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Need a great birthday lunch spot in the SFV

While the kids are at school tomorrow, I need a great place to take my wife for a grown-up birthday lunch. (With the kids, we don't get many adult lunches out together).

Looking for a nice setting with memorable food. Thanks in advance.

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  1. There is Cafe Santorini in Old Town Pasadena. They have a very pretty rooftop patio which you can check out online at www.cafesantorini.com. The food is mediterranean.

    2 Replies
    1. re: minnie

      Oh, just remembered Juliane's in San Marino! Also, a great lunch spot.

    2. Ca del Sole
      Mistral
      Rive Gauche's back patio
      French 75
      Risotto
      Spazio
      Tama or Sushi Iki
      Oliva for great Italian
      Bistro Provence

      Of course you could also do a picnic from Artisan Cheese Gallery and take it to the park with a bottle of wine...

      1. 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.

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        Caioti Pizza Cafe
        4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

        HealthyCA
        4724 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

        Pinot Bistro
        12969 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

        1 Reply
        1. re: bodie

          HealthyCA recently remodeled and as a result their already paltry seating has been reduced. I think there's only one inside table left, plus the window seating, and a couple of outside tables (not good in this weather).

        2. Rive Gauche is a nice setting, but okay food.
          Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks is a nice lunch place and the food is usually good.
          Brandywine in Woodland Hills is a traditional Continenal restaurant, with some old-world romanticism and charm.

          1. 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!

            I'll add:
            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

            2 Replies
            1. re: Diana

              i like a lot of these places (hugo's, *stanley's!*, aroma) but they don't seem "one shot out w/o the kids celebratory lunch" to me :)

              1. re: Emme

                agreed...marmalade, hugo's, stanley's, etc. are fine for a typical lunch [hugo's is one of my all-time fave places], but they're hardly special occasion spots.

                cafe bizou & pinot bistro are probably more along the lines of what youre looking for.