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Sep 12, 2008 08:48 PM

French Birthday Dinner

My girlfriend has a big birthday coming up and she's got family coming in to town. We're looking for a place to enjoy a delicious meal, without spending an insane amount of money. Her father is a chef in San Francisco, and really knows his food, and we'd really like to show him a great restaurant in the area. Here are our requirements:

1) French, Continental or American style is preferred. We enjoy Italian and the amazing ethnic food places around, but we're focusing on those styles primarily at this point (other can't miss suggestions are appreciated as well.
2) Price point should be at or near Comme Ca level. Unfortunately that rules out some of the bigger name restaurants like Melisse, or Spago. We're looking for appetizers around $10-15 range, entrees at around $20-30, and desserts $7-10. Obviously there can be outliers, this should be a general rule. Either a selection of relatively inexpensive wines, or a reasonable corkage would be appreciated as well.
3) We're based out of Sherman Oaks, but are willing to travel to most of Los Angeles if the meal is right.

Any help you all can provide would be great! Thanks.

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  1. Most romantic and very wonderful food and atmosphere, quiet and gorgeous is Chez Mimi in Santa Monica. Right in your price range, too. My husband first took me there on Valentine's Day! We weren't married then, and, trust me, it scored MAJOR boyfriend points

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Chez Mimi is very quaint.

      Don't know if it beats your price point, but Anisette in Santa Monica is also worth considering.

      You might also consider in Sherman Oaks Boneyard Bistro.

      1. re: Emme

        Quaint in a good way. More "romantic" The food always delivers, too, unlike Anisette or Comme Ca, more brasseries (french pubs) than restaurants for special meals.

        I found my duck at anisette dry, and the service was below sub par, forgetful and slow. The soup, steak and noodles were outstanding. The noise was crazy loud, the waiter apparently had alzheimer's (not to offend, he seemed to forget our order after he left the table.) and the price a little steep.

        Mimi has lovely seating inside or in the lovely patio area. Good for impressing a girlfriend and her dad. The food is fabulous, traditional french very well done.

    2. This may be a little different, but I'd like to recommend Palate, the new place in Glendale--but only if the wine is an important part of your dinner. The dishes are priced pretty reasonably, but the portions are small, so you'll have to order a few to make a "full meal", but they are wonderful.

      1. If you have not been to the recently remodeled Max, right in sherman oaks, then you should go there. Economics as desired, really nice, warm atmosphere, and the food is superb. Corkage of $12, and the balance can be seen here:

        1. First, although I haven't been yet, I would recommend Chez Mimi based on other reviews I've read--it's on my "must try soon" list.

          If you want to stay in the valley, I have two ideas. Le Sanglier is 1/2 block south of Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana. It's been years since I've been, but I went there often when I lived in the area. Another idea is Brandywine, west of Topanga on Ventura in Woodland Hills. Unfortunately, there is not website for Brandywine, but I've included the site for Le Sanglier.

          Another restaurant I haven't tried but have heard good things about is Mistral. I think it's in Studio City.