THE NEW OSTERIA LA BUCA
They are finished with the remodel. And I am happy to say, it is amazing. A beautiful space that matches some of the best Italian food you can get in Los Angeles. I went for by birthday dinner and ate with some friends up in their second level. Lovely decor and a fireplace to boot.
And the food was delicious as ever. Several of my friends had never been and were so happy to know of La Buca. Highly recommended.
I think La Buca is actually closed once more for a kitchen remodel. Opening again in a week or two.
I do agree though that, since the expansion, their food has been as wonderful as ever. I was concerned that the quality would suffer with the increase in number of people they would be serving, but thankfully my fears were unfounded.
The only negative is that the prices have yet again increased, and now it's hard to get out of there for under $50 per person.
The expansion has been complete for a while (I too went on my bday in late Oct.) At that time they had just opened the new room and while the kitchen really screwed up my order (my pizza came a half hour after the other entrees) the food was as good as usual.
I hadn't gone up to see the second level; would it be a good place to reserve for larger parties?
re: Bon Vivant
I've only been up on the second level once(it was a while ago so I don't remember much), but liked it. I'm not sure how large a party you are thinking about, but you could probably fit 20-ish? I really don't remember clearly, but the space was cute. Also, the they're closed until the 20th for kitchen renovations. Bummer!