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Jan 13, 2008 04:45 PM

Restaurant Rec for 30th Birthday in WLA/SM?

Hi Chowhounds!

It's my boyfriend's 30th birthday next month and we want to celebrate! I want a plan a dinner party for him which will include about 15 people, ranging from his parents who are visiting from the UK and their family friends to his best friend and his wife. We'll be a group with a wide range of ages and food tastes, from those that will try anything to those that always look for the safe, 'non spicy' dish. =)

I was thinking Nook Bistro is a good example of a type of place I'm looking for... not overly expensive (we don't want to break the bank!), good food that appeals to a wide audience, great atmosphere, good wine and beer.

Another idea that came to mind was Fritto Misto... more casual but again good food, wine, and good value.

I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions!

Thank you in advance!!

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  1. Check out Wilshire -- it may be more than you want to spend,but the outdoor area is particularly inviting, and I think your UK visitors will really appreciate it; it's sort of quintessential L.A. dining right now. We took a friend for a birthday there on Friday for six of us (including 2 kids); the place is very friendly, they have a great wine list. Standout dishes were a squab special, the short ribs, and the chestnut and sweet potato gnocchi. The fish dishes there have not pleased as much as the other dishes, but they are certainly good. We had a very good 05 white Chateauneuf du Pape, as well as a glass or two of their house syrah.

    It is not the best food in L.A. but for a great combo of atmosphere, service and food quality, it's really up there.

    ON the less expensive side, VIolet might be an option that is similar in style and price range to Nook. Have not been in several months, but it was very hip and happening for a while.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NAspy

      I like the VIOLET idea.
      I finally got around to going to FRAICHE last night and I actually liked it...a lot.
      I loved their wines by the glass list...mark up can appear high (by the glass) upon first look, second look, you realize, wow, it's so nice they pour "this" and "that" by the glass.
      We only got a chance to try 2 things since we ate about 3 hours earlier...mushroom salad (sooooo good!) with greens and the hint of a dressing; and the flat iron steak that was a perfect med rare....oh, the fires were spectacualr.
      The covered outdoor bar area is great and I'm sure if they called ahead and asked to order from the regular menu while in the patio section, I bet they'd do it.
      I think the place would be great for a 30th b-day....
      Oh, great beers and hard liquor selections!!!