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Adventurous Anniversary, not too $$$?

  • d

So, coming up at the end of this month is year #2 down! According to tradition, this is the "cotton anniversary". Hooray for cotton, an all natural fiber that caused the enslavement of millions. Perfect for those special occasions when you just want to say, "I love you, and you make me think of a product that historically tortured and abused an entire ethnicity of people."

Anyhoo, being stocked with sheets, towels, bathmats and t-shirts up to our eyebrows, I have asked that he give me cotton candy.

On to my question, and no, it is not about cotton candy: We want an interesting anniversary dinner. i originally gave this planning task to my husband in May, and he has "thought about it" right up until he left it to the last minute. Well, I figure I might do some research into an adventurous and interesting daytime thing and a place for a nice dinner for two (not to hole in the wall ish, tablecloths and waiters, at least!) that has all the accouterments of an old fashioned movie.

A must see!
Now in Cineramacolor!

We are planning to spend the prior weekend at the Fair (cotton candy gifts abound).

I'll remind everyone of my nut, peanut, nut oil and oyster/mussel/clam allergies. Not scallops, though, love scallops! We pretty much will tackle anything from anywhere as long as it won't send me into anaphylactic shock. That's not the kind of adventure I mean, gang.

We've been to:
Providence and Spago for TMs


Valley Korean and Korean BBQ

Asanebo, 4 on 6, Taka, Tama and so on

Dim Sum in SGV

China Islamic

Tunisian, Moroccan and so on

Tons of Italian

Mozza (he hated it so much he refuses to have the name spoken in the house) Angeli (downhill like a rollercoaster) Spumanti (we both loved it) Il Tiramisu and the like.

Senor Fish, Senor Fred, Casa Vega, Sabor a Mexico

El Ketracho, Lima


Inn of the Seventh Ray, Saddle Peak Lodge

Alcazar, Cedar House, Hummous Bar, and so on.

Gungadin, Woodlands Pure, Anarkali, Anarbagh. Clay Oven

Microbreweries and beer bars/gastropubs all over. He dislikes FO more than me. That's saying a lot

Just to give you an idea of places we've been (we've been to more, but,, you know, listing them would take days!!)

We have just put an offer in on a house in Eagle Rock, and I guess my husband is feeling poor, because he told me a few nights ago, "It has to be cheap this year." How romantic. He very nearly scrapped his chances for year three right there. LEts say we should keep it under $40 per person.

So, anyone gots any ideas?

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    1. re: Servorg


      When I ate at Babita I sat next to a couple celebrating their twenty seventh, or somewhere in that vicinity, and obviously still in love, and they obviously thought it was the perfect spot.

      I'd bring your own champagne, or a good bottle of red.

    2. Come down to Palos Verdes and walk down the cliffs to see the tidepools at low tide. Pick up some sandwhiches and have a picnic overlooking the Pacific. Then go to Admiral Risty's for a true old school seafood meal. The view is incredible and the wait staff great, ask for Rocky's station and a window seat.

      Admiral Risty
      31250 Palos Verdes Drive West, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

      1. Just thought of something else. There is kayaking off the coast as well.

        Admiral Risty
        31250 Palos Verdes Drive West, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

        1. How about something very new with an extraordinary craft beer selection? Have not tried the grub yet but maybe tonight I will. And it's not far from Sherman Oaks.


          Blue Palm Lounge
          6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

          1. My husband and I love to celebrate at Taps in Brea. They have fresh seafood and great chops...I love their drunken mahi mahi! Desserts are lovely there. They have a great bar and wine list, and service is phenomenal.

            1. It's not romantic but it's very celebratory and I know you've wanted to try it: how about Musha?

              6 Replies
              1. re: mollyomormon

                an interesting idea. Keep em coming!

                1. re: Diana

                  call Pann's, tell em it's your anniversary, and see if they'll do biscuits for you for dinner!

                  1. re: Emme

                    friggin good idea. And I bet they'll say "no". they refused on my birthday, flat out, and I even called and spoke to the head chef, a manager and anyone I could think of. Silly Pann's

                2. re: mollyomormon

                  Musha is even more interesting because they have a cozy little room in the back that is great for two. Its secluded and private.


                    1. re: Diana

                      Yes, yes. Keep with that thought. ^_^

                3. warszawa could be adventurous in santa monica.

                  have you been to monte alban?

                  try the new gjelina on abbot kinney.

                  have you done all the sawtelle places, perhaps orris, place, or kiriko or furaibo

                  i fear Vin Bar might still be too pricey, but it is the casual bar alternative to Valentino

                  Yabu on La Cienaga for soba

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Emme

                    in my experience, it's hard to come in at $40/pp for dinner at kiriko. . .

