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Need a great birthday lunch spot in the SFV

rockhead Sep 5, 2007 11:51 PM

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. m
    minnie RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 12:12 AM

    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
      minnie RE: minnie Sep 6, 2007 12:14 AM

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

      1. re: minnie
        Diana RE: minnie Sep 6, 2007 10:28 AM

        Neither in the SFV...

    2. Emme RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 01:36 AM

      Ca del Sole
      Rive Gauche's back patio
      French 75
      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. bodie RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 07:47 AM

        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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: bodie
          Debbie W RE: bodie Sep 6, 2007 10:12 AM

          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. j
          Jwsel RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 10:47 AM

          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. d
            Diana RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 11:06 AM

            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
              Emme RE: Diana Sep 6, 2007 01:14 PM

              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
                goodhealthgourmet RE: Emme Sep 6, 2007 08:37 PM

                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.

            2. missmodular818 RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 11:13 AM

              What specific area of the Valley are you looking for? Do you have a price range?

              1. s
                swisscharred RE: rockhead Sep 6, 2007 01:42 PM

                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.

                3 Replies
                1. re: swisscharred
                  CynGriff RE: swisscharred Sep 6, 2007 08:31 PM

                  Pinot Bistro
                  Ca' de Sole

                  1. re: swisscharred
                    bodie RE: swisscharred Sep 6, 2007 10:25 PM

                    Alors, Le Petit Jacques, c'est ferme,

                    1. re: swisscharred
                      Jwsel RE: swisscharred Sep 6, 2007 10:35 PM

                      I would have mentioned Saddle Peak Lodge, but it's not open on weekdays for lunch. (The same for Max, another restaurant I would have mentioned.)

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