Going all-out for 23rd birthday dinner - Advice?
I'm considering a place like La Cachette for my birthday dinner, with a group of about 8-10 friends. We love good food, but we've never gone to a super fancy place before. I mostly want to go because I've always wanted to try foie gras. My concern is this: do you think it will be fun for us or is the atmosphere really stuffy and we should stick to something more casual?
If you think you know of a place that has great service, delicious food (we're open to all kinds, but kind of sick of Asian as that's what we eat most of the time), and would be fun for a group of mid 20 year olds, please let me know! Location wise, we're trying to stay on the Westside.
I think La Cachette would be a nice choice. I haven't eaten there (so sad!) but I did scope it out for a party. They have a small room that they might even set aside for you, though I'm not sure what number it seats so you'll have to ask.
I think it's more casual and quiet than stuffy, but I don't think it's somewhere you can really be super noisy like you would be able to at a private room in a Chinese restaurant. If you all feel like being "Grown up" for a night it could be great! And it's definitely the place to go if you want to try foie gras for the first time.
No foie gras, but I recently went to Cut for the first time and loved it. With 10 people, you could order the various kinds of steaks and do a "steak tasting." The server will slice up one piece of each steak for each person, so you can taste the difference between wet aged, dry aged, American Wagyu, and Japanese Kobe all in one meal. Plus, the appetizers and sides are delicious (not your usual steakhouse potatoes and creamed spinach!), and the cocktails and wine are also lovely. The room is cheerily noisy, the service is laid back and helpful while being completely professional, and price is probably similar to La Cachette.
Musha is always fun, but hardly fancy.
All have foie...
In Santa Monica, Whist and Boa would both be good choices for this birthday, fun enough and still foie accessible.
In Westwood, Nine-Thirty at the W.
If you want to come a little farther east into WeHo and Hollywood, I'd suggest Bastide, Providence, or Social Hollywood (fun for 23)
If you've never gone to a super fancy place before, I think Spago is a good entree into that universe. The food and service are outstanding, and the menu has plenty of adventurous choices while still offering some more traditional items. And they make great drinks and desserts.
La Cachette is great and I don't think the atmosphere is all that stuffy (for example, I think it's less stuffy than Melisse). Also, La Cachette has maybe the best selection of foie gras in LA.
Other places you might want to consider (not necessarily for foie gras): All' Angelo, Grace, and Bin8945.
Enjoy wherever you end up, and happy b-day.