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Another 21st Bday

So I've been reading the posts for 21st bdays and I still haven't found what I'm looking for. We're bringing my son and friends (10 of us all together) out to dinner for his bday next Friday in LA. We're from NorCal so we don't know places in LA. We don't want Japanese (we were just in Japan); no Asian Fusion, no Italian, no Chinese...special place...fun...$30-$40 per person (not incl drinks)...downtown; Hollywood...near SC. I've checked The Palms (no reservations avail); will try AOC; Traxx has reservations but I hear its a dud...We'll probably have dinner with them and they may go out afterwards. Help!

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  1. Traxx ain't bad, and it's in an interesting building.

    Does it have to be high-end dining?

    Hollywood isn't near SC, but it is almost close to UCLA.

    Try also Musso and Frank's
    The Lobster (santa Monica)
    Providence (ha, ha, not for $30 a person!)
    Mozza (pizzaria or OSteria)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      It would be very difficult to do most of those for $30-40pp, near impossible in fact. Only Vert, Pizzeria Mozza and Musso and Frank's fit into this price range. As for Providence, why deliberately suggest a place way out of their price range and then laugh about it?

      I'd suggest BLD, Tasca or Hatfield's. Lucques could work too.

      1. re: hrhboo

        You CAN do it at Providence, if you order a la carte and perhaps spend less on wine. Most people don't do that, though-and it wouldn't be as fun.

        Lucques is a good suggestion.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        We took our son to Chaya Venice for his 22nd birthday (he's a vegetarian and my husband doesn't care for fish) and all three of us really enjoyed it and found it fairly reasonably priced. http://www.thechaya.com/vindex.htm

        1. re: Bria Silbert

          Taylor's in Koreatown is fun in a not at all sceney way. Good, not great steaks, priced fairly. More affordable drinks than most restaurants. I always have a good time there with friends.

          1. re: Wolfgang

            I think Taylor's is a perfect suggestion. Good meat and potatoes for a drinking base for when they inevitably go out after to celebrate without parents. I can't imagine that a group of 21 year old guys would love the idea of going to the more scene-y places in LA with parents. Leave that for another night when they're on their own.

      2. Luna Park and Chaya are good recs.

        Pane e Vino is a nice option, especially the back patio on an LA evening.

        You say you want fun, and the places suggested thus far don't really scream 21st bday fun very loudly, though you've outted some of the "fun" places by the cuisine limitations. Please don't flame me, but somewhere like Dolce could be *fun* as it's a bit scene-y. There's also Citizen Smith and Republic in a similar vein that's 21st bday conducive. The boys might also like Ketchup as a concept... again, not spectucular food, but a fun idea. Or, do something like 25 degrees at the Roosevelt and let them have at in Hollywood.

        You could probably get away at Hungry Cat. Ciudad is downtown, as is Roy's.

        Dar Maghreb is fun for the eating with your hands factor and the belly dancing, and little more special IMO than Moun of Tunis, if you were interested in doing a more ethnic bent on the evening.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          but Moun of Tunis can give the OP more for the $$

          1. re: Diana

            that is definitely true. that said, i still think Dar Maghreb has a nicer, more celebratory ambience than Moun of Tunis. the OP can make the decision as to where the trade-off b/t price and atmosphere occurs :) just putting my two cents in.

        2. Chaya Venice is great, but it is pretty far from the areas you're requesting, and while they do have a number of other things on the menu, they primarily have sushi and Asian fusion cuisine.

          I'd go with Luna Park, Citizen Smith, Republic, or the Chateau Marmont. All very bustling and happening at night. Dolce seems a bit small and not as popular these days as it was when it first opened.

          You may also want to contact The Standard Downtown to see if they could set something up for you on the rooftop bar. It's a fantastic, trendy, fun space up there, but it is primarily a bar and the food is pretty casual (sandwiches), so they would need to arrange something especially for you. Great location though, I think it would be worth it for a 21st birthday. You could even get them a room in the uber-hip hotel so they can spend the night there.

          1. Are you interested in Mexican? La Serenata de Garibaldi downtown fits your budget & location requirements. I think some have referred to the food as "gourmet Mexican"-- they offer many seafood dishes and traditional dishes. The room is pleasant and the service is friendly.

            1. How about Cha Cha Cha on Virgil? It's a festive place and would fit the price range.

              1. I just went through the process of trying to find a great Birthday dinner spot in LA for my Brother and his friends. My bro just turned 26 but i think that the advice still rings true.

                First off Mozza will not do parties of more then 6 so unless you want to rent out the private dinning space which will be $1500 flat rate then i dont think thats the way to go.

                I have not eaten at Jar but i have heard good things.

                Rustic Canyon has great food and would be a fun place for a birthday.

                we ended up eating at AOC because we liked the idea of having a bunch of small plates to share and being a bit closer to Hollywood so we could go out after.

                It was a hit, everything that we had was good and the wine was tasty without breaking the bank. The food was perfect to share and the wait staff did a great job spacing things out, guiding us with how much food to order and making it an overall pleasant expierence. I would recomend asking for a table upstairs on the patio, it feels more private and the noise is less then down stairs.

                i would say AOC and if you dont mind being in Santa Monica then Rustic Canyon would also be good.

                1. I would seriously take the boys somewhere like Village Idiot, 3rd Stop, Naja's Place, Library Alehouse, Lucky Devil's, or Boneyard Bistro for the "first" beer. Well, the first "legal that his parents pretend is his first" beer.

                  I would say Boneyard Bistro on Ventura in the SF valley. You can all go and get a huge group platter of fabulous BBQ to share (the portions are huge) and select a great brew or two from one of the finest beer lists in nice dining establishment in LA. Aaron, one of the owners, is a really nice guy, and it is a pretty hip place. You' need to call ahead for a big party, though.


                  1. I think the York Gastropub in Highland Park would be a fun and fitting venue for a 21st b-day... good food, lively atmoshpere and if you call ahead, they'd make arrangements for you.