Daughter's Birthday - Decor vs Food - Yikes!
I live in Santa Monica. My daughter wants to go to Jar for her 23rd birthday dinner. She says, "I just think it looks really cool and I am more interested in décor then food, I know that we are not alike in this way! "
I don't want to spend $100+/pp when she doesn't even care about the food.
My new idea is to take her to a stylish bar for a drink - let her soak up the coolness and decor and then go somewhere I like (say Rustic Canyon) for an excellent, but closer and more reasonably priced meal.
I'm thinking of the Huntley Penthouse bar - any other suggestions?
Why don't you try to go somewhere that has more reasonable prices, but still a great scene? I recommend somewhere like The Hall at Palihouse in WeHo. The prices are absolutely tolerable, there is a great outside patio, it's full of Hollywood scenesters, and by 10pm the bar is a hot spot!
The Hall At Palihouse
8465 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Based on what you're looking for I think Beechwood would be a perfect option - cool decor, a bit scene-y, but definitely solidly executed food, both in the bar and in the dining room. Also (especially in the bar) "within reason" in terms of price range.
My suggestion? Take her to Jar, cause that's what she wants. You go out to spots for you all the time. On her day, take her where she wants to go!
If you can't bear to eat the food, give her the $$$ to go herself.
I one time asked to go to Medieval Times for my birthday. I knew the food sucked, I wanted to see sexy sweaty men in armor bashing each other about. My father instead, "surprised" me and took me somewhere else-somewhere more to his tastes really. The food was probably better -no, wait, it was Palermo, the food still sucked! There was a definite dearth of sweaty-armor-bashing men, so I didn't really notice.
I was disappointed. It was my special day, and all I wanted was the bashing, sweat, armor dudes and a really screwed up pretend feast. What I got was Palermo. What a let down!
Yeesh, with a little research, he could have split the difference and taken me to Picana and asked the poofy pants servers to whack each other with the skewers. But it still wouldn't have been the same.
Never have been to Medieval Times. I guess I should go to the next Ren Faire, if I can force my husband against his will. A turkey leg and jousting may have to do.
I think you are way offbase here. I could be much more sympathetic if she requested one of the really overpriced, scene-only places: Geisha House, Koi, Katsu-ya, the Ivy. But Jar is one of the better restaurants in SoCal. You can have one of the best dishes around: their potroast. Add some fries or mashed potatoes or purple yams, split a starter or salad, share some sides -- great meal. At Rustic Canyon you can't be heard at dinner, Wilshire is very good but not appreciably less expensive, The Penthouse at the Huntley is great for a drink but the food is horribly overpriced and poor, with the possible exception of brunch according to one poster (and figure in the valet and everyone having their hands out for tips). And since Diana is not pining after sweaty armor-clad jousters at Boneyard Bistro this thread, I gotta agree that when you ask and get a specific answer, it should be honored unless there is a really good reason to choose elsewhere. At most 23-year-old's BD bashes, the bar bill far outweighs the food anyway.
If she's set on Jar, then you should go there. It's her day, and hey, you know you'll at least get a great meal! Order a medium priced bottle of wine instead of letting everyone order individual (did I spell that right? It looks weird.) cocktails/glasses of wine, that should cut down the cost considerably. Your daughters a lucky girl for having parents that will take her to a great dinner for her birthday--my 30th was this summer, my parents took me to brunch at El Torito. Oh well, I guess it's about the memories you create, right? Plus I got free flan.
I agree that you should go to Jar. If you like the food, and she likes the decor, it should be nice. As long as nobody gets the big steak, you should be able to go for less than $100 pp. Most of the entrees are under $30 and most of the appetizers under $20.
Actually, comparing the menus, I'm not sure Jar's food is significantly more expensive than Rustic Canyon's. Other than the burger, the mains at Rustic Canyon run $20-$32. At Jar, other than the steaks, the entrees are $20-$29. Entrees at Rustic Canyon $9 to $18; at Jar, they are $10 to $18. (Jar may rely a bit more on sides, but Rustic Canyon has sides, too.) If you go someplace for drinks to experience the "scene," you're going to spent $10-$15 per person for drinks and an additional amount for parking.
Thanks for all the input. Yesterday I went to Jar and got her a gift certificate, then I headed over to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. Tonight I'm cooking her a meal that I think will approach Jar and have a much larger component of love: Burrata with heirloom tomatoes and 40yr old Balsamic, blanched asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with a mint puree, roasted salmon with roasted tomatoes on pearl couscous with lemon-basil oil, caesar salad and Beard Papas for dessert.