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Jul 29, 2007 04:03 PM

This one's tough

Looking for a dinner destination for a birthday. We will be 16 people with 2 vegans some vegetarians and some meat only people. There should be at least beer or wine options but preferably a full bar. Hoping to spend about $40 a person. As fas as area, we live in mid- wilshire and are willing to travel, but not further than SGV...

Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: Servorg

      In addition to the Inn, I'd call Grace and/or La Cachette and see if they can accommodate you.

      Ciudad and Border Grill can both accommodate if you call ahead.

      More casual than you probably want, but Mao's Chinese Kitchen in Venice or on Melrose will accommodate all parties.

      Also casual, Hugo's (either location) would work, as would Newsroom Cafe.

      Ethnic restaurants... Messob, Meals by Genet, Nawab of India, Saladang, Electric Karma (uses olive oil, not ghee!), Electric Lotus, Gaby's Mediterranean, Tibet-Nepal House, etc.

      On the eastside, you've got Fatty's, Brite Spot, and Elf Cafe.

      1. re: Emme

        certainly la chachette charges way more than LLL want to pay.

        1. re: westsidegal

          perhaps, but calling to find out if they could work out some sort of tasting or prix fixe is still worth a shot

          1. re: Emme

            LA CACHETTE or GRACE + $40/head = no way

            cheapest app/entreƩ @ GRACE & LA CACHETTE = ~10/29

            smallest tasting menu at LA CACHETTE = $80

    2. Beechwood in Venice/Marina del Rey
      Primativo on Abbot Kinney
      Chaya Venice or Chaya Brasserie (but it will be more than 40 if you drink heavily)
      Katsuya (same as above)

      1. including alcohol?

        i'd go to OPUS and reserve the private room. perfect for 16. restaurant will work with the veggies. do the tasting menu. great bang for the buck. close to you. great food. good service. nice atmosphere.

        1 Reply
        1. re: revets2

          I second the Opus rec. Their waitstaff is knowledgeable and willing to accommodate any kind of diner. Enjoy!

        2. Vegetarians are easier to accomodate, but vegans are tougher, as they resrict ALL animal products, and many kitchens use butter, chicken, fish and beef broth to cook, among other things. Some vegans don't touch honey!

          Double check any rec to see if they can do totally vegan.

          This is a good resource to use for veggie and vegan diners.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Diana

            That's what made me suggest Inn of the 7th Ray (they have both vegan, vegetarian and meat offerings) in the first place.

          2. not tough at all.
            shamshiri grill on westwood blvd north of santa monica blvd.
            they have a whole section of their menu devoted to vegetarian options (most of which are actually vegan options)
            they serve tons of skewered kabobs of all sorts of meat, poultry, and fish.
            they serve wine (don't think they have a full bar).
            they are not far from mid wilshire.
            they will come in well below your price point.
            the restaurant is pretty enough so that you won't feel like you've compromised.

            13 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              Are they VEGAN, though? I thought they used animal oils..

              1. re: Diana

                what animal oils would that be? what oil is there that is vegetarian but not vegan?

                i believe that many of the vegetarian options on the menu as well as their soups are actually vegan

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Some vegetarians will eat butter, but a vegan would not.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    i never think of butter as an oil, but if you are considering butter as an oil i see your point.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      wel, yeah, lots of people cook in butter. And lard.

                      You can sautee in both and fry in lard-all melted up!

                      Also duck fat.

                  2. re: westsidegal

                    The reason that persian rice is so deicious is because it's cooked with a ton of butter.

                    1. re: foodism

                      I am vegan and have done Ok at Shamshiri. If you really want to be careful, probably best to stick to falafel sandwich and baba ganouj. They claim not to use egg in the falafel or yogurt in the tahini sauce. The grape leaves are amazing, though not totally sure if they're vegan. I believe they can make the walnut / pomegrante stew without the whey, and they claim there's no butter in it... your mileage may vary.

                      I went to Flame one time with a work person who is Persian, and eats at Shamshiri / Flame all the time. When Shamshiri was closed for a while, he figured out how to make most of the stuff on his own. He claims that butter isn't used very commonly (and specifically said it wasn't used for the rice crust), and wasn't sure if the stuff referred to as "whey" is actually "whey". I have read on this board that a lot of the Persian places use butter rather liberally, though. I have asked, and usually they claim to be able to do something without butter for me... thus far, my stomach has done pretty well, and after avoiding dairy for 15 years, I'm pretty sensitive to small amounts of dairy.

                      My suggestion - Angeli Caffe - they can accomodate pretty big groups well, aren't too expensive, and have food to accomodate vegetarians, meat eaters, and vegans happily. Otherwise, SGV Chinese might be a good idea - Mei Long Village has some good veg stuff if you ask carefully, but also has plenty of meat-heavy stuff.

                        1. re: will47

                          I had a group Dinner for 6 at Angeli Caffe. I called ahead and asked if they would do a Prix Fix Dinner. It was truly a great dinner at about $30 a head for food only. The staff was vey nice as well in setting it up.

                          1. re: Foodandwine

                            See, we agree on some places! Angeli is GREAT!

                      1. re: Diana

                        i just spoke to them on the phone.
                        they said that they do not use butter in their soups. some soups are served with a dollop of yogurt on top, though, and they said to be sure to ask the server to OMIT the yogurt topping.

                        they also said that they do not use butter in most of the vegetarian stews and they do not use butter in their rice.