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Help! Need restaurant recs for anniversary dinner!

Money is no object and I don't mind driving to the OC but prefer to stay in LA. We are open to all types of food but don't eat beef. Looking to find something with great ambiance, awesome food and good service is a must:

We've been to Providence, Jar, Jiraffe and Studio already so looking for something else. Thank you!

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  1. My favorite is Grace.

    1. If money is no object, go to Urasawa.

      Or you could go to Melisse, or Patina or the Bel Air Hotel.

      Or Sona or Ortolan.

      Plenty of viable options.

      1. Grace is a good suggestion, but the last two times I went I found the food very salty. Cut if you want steaks and don't mind more of a noisy/modern ambiance (not romantic). I thought the service was stellar: professional, informative, accomodating without being at all stuffy. I actually found my meal there LESS heavy than at Grace, believe it or not.

        Have you tried La Cachette? Quaint, intimate, lovely.

        Which of the places you've been is your favorite? That might help people help you decide.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pei

          I'm so glad someone else has said this about Grace. After all of the great reviews I've read here, I was thinking my meal there was just an off night FOR ME. I wasn't impressed at all. Very salty/overly seasoned, incredibly rich not to mention the service and wine service was very mediocre.
          But back to the topic...I would second La Cachette, Melisse and Josie and would add Valentino to the list.

          1. re: foodnmusic

            For me, Grace is one of those restaurants that takes a few tries before one knows how to maneuver the menu. If you pick the right items, you can have a stellar meal. But if you stray a little, you might end up picking combinations that result in an overly heavy/salty meal. Sometimes, repeat customers make the right choices almost subconsciously. But no, it doesn't always mean good eats for a first timer.

            1. re: Pei

              Good to know but that's an expensive few tries to find something you like!

        2. Water Grill is excellent if you like seafood. It has the advantage of great service, good food and ambiance. It is also a place where the noise level does not require shouting to carry on a conversation, which is a nice touch for an anniversary dinner. The restuarant at the Bel Air is certainly romantic, particularly the terrace, however many on this board would say the food is not good. I find the food generally "good, but not great" (or terribly adventurous.) The wine list is great however.