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Looking for a romantic but tasty restaurant for first wedding anniversary

c
chowyoudoin Sep 14, 2007 02:21 PM

Hey, Chowdies

I'm no stranger to the LA food scene, yet I find myself coming up short on ideas for my first wedding anniversary dinner.

Geoffrey's has the gorgeous ocean view, but the food is so-so and overpriced.
Yamishiro's has the inland view but grinds up tourists and serves them with noodles.
Been to Four Oaks, Campanile, Osteria Mozza (last week), etc.
Would love a suggestion on something new... nice atmosphere, un-rude service, good offerings on seafood and landfood.

As impending unemployment is vexing my wallet, a little pricey is okay but not "most expensive" -- perhaps under $150 including a few glasses of wine and dessert? (she drinks white; I drink red)

Thanks!

  1. l
    LisaStitch Sep 18, 2007 05:51 PM

    I second The Lobster and Pane e Vino.

    Also consider:
    La Vecchia Cucina on Main in Venice/SM
    Caffe Pinguini in Playa Del Rey

    Both have very good, moderately priced, Italian food, nice service, and are romantic. After Caffe Pinguini you could even take a *free* stroll on the beach. :)

    1. p
      paprkutr Sep 17, 2007 09:32 PM

      Luna Park is way too noisy and crowded. Try the patio at Pane E Vino, it's nice on a lovely evening can't be beat. Reasonable prices, easily can get out of there for 150 or less. My husband loves the large rib steak for 28, but they pastas, fish, daily specials. Have always been consistent. Congrats

      1 Reply
      1. re: paprkutr
        goodhealthgourmet Sep 18, 2007 05:50 PM

        another vote for the patio at pane e vino. lovely, romantic atmosphere, solid food, won't break the bank.

      2. g
        glutton Sep 17, 2007 07:47 AM

        You could get a nice table at Lucques, which would be nice and romantic.

        Luna Park -- romantics seem to really dig the whole fondue scene

        Piccolo in Venice is a nice little Italian place that some people find romantic because it's out-of-the-way and tiny.

        2 Replies
        1. re: glutton
          l
          Lee by the Sea Sep 17, 2007 01:31 PM

          Under $150 for 2 at Lucques with wine??

          1. re: Lee by the Sea
            g
            glutton Sep 17, 2007 08:23 PM

            Sure, I've done that before.

        2. roxhills Sep 16, 2007 10:02 PM

          check out Tanzore on La Cienega (near Lawry's). Indian food with a california twist. We went last week and the food and service were excellent and the space is beautiful-- modern/luxe. I thought it was very reasonable. check out their website, it may be what you're looking for.

          1. goodhealthgourmet Sep 15, 2007 04:53 PM

            re: the suggestion for asia de cuba, there's nothing romantic about that place, and the menu isn't nearly special enough for an anniversary. it's family-style, heavy, greasy cuban food.

            i'd say josie in santa monica or the restaurant at the getty.

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              s
              Silverlaker Sep 16, 2007 08:00 PM

              fyi -- we went to grace on our first anniversary, the bill was about $250 (two drinks, 1 app - split, 2 entrees) and we even had the dessert comped. grace is wonderful but pricey

            2. Emme Sep 15, 2007 03:20 PM

              I love Grace, as suggested.

              Bin 8945 is one of my recent faves as well, and could be done a la carte for your price range.

              Surprisingly, I had a great dinner at Amici Brentwood last night, although perhaps for a first anniversary, the tables are too close... Though my heirloom tomato salad and dover sole were great. The price though is just right.

              Il Cielo and The Little Door are both really high on romance, but I fear too pricey.

              I'd also consider Hotel Bel-Air, just for the ambience alone. Close by, The Restaurant at the Getty for the view is well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Emme
                l
                Lee by the Sea Sep 15, 2007 03:31 PM

                What a great suggestion for elegance within a reasonable budget! The Getty's restaurant has a view that Yamashiro would envy, very good to stunning food (luck of the draw on that, as the menu changes, but there's a real chef there), and it's a beautiful white-tablecloth space with excellent service. They have wine and champagne by the glass and fine desserts. You'll need to reserve for the restaurant, of course, but there is no longer a need to reserve for parking. Congrats on your anniversary!

