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Need Birthday Reco - Mozza, Comme Ca, or Animal?

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Need the perfect birthday spot for two (my lady and myself), ideally hitting on these 3 criteria:
1) Great food - We're picky. I've included a list of what we've enjoyed and been turned off by if it helps give a better idea of what we're looking for.
2) Lively atmosphere, but able to talk. Hip or fun versus stuffy (e.g. Valentino, Matteo's)
3) Good wines - Diverse selection of nice wines, by the bottle and the glass

Love: Lucques, Jiraffe, Musha, Tasca, Hungry Cat, Mozza (me, the lady has never been), Malibu Seafood

Left disappointed: Providence, Melisse, AOC, Fraiche, Violet, Nook, Beacon

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  1. None of them will be quiet but Animal might be the quietest of the bunch. Mozza wins on the food and wine but is probably the loudest of the three--also the hardest reservation. Not including the noise factor, it is a toss up between Comme Ca and Mozza on the atmosphere, which can be Animal's weakest point.

    2 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      Thanks, sounds like you had a bad experience at Animal?

      1. re: ElJeffe

        Not at all! I enjoyed Animal (the soft shell crab with pork belly in particular) and look forward to returning but, given your stated criteria, the other two choices seemed a better fit, other than on volume.

    2. well,
      Animal was a mixed review for us a couple of weeks ago-
      good food, nothing I was thinking about the next day, and DH didn't care for his DRY pork chop, but SOOOO NOISY

      Comme Ca had very tasty food, mediocre service, and again, SOOOO NOISY

      Mozza would be my pick- I have had delicious food each time (I am sitting here thinking of the orchiette and ALL the cheese apps), excellent service, but SOOOO NOISY

      maybe you should just get rid of criterion #2 if these are your 3 choices

      1. Animal. Loved it. Comme Ca too loud for your requirement and infamous for waits even with rezzies, plus bar is open for food service, so it's not like you can just have a nice drink while waiting, tho drinks are good. mozza has moved to my overrated list due to a bad service experience and so-so food one night. next time i go back, i'll sit at mozzarella bar where nancy is, rather than deal with the waitstaff. drinks are good there, too. but animal really did it for me. and the prices aren't bad. i loved the melted cheese and charcuterie, the ribs and the steak. skip the bacon choco dessert. well, maybe try it once just for the experience, but the seasonal fruit looked better IMO. good luck!

        1. Osteria Mozza, sitting at the Mozzarella bar...especially later is *really* fun...and the food....ahh yeah.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ElissaInPlaya

            Nice, just booked it! Maybe I'll have the pasta tasting menu this time...