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Dinner for my sister's 21st Bday Westside

helloooo! i need a fun restaurant for my little sisters 21st birthday dinner. i live in santa monica and want to stay local on the west side....i want something nice but relaxed....i hate loud crowded places and so does she...we will have about 10 people all together. she is pretty open to different kinds of food, we care more about being cozy and not spending a fortune and having a nice meal. my family are not big drinkers and becuase we are hispanic mexican food is out....i love AXE in venice but its a little too expensive. i just want some yummy clean food with a nice mellow ambiance...what do you think?

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  1. Joe's in Venice, Chaya, GiRaffe, Josie, Literati, Chez Mimi/...others will know more.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      All of those are more expensive than Axe, with the possible exception of Chaya.

      *edit
      Il Carpaccio in the Palisades just opened and serves lovely Italian food that is very reasonably priced. Fraiche in Culver City might be a good choice too, although I'm not entirely sure if it's much cheaper than Axe.

      1. re: hrhboo

        oh..sorry

        What about Laconada Del Lago?

        Frankly, I'd take her for Ethiopian on fairfax-Messob or Rahel. I've never gone wrong taking someone to Ethiopian..but it is a bit of a drive along to fairfax Blvd.

        1. re: Diana

          Actually, I don't know anything about Chez Mimi! Do you like it?

          1. re: hrhboo

            I LOVE Chez mimi. It ain't too cheap, but it is SOOOOOOO nice in food and atmosphere. A little cottage-like place where you have a few rooms to choose from, or the nice outdoor patio. Great food, good service, wonderful!

            http://www.chezmimirestaurant.com/mai...

            1. re: Diana

              Chez Mimi is great.

              Down the street is Amici, and it feels low-key and neighborhoody to me.

              Unusual, but interesting, might be Warszawa.

              I love Via Veneto, but no cheaper, but if you ask me, certainly great for celebrating and worth the splurge.

              Fritto Misto ain't bad in SM, and is very reasonable and accommodating to various palates.

              I wonder if Il Moro might be able to help you out.

        2. re: hrhboo

          No, Fraiche is definitely pricey. Ford's Filling Station is more reasonable but it's loud and crowded.

          These are tough criteria to match! How about one of the sushi or Japanese places along Sawtelle?

      2. Would 3 Square blow your budget?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          This is an excellent suggestion, I wish I'd thought of it first.

        2. Fraiche in Culver City? never heard of this but sounds cute?....and yes please tell about Chex Mimi...i do like Joe's but expensive...Chaya is good but always loud and noisy, Giraffe is too expensive also...any other thoughts?

          3 Replies
          1. re: minxie

            To me, Chez Mimi doesn't really seem appropriate for a 21 year old's bday. It's romantic and definitely skews towards an older crowd (I don't mean late 20's...I mean older).

            I love the 3 Square suggestion.

            1. re: mollyomormon

              It doesn't skey old when I go...I really like it. but it may not be great for a 21 year old. me, I'd take her to Lucky Devil's or Village Idiot for a beer and good food!

              Chez mimi link
              http://www.chezmimirestaurant.com/mai...

            2. re: minxie

              Wabi-Sabi might be good too. Their cooked dishes are much better than the sushi and the menu is quite large with something for everyone. It would be fun for a 21st birthday.

              Maybe Violet or Nook would be suitable. Shamshiri in Westwood serves delicious food that is very reasonable in price.

            3. 3 square is a good idea..i have only had breakfast there and it was wonderful...but friends say dinner is awesome.

              1. I was thinking La Vecchia in Venice on Main Street might fill your bill...good Italian, lots of food and wine choices, and won't blow your budget. Casual but upscale and definitely not snobby. They also have a sister restaurant on Ocean Park Blvd called Il Forno.

                Don't know anyting about 3 Square so can't comment.

                5 Replies
                1. re: NAspy

                  I love La Vecchia! It gets pretty loud and busy at the weekend but it's one of my favorite local Italian spots.

                  1. re: hrhboo

                    La Vecchia is great (to die for pink vodka sauce), but i really love Hal's on Abbott Kinney. Always nice people in there, good food, yummy cocktails if she is interested in having one on her 21st B-day.
                    www.halsbarandgrill.com

                    1. re: Jaybay

                      La Vecchia is a good call but also VERY casual, so keep that in mind. Beechwood may be a good fit as its hip, but the dining room is much more quiet than the bar/lounge area, and its a more affordable price range than the Axe/Joes/Lily's, per your other priority.

                    2. re: hrhboo

                      I found the food at La Vecchia decent but unexciting, but more to the point the place was DEAFENING on a Friday night around 8.

                      1. re: nick_r

                        It's very loud on weekends. One year I had a birthday dinner there and spent all night screaming my head off to be heard across the table. Obviously that didn't help the noise situation, but there wasn't much else to do.

                        It's much much quieter on weeknights.

                  2. I just had a dinner for ten in the private dining room off the lobby of il fornaio on ocean ave in santa monica. the food was fine and moderately priced, the service was great, and it was a lot of fun to have the room all to ourselves...not as fun as chaya venice, but a lot cheaper...and if you like relaxed and not loud/crowded, that could be the call...

                    1. Tengu
                      Father's Office (not loud in there anymore)
                      Warzsawa
                      Chez Jay
                      The Galley
                      Lilly's
                      Nook