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Visiting from SF with 5 yr old: Recs?

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Hello everyone,

Our dear friends live near Griffith Park and are moving to Burlinton, VT later this month, so we're coming down 7/10-7/13 for a gloriously laid-back send-off. They also have a 5 year old girl and I was wondering if any of you could help with a few places we shouldn't miss while we're down your way. Unique, kid- friendly, moderately priced (under $30) and a reasonably priced kids menu to boot would be awesome. I don't get down to your neck of the woods too often, so I'm looking for something I can't get at home, especially small places that are big on flavor and fun. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Raffi's Place in glendale is very family, great Persian food, close to Griffith park.

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    Raffi's Place Restaurant
    211 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205

    1. There is always Farmers Market--the grownups can have tacos from Loteria, or curries from Singapore's Banana Leaf, while the five year old can be adventurous, or get a grilled cheese sandwich or a burger or a slice of pizza. And then, when you have exhausted the five year old's patience, s/he can wander within eyesight while you continue to gab....

      1. Not a kid's menu place, but worth the wait and sugar high, The Griddle Cafe.

        Also good for kids and Italian is Angeli Caffe - they give kids pizza dough to play with too.

        Guelaguetza for Mexican w/ kiddie menu

        Border Grill in Santa Monica

        Tam O'Shanter is kind of fun and has a small kids' menu

        In case they're with you near the airport, try Pann's.

        Blue Marlin on Sawtelle

        The Counter is entertaining for kids for burgers

        1 Reply
        1. re: Emme

          i love the counter, but i recommend that if you choose to go there (it is in santa monica, far from your location), do NOT go anytime near lunchtime on a weekday.
          they are located across the street from a large office complex and are always beyond PACKED with regular orders and to-go orders at that time of day.

        2. if you are going to be on the eastside, places I would go:

          for a beautiful outside weekend brunch hit edendale. it's a lovely spot with good food, very family friendly but still polished.

          i love clancy's crab shack in glendale for massive lump crab meat cocktails and raw oysters, and many other kinds of seafood. very casual, fun...very family friendly.

          for dinner try vinoteca wione bar in los feliz. it is attached to a brazilian restaurant which makes it more casual, and they serve small plates and entrees. i like the food, the wine and the service.

          owned by the same people as vinoteca is farfalla on the same block for very good italian in a laid back atmosphere.

          pete's cafe downtown is kid friendly. not in the bestest neighborhood, but this is a bright friendly artsy cafe/pub on a corner with lots of windows, decent food and good people watching.

          there is also 15 in echo park. small newish restaurant, lots of locals go in there with their kids. i love the cozy yet contemporary atmosphere and the chef's way with vegetables.

          also, in atwater village (bridges silverlake with glendale) try canele. brilliant food and again, a lively neighborhood atmosphere where locals bring their kids. people from atwater walk to this place. it's lovely.

          1. MeltDown http://www.meltdownetc.com/

            Spitz (Doner Kebabs) http://eatatspitz.com/

            1. I second Raffi's place in Glendale for Persian, Edendale for brunch, and Tropicalia on Hillhurst for dinner (vs Vinoteca the wine bar attached to it..).
              Canele is quite good, but definitely get there early as seating is very cramped, I think they open at 5:30.
              I would also add Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock for lunch/brunch, straight shot up the 2 freeway from were you are.
              For other kid friendly places in the area I would also recommend El Buen Gusto on Glendale Blvd. for Salvadorian and Gingergrass for Cal/Vietnamese.

              1. When you enter the terms "reasonably priced" + "small place" + "big on flavor" + "fun" into google and click on "I'm feeling lucky" up pops: http://www.oinkster.com/ (or at least it should)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Servorg

                  Wow, thanks everyone! I'll see what our friends are up for and report back.
                  I love spicy food, but unfortuantely my daugther's palate is fairly sensitive
                  so we'll need to keep it simple. (At least she likes salad & vegs!) However, if the adults trade off and the guys and gals can sneak away, then we can go for the more exotic as long as it isn't a long haul away. (Gas prices will be keeping us close by I think)
                  BTW, if any of you are up our way, come on over to Alameda and I'll show you around. We got some pretty good eatin' in our little town. : )

                2. There was a post from a year ago re American Girl Cafe that's piqued my interest; I've been wanting to take my own niece there. Here's the link to that post: www.chowhound.com/topics/414817

                  Here's the link the the American Girl Cafe: www.americangirl.com/stores/location_... Since it's @ the Farmer's Market/The Grove, you can do other touristy stuff while you're there....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: OCAnn

                    Wow! Thanks everyone. I'm leaning towards The Oinkster, Griddle Cafe, Spitz and Clancy's Crab Shack. Our friends love the Red Lion Inn ( Beer & Sausages!) and perhaps if we're feeling like dressing up we might make it to Tam O'Shanter (no jeans & T-shirts) Our friend Steve is also a great cook, so we'll be enjoying some fab home cooking as well. The American Girl Cafe sounds dangerous. Similar to the Cult of the Disney Princess, yet waaaay more $$$. Unfortunately, these dolls are not in my budget range, cute as they are and I'd just be asking for major winey trouble if we went for brunch or tea.

                    1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                      Just got back and I want to again thank all of you Chowsters for your recommendations. The Griddle Cafe was awesome! Pancakes as big as your head and tasty to boot. We totally lucked out because we had 6 in our party before 10:00 am on a Friday morning, we got the big booth in the back and didn't have to wait. : ) All of the grown-ups shared one stack of the Teacher's Pet and we still didn't kill it. BTW, the breakfast tacos were pretty good and the Some Like it Hot scramble was delicious. We got the 5 yr olds one pancake each and they hardly made a dent. Next time, one to share. The Oinkster was very yummy as well. Garlic aioli make fries good. I enjoyed tasting the pastrami and had some of the really good chicken as well as a burger I shared with my daughter. The chocolate shake wasn't too shabby either. Oh, if any of you are in the neighborhood, across the street and down one block from Oinkster is the Colorado Wine Co. had a really nice tasting on Friday night. The Domaine La Bastide Viogner 2007, Languedoc, France ($13.99) was wonderful enough that we brought a bottle home and drank it right away. The McManis Family Pinot Noir 2007 ($10.99) was a close second which y'all might want to check out.