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Mar 18, 2002 06:32 PM

Looking for a good Birthday restaurant

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I'm taking my mom out to dinner for her birthday this week and was hoping for some suggestions of someplace nice but not too expensive (I'm a broke college student). Oh, and my mom isn't really into trying anything too out there or spicy or exotic. She has old fashioned tastes. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley would be great. Any suggestions?


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  1. I actually think I have an interesting idea for you: Pinot Bistro, on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. I've never been, but this is a highly acclaimed restaurant -- with a gorgeous interior -- classic French food, and extremely reasonable prices. Not "cheap," but you can easily get a gourmet main course for $15 - $20, which is basically what you'd pay at the Cheesecake Factory. Furthermore, I believe that they are having a "seafood" special this week...

    12969 Ventura Blvd
    Studio City, CA 91604-2235
    Phone: (818) 990-0500

    For more details, go to and navigate under Patina Group Restaurants for Pinot Bistro...

    1. I don't know which part of the valley you are in, but a couple of ideas come quickly to mind in the west valley.

      First, The Seashell, on Ventura in Woodland Hills. Take her for the early bird menu. It is a very pleasant restaurant that, among other things offers a great bouillabaise at the early discount. She'll feel special here.

      Another place, with very nice ambience and a very fairly priced California/French menu is Paul's; also on Ventura, just west of Reseda Blvd.

      Let me know if you want something more to the east, and I'll see what I can come up with.

      1. I second Paul's Cafe (two locations in the Valley). They have, IMO, better food and service than Cafe Bizou. Dishes are in the $15-20 range, with the option of the $1 soup or salad addition. Cheap corkage too, if you want to bring along some wine. It's also less pretentious than Cafe Bizou and you'll be able to get reservations a bit easier. Give it a try! (For dish suggestions, I liked the duck, but there are several old posts which you can search for.)

        There's also Le Petit Bistro and Marmalade Cafe. Both have great ambience, decent food, and won't break the bank.

        My last suggestion: how does your mom feel about fondue? That might be fun. It's a bit pricier than the other restaurants (maybe $30pp), but I've heard good things about Le Fondue restaurant on Ventura near Hazeltine.

        Let us know where you end up going and how your mom likes it!