Kitschy Birthday Dinner?
Okay I know it's not fine dining... but I think I want a little kitsch with my birthday this year.
So I'm thinking:
I'm open to anything. Just trying to stay under $40 a person. And about 10miles radius from WeHo.
wait, did no one put down cliftons cafeteria on broadway and 7th? that out kitsch's them all, hmmm, well maybe tied with lowenbrou keller. unfortunately the food is average cafeteria food. they also serve mexican as a lot of their clientele (strangely) is mexican. there is also a singer sometimes who is pretty cool. but you could potentially eat an early dinner at the grand central market and have some jello and cool whip at cliftons... call for you hours... as both close early...
When I wanted the kitschy birthday a few years back, we went to Mamounia, which has since closed and is now Tagine. Mamounia was the less expensive and more laid-back alternative to Dar Maghreb, which is the big Moroccan place on Sunset. I don't think many people go to Dar Maghreb for the food; they seem to go more for the palatial building, the belly dancers, the whole, well, kitschy party setting. It's a traditional group party place. Maybe that would fit the bill.
There's also Moun of Tunis, a Tunisian restaurant that's supposed to have better food in a little less movie set-like atmosphere, about a block away from Dar Maghreb.
How about Tam O'Shanter for dinner and the Dresden for drinks after? Went to Tam O'Shanter recently (I have a fractured back and KNEW there wouble be lots of other people with walkers there!)
I'd recommend sticking with prime rib or other beef selections. It was fun, though.
And Marty and Elaine are always a kick. If you've had enough to drink, be sure to request "Light My Fire" and "Muskrat Love." But if you do it sober, I'm not responsible for whatever might happen.
No list of Los Angeles kitsch dining is complete without El Coyote! As kitschy as it comes, with lethal margaritas, surly waitresses and combination plates that all look identical!
I second the Dresden Room -- Marty and Elaine never disappoint!
I believe the Thail Elvis now performs at Palms Thai on Hollywood Boulevard -- a very fun place, good for a big group, though it's loud.
The Lava Lounge on La Brea is also fun for drinks -- I had a birthday party there years ago.
I haven't been there lately, but Sunshine Thai in North Hollywood (13212 Sherman Way) has some mind-numbingly strange decor...a faux-river scene complete with fake deer. Delicious food, too.
Minibar on Cahuenga in Universal City can be fun. Its kitsch is premeditated, but come on -- there are several huge "big-eyed child" paintings from the 60s on the walls.
Tokyo Delve's in No Ho Super kitchy
I love it, but gotta say its a themey place: Moun of Tunis
C'mon, the srevers wader around dressed as Brazilian Cowboys!: Picania
Bring out the little girl in you: American girl Cafe
Wherever Thai Elvis plays now.
Watch the planes as you dine: The Encounter at LAX
Flaming Onion volcanoes and jumping shrimp: Benihana, or Yamato
Fun and a ride? The Tiki Room at Disnyland
Pinkies up! Tea at Ye Olde King's Head
If it looks funny, bolt it to the wall: Bucca Di Beppo, TGI' Friday's, Planet Hollywood
Bombed out Chick: the 94th Aero Squadron
Is that a porn star at the next table? Geisha House (NOT under $40, though)
Badda Bing, Badda Boom: Dan Tana's
Red booths, walls, oldsters still in the 50's: Valley Inn steakhouse.
Most of these don't have faublous food, though..and a lot are chains.
I was a bit disappointed with Encounter when I went last year. It doesn't rotate anymore! And the food is way overpriced for being a step or two above Olive Garden.
How about C&O Trattoria in Venice? If an hourly sing-a-long of "That's Amore" isn't kitchy enough, maybe the waiter writing his name in crayon on your tablecloth is. Plus, the food is actually quite tasty and you'll have enough leftovers to feed an entire future generation.
That was funny.
What is American Girl Cafe...sounds interestingly odd...what kind of food do you think they serve there...Easy Bake Oven Pies (I loved those)...
One of my Mid West Friends really wanted to go to Benihana, I was like "no way" but we all had a really great time...it was fun, the food was fine...we started at the bar and they made amazing drinks...wow.
I'll admit it, if you've got a lively bunch, they'll really make it fun for you.
American Girl Cafe is a cafe at the American Girl Place in the Grove, bastion of the American Girl Doll. The cafe does meals and teas for girls and their American Girl Dolls. No reason a grown up couldn't do one. I hear they can end you dolls if you have none. I hear the menu ain't half bad!
Here's a link
I was forced into a Benihana experience recently and found it surprisingly decent.
The only time I ever go is to bring the niece & nephew for the show and to get them excited about eating something that isn't "american" food.
I ordered the spicy squid as my entree and thought it was quite good - go figure.
On to the OP: Marrakesh is great fun for a group!
re: Burger Boy
did they? my mother's office is down the street from there, but haven't been in over a year... what i remember from childhood was the trivia question whose prize was the huge huge chocolate layer cake. i used to like the salad bar as a kid, and frankly that's all i remember along with the sawdust.
If it has not closed, it should! It is a skeleton of what was a great place, that Bob Morris started, the food is BAD and the salad bar looks terrible, Chef Layne has not been there in over 15 years, he was the big guy with the handle bar mustache, he gets his hair cut from the same gal I do. I was there 3 years ago for my b-day, pretty bad, Tony Roma's is 1000% better. I always used to get the rattle snake chicken or beef ribs and the salad bar, my mom would only go with me for The Salad Bar!
Yay for Miceli's! Yes, it can be rather poorly-exectued red-sauce Italian, but there are Chianti bottles hanging from the ceiling, red-checkered tablecloths, the old banquettes from the Pig & Whistle, trompe l'oeil paintings of cracked stucco-and-brickwork, and every table comes with a pizza riser over a red glass candle. And the waitstaff will sing at the piano! When all that's missing is a guy in a handlebar moustache, feeding spaghetti to Lady and the Tramp out back, it's worth enduring a little overcooked linguini and poor stemware.
It doesn't get much kitchier / campier than the Dresden Room for a little Marty & Elaine time. If you really want to gild the lily stop by for a drink at The Frolic Room in Hollywood either before or after, (or maybe if you in your Bali Hai mood try the Tiki Ti on Sunset Blvd.).
6245 Hollywood Blvd.
323 462 5890
4427 Sunset Blvd.
323 669 9381