                  2. Maybe try someplace that has free corkage - that would definitely help with the tab. If you can go on a Monday, perhaps head down to the beach for a walk and then have dinner at Josie? There is also a few great thai massage places that are local - you could turn it into quite a day.

                    1. two thoughts:

                      ka gai ya in little tokyo, best shabu shabu i have had. (i think you could d two for under $40 without a lot of bewz)

                      also, had a beautiful dinner last weekend at Colori Kitchen in downtown. no bewz license so it's byob and no corkage!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lotta_cox

                        Ohh, did you write a review of your Colori dinner? I'd love to hear what you ate...

                      2. Your post is very funny, Diana! You've conveyed great 'tude!

                        Actually, I think the Fair is about as good as it gets...F U N!!!!

                        1. Picnic on the grounds of the Getty Center.

                          1. Hi Diana. Eagle Rock is one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Why not try one of the great restaurants in your soon to be new hood?
                            Auntie Em's (Eagle Rock Blvd.) has market dinners once a month and no corkage. $35. pp I think.
                            Colombos (Colorado Blvd.) is an old school swanky place with red leather booths and great live jazz. I love the chicken parm. Entrees approx $20.
                            Beaujolais (Colorado Blvd.) for authentic and tasty french cuisine. Check prices although when we go it's usually around $75 ish w/ wine.
                            Camilo's (Colorado) cal cuisine w/ a mexi flare. They sometimes have live (free!) music. They always have great food, white linen tablecloths and good service.
                            Larkins (Colorado) has delicious southern food and no or low corkage.
                            Happy Anniversary.

                              1. re: Rizza

                                What about it? any description/review?

                                1. re: Diana

                                  Josef Centeno's place in Echo Park. I haven't been , but loved the fun tasting menus he used to do at Opus.


                                  1. re: Rizza

                                    Centano's not there any longer...

                                    1. re: mollyomormon

                                      in addition to Centano not being there, they have no liquor license and will not allow BYOB.

                                      I live 2 blocks away, and due to a slight case of alcoholism I still have not been.

                                      1. re: lotta_cox

                                        If they don't have a liquor license they aren't allowed to do BYOB. If they do and they get caught it will have a deleterious effect on their effort to get a liquor license.

                                      2. re: mollyomormon

                                        What??? I thought he was the owner.

                                2. father's office, haha, just kidding : )

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: budlit

                                    I appreciate the humor, though! :) Could you picture it?

                                    1. re: budlit

                                      Yes, budlit, Izayoi in Little Tokyo is one of the more fun dining experiences in LA. Their presentation is thoughtful and the food is interesting and tasty. I would go beyond their sushi and explore some of their other dishes.

                                    2. What a fantastic and funny post! We're all rallying for you. It sounds like you've been to some great places and you have a refined and adventurous palate.

                                      If you are at all enticed by Musha or Izayoi, then I'd like to put in a vote for IKKO in Costa Mesa...a little far, yes, but if you're going to be at the fair, then just a little drive down the 57 to parachute behind the Orange Curtain. It has a fantastic, FANTASTIC menu, (better than Musha, IMHO) and the mystery laden atmosphere of a Tokyo Speakeasy...dark, small, intimate...is that jazz I hear?. As you step over the threshold, you'll feel like you've teleported 5000 miles away from the redneck pool hall next door. The food will take you another 5000. No cotton in sight!

                                      I'd phone them up, give them a price range, the sort of things you both like to eat and see what they do. Maybe ask them to fax a menu? Did I mention the scallops?

                                      There's also a new IKKO on Hawthorne in the Torrance area, but haven't tried so can't speak from first hand experience.

                                      735 Baker St Ste C
                                      Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                                      714 556 7822

                                      Good luck, we're rooting for you!

                                      1. We have secured an order of a plethora f various cupcakes from Leda's, Specially Decorated (capitals, there) for dessert.

                                        Still we wonder about dinner-so many great options!

                                        I want to get it squared away before I go to New York this weekend.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Diana

                                          We went to the remodeled Max on Saturday night. To be honest, I'd never really enjoyed my prior meals at Max, over many years. I like the new, more casual vibe. The food was good. We shared salmon tartare and the beet salad, then each had the burger, and then shared the brownie/brioche bread pudding. He had one of the Belgian beers, I had a cocktail, it was $93 before tip and it was truly too much food - we could've shared a single burger, or skipped one of the appetizers. So, if you want to stay close to home, and maybe even byob, I think you could stay within your budget.

                                          Don't forget to go to Artisanal in New York (cheese, cheese, cheese) - one of my favorite places in the entire city. 32nd Street between Madison and Park (address is on Park).