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Aug 22, 2007 09:56 AM

Big Meat, Big Wine, Big Birthday

44th B-day coming up and looking for a venue for 6-8 food and wine addicts. We'll bring our own wine as we all collect the stuff... sadly to excess.

We've done Cut, Maestro's, Boa, Mortons & Ruth's Chris already. Looking to conquer new experience. Preferably Santa Monica to Bev Hills, but we'll go into WeHo for the right place.

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  1. what about craft or porterhouse bistro? porterhouse maybe more wine friendly?

    7 Replies
      1. re: rickym13

        Porterhouse is truly a sad state of what it used to be steak-wise. Try Jar if a steak or similar is desired, but not Porterhouse!
        Also, Max, the bald guy who is the son of the owners of Carlito's Gardel on Melrose just west of Fairfax, loves wines, has an outstanding collection of Argentinean Malbecs that can be wonderful, and he knows which is which. Good decanting, great lomo with the best garlic fries(second only to David Haskell/Mike Bryant's duck fries at Bin8945). Always good to outstanding experience for wine lovers, and nearly always reds!!! for more info.

        1. re: carter

          really? when did this happen to porterhouse? have not been there for while...

            1. re: rickym13

              WHAT DID YOU SAY!?! (just kidding)

              My votes are for Jar or Fogo de Chao.

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                hey...what about dakota? never been there but saw the room when we went to 25 degree. very cool looking place

            2. re: carter

              Thanks Carter, I just could not remember his name. Yes, Max! I Second and Third Carlitos. However, it looks like the OP may not be interested.. When I posted yesterday he did not comment on the rec I had posted regarding Carlitos however he did reply to others when this was a smaller chain. Phil, try this place some other time if you do not want to experiment on your Bday.. You will be missing something in my opinion if you dont. Anyway enjoy your Birthday Dinner wherever you may dine..

          1. capo in sm. corkage is +/- $25 iirc.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wilafur

              Excellent idea. Capo has been on our to-do list with seeral friends giving it good reviews. One of our group is well connected with the owners, so we can probably get corkage waived.


              1. re: wilafur

                Capo will let you bring in ONE bottle, irrespective of party size.
                That's why our first visit was also the last.

              2. How about going a little further west to Saddle Peak Lodge? You can dine on tenderloin of Elk while you swill your swell aged grapes.

                Addendum: Corkage is $20 pb (not cheap but not Cut territory either).

                Saddle Peak Lodge
                419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

                3 Replies
                1. re: Servorg

                  Getting to Saddle Peak isn't the problem. Getting home is :-)
                  Actually, first on my list was Whist at the Viceroy as Warren Schwartz is a friend and used to be the exec chef at Saddle Peak. But he's away on vacation...

                  1. I would give Carlitos Gardel a try. I had a wine dinner with 6 of my wine group about 18 months ago. Gosh it was a nice dinner and the owner really knows his wine. Big selection of stemware and decanters to boot.. I had called him and he prepared a great dinner including a killer steak, mussles, empanadas, garlic fries, and two other courses. He made it all inclusive and he tasted with us as well. What a nice experience, only if I can remember his name.. Its the son whom is kinda bald and a great man. He is the wine guy there just ask for him!!

                    1. Go to Bin8945 in West Hollywood.

                      15/bottle corkage. Waived if you buy one of theirs.

                      Great place that is very wine-centric. May not be the "big meat" type of place you are looking for, but if you're flexible on the type of cuisine, it's a good place to consider.

                      Per their website: "Corkage: $ 15.00 per bottle. Buy one of ours, we waive corkage on one of yours. No limit. Bring what ever you want; no need to check to see if we have it. No silly "policies". Bring it and enjoy it at."

                      Bin 8945
                      8945 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        "Duck Fat Fries"

                        OMG, will have to try this before my 45th...

                        1. re: PhilLevel

                          If you do, you might not make it to your 45th. :-)

                          Take it for what it's worth, I have had several meals there and have been delighted each time. Of course, past performance is not a guarantee of future results, or so my money manager tells me ...

                          Enjoy wherever you end up and happy 44th.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            ipse, knowing you are a big fan of Bin 8945 had you noticed the blurb in the LA Times Restaurant Journal - Small Bites section about them offering a "pre-sundown dinner" between 6 and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. It's a 5 course meal for $45 (with wine parings add $25). That seems like a really good deal.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              No, I had not, but thanks for the tip. Sounds like a great deal, although dinner at that time is a bit awkward.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Maybe why they included Sunday as an option.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              I ate there this past March just as Chef Bryant was taking over the menu. Wine list is fantastic and the food was good too, but WAY overpriced i.e. portions were all small plate sized, but the prices were at fine dining entree level. We spent $200+ felt very unstaisfied.

                              Have the portions and/or prices changed?

                              1. re: vinosnob

                                I was there recently a couple of months ago and did not find the portions to be small.

                                Yes, it is expensive, but not overly so IMO.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I was there last week and had the 11 course tasting menu, and none of the portions were particularly small... too large on a tasting menu makes courses 10 and 11 difficult to swallow... As much as I love bin though, I don't know if it qualifies for "big meat."

                                  Second the ideas of Capo, Dakota, and Jar, and will add
                                  Pane e Vino (so nice during summer on that back patio!).
                                  Vibrato in the Glen for jazz too
                                  Don't know that it satisfies your preferences, but Catch in SM

                                  1. re: Emme

                                    I didn't order the tasting menu when I was there, just off the menu.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Interesting bit of info: the duck fat fries are probably not as harmful as a lot of the fries using certain types of vegetable oil that form trans fats (New Yorker had a fascinating article on cooking fats about a year or so ago; the lard McDonald's used to use was a lot less harmful than the oil they replaced it with, go figure).

                            3. re: ipsedixit

                              And the winner is... Bin8945. Capo has a private event so we couldn't get in. Thanks all for the great suggestions... many new additions to the "gotta-try-it" list.

                              Wines have been selected and set upright for 48 hours in anticipation.

                                1. re: PhilLevel

                                  Do please report back. Hope all goes well.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Will try Sunday morning... if not too too hung over.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      What can I say? The only debate is whom to drop off the "Top 10" list to make room for Bin8945. Even if they do contribute to an early demise, you haven't lived until you've tasted the duck fat fries. Our "Frite Expert" asked for a second order. We did the "Bin" tasting menu, David made us feel more like we were in his home than his place of business. It didn't hurt that I brought a wine he had never tasted before ('63 Penfold's Grange) which showed beautifully last night. We will return.

                                      1. re: PhilLevel

                                        Great to hear. Congrats on turning 44.

                                        1. re: PhilLevel

                                          Mike Bryant can really cook, and it is too bad that when Norman's was on Sunset that more people, myself included, did not avail themselves of his cooking. But now at Bin8945, a different focus, yet the same high quality results.
                                          Btw, tonight, Sunday the 26th, Bryant and Neal Fraser, yes that Neal Fraser, will be doing a tasting menu at Bin8945, for $100 pp, with wine pairings at either $65 or $100 extra. Talk about an extravaganza. Wish I were going! for details to anyone interested.