              2. w
                writergirl Sep 14, 2007 08:33 PM

                One Pico at Shutters Hotel might work for you. It has the great ocean view, and the food is good (not Campanile good, but quite good.) I don't know when your anniversary is, but if it's later in the fall their lovely fireplace will add even more to the atmosphere.

                -----
                One Pico
                1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                1. Amuse Bouches Sep 14, 2007 05:24 PM

                  We recently had dinner at Asia De Cuba in the Mondrian and had a really lovely meal. Split an appetizer, main course and dessert (and the portions are enormous -- we had more than enough food for the two of us, and were eating the dessert for the next week), a cocktail and a glass of wine for about $120. Gorgeous views over the city, nice outdoor patio, and the service was really gracious. The food (we had the calamari salad and the roast pork "pot roast") was really delicious.

                  1. c
                    chowyoudoin Sep 14, 2007 03:17 PM

                    Thanks for the tips. We live in Palms, near Culver City -- so we tend to frequent the Westside. But I work in Hollywood so everywhere in between is fair game (not to mention we don't mind driving for a good dining experience).

                    Bashan certainly looks impressive. Will have to check it out.

                    And thanks, Diana, for the many tips on restaurants and how to romance my wife. Inn of the Seventh Ray was a thought, but as my wedding with my ex was supposed to take place there I haven't revisited it since.

                    Chez Mimi's sounded great... at first. I checked it out on City Search and it got some scathing reviews. Any merit to them?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chowyoudoin
                      d
                      Diana Sep 14, 2007 06:15 PM

                      Not in my experience. We has an AMAZING Valentine's meal there. Great food service and atmosphere.

                      1. re: chowyoudoin
                        mollyomormon Sep 15, 2007 03:29 PM

                        I've had some kind of average food at Chez Mimi, but it's definitely a romantic setting.

                      2. d
                        Diana Sep 14, 2007 02:40 PM

                        Chez Mimi in Santa Monica. Inn of the Seventh Ray,
                        Il tiramisu,
                        Saddle Peak Lodge
                        Gonapachi
                        Grab a picnic selection from the Little Next Door and have a picnic at Will Roger's State park (not the beach, the park)
                        The Lobster
                        The Palm
                        Buy a bottle of wine, a good baguette, some figes, quince paste a selection of cheeses from a good cheese shop (Artisan Cheese Gallery, Silverlake Cheese Store, Wally's..whereever) and some chocolates from boule or K or comparte's. Dress up your living room (or bedroom) and lay some poofy pillows on the floor, or fancy up the yard. Use candles, flowers, and draped fabric and stuff. Put on some good jazz. Hand feed her cheese and figs and then chocolate. enjoy the wine and music. Stare into her eyes. no need to drive hurridly home, you're already there!

                        Some of the most romantic meals my husband and I have had were take out sushi and sashimi from House of Taka or Sushi delivery with a nice bottle of nigorizake an some good music all eaten bedside with low lights and good music.

                        1. tatertotsrock Sep 14, 2007 02:32 PM

                          I have no idea where you live but there is a new place off the beaten path that rivals some of my favorite places (GRACE; SHIRO; SONA) and is not quiet as pricey and has plenty of wines by the glass that will go with anything on their menu.

                          The place is called BASHAN

                          http://www.bashanrestaurant.com/

                          Check out the chef's bio if you have any questions about his ability to wow your sense.
                          I have been 3 times since they have opened and have loved everything taht I've tried. The room is sweet, can be romantic with the right company...I'd call it casually elegant.
                          It is not a "hip" or cool place yet since it is so brand new, but so far, that is where I wish someone woud take me on a date.
                          You can check out the prices if you search the "Best Places to Eat in Glendale" thread.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: tatertotsrock
                            Kitchen Queen Sep 14, 2007 07:01 PM

                            As Ms. Tater knows, my friend and I dined at Bashan last night. Couldn't be more romantic, beautiful, zen....and, incredible service. I felt very special there. Sat outside along a very quiet street for a not so "claustrophobic" feeling. Owner, Nadav Bashan will come out and chat w/you as well if he's not busy. Amazing meal! Don't pass up this opportunity if in your radar. Also love sitting outside at Tropicalia. Get wine from next door and dine Brazilian.. It's in Los Feliz -1966 Hillhurst. YUM! :)

                            1. re: Kitchen Queen
                              Chowpatty Sep 17, 2007 01:39 PM

                              I like Tropicalia too but not for an anniversary -- it's inexpensive and informal and being on the sidewalk of Hillhurst is not that romantic. But I'm looking forward to trying Bashan.

