 5 years ago.

              1. re: Lori SF

                We paid $70 per person the other night at FC. We had cocktails, wine, appetizers, entrees and desserts + coffee.

          2. I just had lunch at Pres a Vi today. I'm partial to FC because I prefer the atmosphere. Pres a Vi is more like a business lunch/dinner place. Overall the food at Pres a Vi is o.k., rather ordinary and probably does not justify the price -- but they do have a nice patio. Service was good and food came out in correct order and timing. I cannot comment on the wine.

            If you do go to PaV then: we tried the following: Wagu Beef Kalbi (large chunks of good beef, but too salty and not all that special), Crab Lumpia (friends thought it was decent), Ahi Puttanesca (a special for today, seared ahi with a bit of capellini topped with arugula and goat cheese -- which was just o.k.), Duck Buns (this was the best dish today, but it was still just average -- a sweet confit of duck on little steamed buns -- kind of like mini pulled pork sandwhiches), Halibut with mango salsa on a bed of fried rice (o.k., the mango salsa wasn't very flavorful), Asparagus soup shot (a shot glass of soup, which was good according to my friend), Fish Tacos (didn't try, but no one thought it was that special). Honestly the best thing was the bread basket with pesto dipping sauce which we got two rounds of. As I said, overall not a great value. Hope that helps.