Need a great birthday lunch spot in the SFV
i'm sure you're eating right now, but for something really special i would have recommended Saddlepeak Lodge (food has declined, but ambience remains wonderful), the Raymond House (Pasadena), Vertical Bar (also Pasadena -- excellent food, sophisticated ambience), Firefly (love their food, surprisingly, since it's so hip), Le Petit Chateau (very romantic white table cloth restaurant) and Le Petit Jacques. I also second Ca del Sole, although I have only found a few excellent items on their menu. The setting is very grown-up however.
I like the idea of agetting cheeses from Artisan and then a bottle of wine, a nice baguette, and then finding a good park. I know Will Roger's allows wine, but that's a bit of a drive. Also stop by Leda's or Nata's for some great dessert!
Emme, you have good suggestions!
IL Tiramisu Sherman Oaks
La Frite Sherman Oaks
Alexis Greek Cafe in Northridge
Inn Of the Seventh Ray (out of the Valley, in Topanga Canyon, but gorgeous setting)
Bistro Garden (more memorable setting than food, but OK) Studio City
Cafe Bizou Sherman Oaks
Pace On Laurel Canyon in the canyon
Second Ca Del Sole
Stanley's Sherman oaks for great salad
Piacerre Woodland Hills
Iroha Sushi is a nice setting, but the sushi is just "eh"
I like Gangadin for good indian. Smashing INdian Food! Studio City on Ventura Place
Senior Fred in Sherman Oaks (right next to Leda's, have dessert there!)
Marmalade Cafe in Sherman Oaks
Aroma cafe/Bakery in Encino (not the one in Studio City)
Hugo's on Riverside in Studio City
Gorikee in Woodland Hills
Pinot Bistro, Wine Bistro and Out Take are all open for lunch - all are serviceable restaurants.
My favorite lunch spot in the Valley is HealthyCA which likely does not meet your criterion for a "nice setting".
Another place with little ambience but good food is Caioti in Tujunga Village.
Caioti Pizza Cafe
4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
4724 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604