                              1. re: Kitchen Queen
                                ipsedixit Sep 17, 2007 01:59 PM

                                I'll give a qualified endorsement to Bashan.

                                Was there this weekend for dinner. Started with the heirloom tomato salad which was mushy and flavorless. The veal sweetbreads were a revelation, however. One of the best dishes I've had this year. I think the main courses could use some work and imagination. While they were good (tried the halibut and trout), none were "blow me away" type of dishes.

                                Service was completely charming and very endearing throughout the entire meal.

                                So far it seems like a worthy successor to Bistro Verdu.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  tatertotsrock Sep 17, 2007 07:17 PM

                                  HI ipsedixit,
                                  You gotta try the steak...it's amazing!!!
                                  I've loved the tomato salad...I had it for the second time on Friday night.
                                  I wish they had smaller servings since I dine alone and would love to have more tummy room for more tastey treats, but I am sure the large app portions will make most very happy.
                                  Ahh, and those swetbreads!!!
                                  I had a prep that had the two dreamy little nuggests nestled next to two tufts of frisse and a soft set quail egg...mmmm...memories.
                                  I got to taste the halibut of some dude that was also siting solo next to me...I thought it had a perfectly sizzly-crispiness to the edges that made me want to giggle...so yummy.

                                  1. re: tatertotsrock
                                    ipsedixit Sep 17, 2007 08:21 PM

                                    Solo dining?

                                    Sounds like there needs to be an eastside Chowhound gathering soon at maybe ... Bashan? :-)

                                    Yeah, those sweetbreads are something else. It was a decision between that and the ravioli, and definitely no regrets with the sweetbreads.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      tatertotsrock Sep 17, 2007 09:00 PM

                                      Hey ipsedixit,
                                      I think you gotta getta gathering going...count me in on any Fri/Sat/Sun...unfortunately, I am in Culver City on Tu/Wed/Thu evenings till the end of Oct. and they're closed on Mon.
                                      Sweetbreads Rock!!!

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        The Oracle Sep 18, 2007 03:35 PM

                                        What are the prices like at Bashan?

                                        1. re: The Oracle
                                          tatertotsrock Sep 18, 2007 03:46 PM

                                          Hey there The Oracle,

                                          Here'e the menu WITH the prices...enjoy!

                                          prices:
                                          APPS
                                          salad: 8
                                          oysters: 15
                                          mussels: 13
                                          ravioli: 12
                                          sweetbreads: 15

                                          MAIN
                                          halibut: 26
                                          snapper: 24
                                          trout: 23
                                          chicken: 21
                                          steak: 29

                                          FINISH
                                          cheese: 11
                                          bread pudding: 7
                                          pannacotta: 7

                                          So far, worth every penny.

                                          1. re: tatertotsrock
                                            The Oracle Sep 18, 2007 05:32 PM

                                            thank you :) Didn't see the prices when I looked at the menu online! Sorry to make you work, if it was an oversight or browser issue. Will make a note to try it and will post back!

                                            1. re: The Oracle
                                              ipsedixit Sep 18, 2007 08:29 PM

                                              Online menu has no prices.

                                              tatertotsrock is giving it to you from first-hand, memory recall.

                                              If you are in the area, Bashan is definitely worth a try. The sweetbreads are divine. Give a few more weeks to iron out some of the rough spots on the menu and it should really shine. Service is uber great already.

                                    2. re: ipsedixit
                                      SauceSupreme Sep 17, 2007 08:45 PM

                                      All you had to say is "sweetbreads". Now I've got Bashan on my list.

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