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Parents' 40th anniversary (suggestions?)

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my sister and i will be celebrating our parents' 40th wedding anniversary at the end of the month (hooray!) and would love suggestions on where to dine the friday after thanksgiving. i'm originally from the city, but now live in los angeles, so i'm not up to speed on the good restaurants out there now. i'm not looking for anything ultra expensive or too formal, just somewhere that has really good food (seafood in particular), decent sized portions and nice ambience. after doing some research, here are a few spots that piqued my curiousity, although i haven't been to any. let me know if i should be considering others... many thanks!

scott howard
salt house
ame restaurant

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  1. Of the three, Scott Howard is the only one I've been to. I like it, but am not sure I'd choose it for an occaison like that, and in any case, the menu format has changed since I was there. Salt House would definitely NOT be on my list, as it has a reputation for being quite noisy, which again, is not what I would want for a 40th anniversary. Of those three, I'd choose Ame, though I suspect it is the most formal of the three.

    1. How about Hayes Street Grill? I haven't been in awhile so others can comment - but it sounds like it might fit the bill.

      1. Ame is the only one of those that I've been to, and I would definitely recommend it for this kind of occasion. The food and service is excellent, and the atmosphere is lovely. It is great seafood, but not particularly traditional, I'd check out the menu online.

        1. Salt House won't take 10. Hayes Street Grill is a bit sedate but you'll be able to hold a conversation.

          1. Ame is, by far, the best of these choices. And, by chance, I think Ame does seafood far better than their land-based efforts. Plus, Ame is in the St. Regis Hotel. Splurge and buy your parents a night on the town including a room at the St. Regis.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Paul H

              thanks for the recommendations. ame is certainly a place i am seriously considering. has anybody been to catch or café maritime?

              1. re: mikkel obe

                Catch is one or two notches down from the places you're discussing. Not special enough for a special occasion, in my opinion.

                1. re: mikkel obe

                  Cafe Maritime is only okay, I think. I haven't been in awhile - they seem to have rather frequent chef changes. It is open super late so good if that is what you need but it is many notches down from Ame, which would be my choice on your list and perfect for this occasion. The food at Ame is fab!

              2. Concur with most other folks - while Patty Unterman recently gave Scott Howard a good review, I found too many of the dishes to be too similar to each other to be that remarkable. Amé, on the other hand, is diverse, definitely "special occasion" material, and will have something for everyone while continuing to add a "wow" factor.