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Sep 26, 2001 01:47 PM

Special b-day surprise dinner, westside

  • c

I've done a search for the best italian and/or chinese options on the westside (Santa Monica / West LA) and come up with only a few results worth considering. I'm looking for either a really good (different / unique) chinese or italian dinner option for my wife's birthday - it's a surprise. I was thinking Alejo's near LAX (food there is great) but I want it to be a little more intimate, etc. Also, I've seen too many mixed reports on Valentino's for it to be a consideration. As far as good chinese, I don't want to venture off to San Gabriel or downtown.

Any suggestions?


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  1. I like La Bruschetta on Westwood Boulevard just north of Santa Monica Boulevard.

    3 Replies
    1. re: brian

      Il Moro: Yes, very good, great atmosphere. I too have experienced spotty service, although I wouldn't be deterred from trying it if I were you.

      La Bruschetta: Just went there recently for the first time, it was fabulous and very reasonably priced.

      But if I was the birthday girl, I would be aching for Chinois. Never been, makes me want to go all the more!

      1. re: SusanB

        Second the nomination on Chinois. The lobster! The foie gras! Go now.

        1. re: michael
          john gonzales

          Chinois is awesome. Still one of my world favs. Might also try Drago for italian ( wilshire). Valentino is excellent. Great food great service. Drawback, $100 a couple without wine.

    2. There is a very special place called Il Moro. It is on the Westside, on Olympic just west of Sawtelle.

      They have a lovely back patio, and great food. It can be intimate and romantic if your table is on the little river garden they have in the back (so ask for that). Last time we were there, the service was spotty, but I think that was an isolated incident as my other meals there have been fine.

      It is definately more expensive (and better than Alejos) but worth it.

      Good luck and let us know where you decide!
      Do check out the website linked below, there is a lot of detail in there.

      Il Moro Restaurant
      11400 Olympic Blvd
      Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Tel (310) 575-3530
      Fax (310) 575-4911


      1. You might consider also giving the chowhounds a price limit. You mention you were considering Alejo's and Valentino's which are certainly on opposite ends of the price spectrum.

        You'd probably get better suggestions if you share the price you are looking to spend.

        Just a suggestion

        1. Chinois gets a third nomination. Also, Capo on Ocean Ave./Pico offers great food(although portions can be small) in an intimate and quiet setting. No cell phones allowed!

          1. Thanks everyone for suggestions. As far as naming a price range, I figure that A) since it's my wife's b-day and B) "somewhere between Valentino's and Alejo's - would have sort of covered it. For the sake of argument, I had hoped to spend around $100 with wine.

            Though I've lived in SM for all of my 30-plus-several-years, haven't been to either Chinois, Il Moro, or La Bruschetta. Now I just have to decide whether I want to "italian" or "chinese" her. Darn these decisions!

            Thanks again.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Cagey

              Chinois, by far my favorite, unless you can't stand noisy restaurants. La Bruschetta (sp?) is good, but isn't much on ambiance (if that's a consideration)

              1. re: Sandra W.

                What's that phony looking award they have on the wall by the bar at La Bruschetta? A little cheesy.