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35th birthday dinner - where to go?

My husband wants to take me out for dinner to celebrate my 35th birthday, but has left the choosing of the restaurant up to me. Now I'm stumped for a high-end dining experience. Here is where we have already eaten:

Chaya Venice

Any suggestions? I'm completely open to types of cuisine. Urasawa isn't an option because we can't take out a loan to pay for it. Also, tasting menus don't work because I simply can't eat that much. My family is taking me to Craft, so that's scheduled for a little later.


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  1. Westside friendly suggestion would be Anisette. If you don't mind the Pasadena - Glendale area then the other recent board favorite, Palate.

    1. How about Joe's in Venice? You'll get a really nice meal in a nice setting with good service. I would put it on par with Josie, Lucques, and Grace.

      1. In addition to Sevorg's excellent recommendation of Anisette (picture perfect brasserie), how about La Cachette (Nouvelle French), Melisse (French), Ortolan (Modern French), Providence (Modern Seafood), Valentino (Alta Cucina Italian), Vincenti (Alta Cucina Italian) or Wilshire (Californian)?

        5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

        Melisse Restaurant
        1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

        La Cachette Bistro
        1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

        8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        Wilshire Restaurant
        2454 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404

        Valentino (Santa Monica)
        3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

        Vincenti Restaurant
        11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

        1. Melisse. Just a hunch.

          1. Happy Birthday, Ami.

            We've had two very good meals at Fraiche. It's worth a try.

            6 Replies
            1. re: PlonkMan

              Thanks, Michael!

              We've been to Fraiche. Ideally, I'd like to try someplace new.

              Say hi to Ann for me.

                  1. re: PlonkMan

                    Not yet. Good? And what do the Francophiles think of Anisette?

                    1. re: LAmonkeygirl

                      Had two very good dinners at Wilshire. Had a decent steak frites at Anisette. If you try the latter, ask to be seated upstairs, which is less noisy.

                1. Happy B-Day! My 35th was in June and we went to Cut and it was AMAZING! Not sure you'll want to go to another steakhouse since you are already going to Craft. I also love Providence, Hatfield's, Grace and Ortolon. I'd also add Citrus to your consideration list.

                  1. Osteria Mozza could be fun if you are in the mood for Italian. STK has a fun vibe, but you might not want two steak-centric restaurants since you are going to Craft.

                    Another suggestion if you want to keep it simple yet delicious is Amarone on Sunset. A hidden gem in my opinion. Fantastic service (the owner works almost all the tables since it's so small) and ridiculously authentic, delicious Italian. They always finish the meal with some complimentary moscato, which is lovely.

                    1. In addition to the numerous other excellent suggestions you've gotten, I would add Mozza (Pizzeria, not Osteria) to the list -- I think it's one of the best tasting meals in town at the moment, particularly if you don't mind the scene. Also, I second New Trial's suggestion regarding Providence, although, I think the tasting menus there really are the best things. In a similar vein, the Water Grill downtown is still one of the best seafood spots around, and might be worth a visit, especially if you've never been. (It's also less tastingmenucentric than Providence.)

                      Happy b-day LAMG!

                      Water Grill
                      544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                      Pizzeria Mozza
                      6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                      1. It's certainly not one of the hot new kids on the block, but if you haven't been I'd go to Chinois on Main. Puck's oldest restaurant still has a buzz, the room is absolutely unique in a wild '80s Barbara Lazaroff decor, and the menu was revamped relatively recently. Everything is served to share, and most of the starters and small plates are better values than the large entrees. I love the minced lamb in the radicchio cups and the fried rock shrimp dishes. The sliced filet in szechwan sauce is a great entree, as is the whole deepfried catfish with ponzu. Service, as in every Puck restaurant I've dined in, is professional and outstanding. If you two are cooks, you may want to ask for seats at the counter looking into the open kitchen -- it is a fascinating show. Your meal and experience would make an interesting counterpoint to Craft.

                        Other possibilities: Orris, Musha, Upstairs 2 (if you are particularly interested in wine), and Nook Bistro.