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Firm Xmas Lunch, 20 ppl, Sherman Oaks to Woodland Hills?

I've been tasked with finding a place for our firm's Christmas lunch this year, because the boss is tired of our traditional digs: Bistro Gardens.

Is there anything else somewhat similar to that (in terms of cost and level of elegance), somewhere between Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills, for a firm lunch next week? They lean towards Italian or French (or American, of course), rather than Asian. I tried for MAx Restaurant, but it was shot down as "too Asian, not Christmassy enough".

Thoughts?

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  1. It might be a little further east, but Ca 'del Sole is lovely. They have a great patio...the inside room is warm and cozy. They also have a couple of private rooms. The food and service are very nice. I've done private parties there and been very pleased.

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk

      Ha! One step ahead of you. Already sent upstairs for consideration... I'm waiting to hear if the extra distance is ok. (We're in Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks was the outside range, but it'd certainly be my first choice.) Good thought! I love that place.

    2. I'm sure you have probably already thought of this, and I know nothing about this place other than that it exists but, how about Villa Piacere in Woodland Hills?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks

        I had one of the worst meals I've ever had at Villa Piacere. It's a shame because the space is nice, but you would have to pay me to go back.

        Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks is a very good for a group lunch (it's a family fallback place for even brunches like birthdays and baby showers).

        Roy's in Woodland Hills may be considered too Asian, but the food is quite good. There also is Kate Mantillini, but I don't know how that is for a group.

        Brandywine is expensive Continental food. In Tarzana, Le Sanglier is old-school French. I have not been to either for an event (and it's been years since I went to Le Sanglier).

        Another option is La Frite in Woodland Hills. I don't know whether it has a private room for a group your size.

        1. re: Jwsel

          Is Roy's open for lunch?

      2. There are also the chain steak places on Canoga/Topanga -- Ruth's Chris, Flemings, and Morton's.

        Ca 'del Sole is also a good choice. Boneyard Bistro is outstanding, although perhaps not quite up to the level of ambiance you seem to be seeking.

        If you are willing to drive from WH to SO, could you go the other direction and do Brandywine?

        2 Replies
        1. re: a213b

          Piacere is not what it used to be, IMO. We've had many firm lunches there in the past, though. The boss wants something different, I suspect.

          Ruth Chris would be a good choice (and they're right across the street), but they don't do lunch. Bummer.

          They want to keep to the East as much as possible, as a couple of important clients are joining us, coming from Diamond Bar, so Brandywine isn't an option. I haven't been there yet, myself, but it's definitely on my list of places to try!

          The boss likes the look of Ca' Del Sol. We've made tentative reservations for the group, but he wants to try it out first sometime during the next few days, to be sure. Hopefully that works. I'm curious about Il Tiramisu as an alternate, but I haven't eaten there so can't be certain of the appropriateness, unlike Ca' Del Sole. If neither of those work out, I think they want to punt and just default back to Bistro Gardens.

          1. re: CompuDude

            I don't think you'd be happy at Il Tiramisu. Food and ambiance are weak.

        2. Have you tried Mistral in Sherman Oaks? Or Larsen's Steakhouse in Encino?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Kate is always hungry

            Mistral looks great... I actually sent myself info earlier today, to remind myself to take the wife there sometime. My impression, however, from the limited info available about it (they have no web site?) is that it's too small and may actually be too expensive for this lunch. I do look forward to trying it, though.

            Lots of Steakhouse options around here (Woodland Hills). I don't think that's what they want.

            Keep the suggestions coming, though, there will be other lunches! Always best to go to the yummy ones on someone else's dime!

            1. re: CompuDude

              I had a B-day brunch at Cafe Bazoo on Ventura in Sherman Oaks. I think they have good food. The place is small, but European and nice. Pinot Bistro is another French Restaurant on Ventura blvd. Emilio's on Ventura is another pretty good place.
              Many small Restaurants line Ventura Blvd. For a larger fancier one, try Mortons in woodland Hills.

              1. re: irene661

                After returning both my wife's entree and mine the last time we were at Pinot Bistro because they were both completely inedible, we are done with PB -- and, in fact, ALL Patina group restaurants.

                Joachim Splichal can suck it; his food is garbage.

            2. re: Kate is always hungry

              Mistral is good, yet quite small for a group that size.
              And is Larsen's still open in Encino - heard it was either closed or closing?
              And Max for lunch is not that Asian, btw., and definitely more holidayish now that it has been remodeled from its previous fairly bland off-white look. You should take a look at it.

            3. Delmonico's on Ventura Blvd is nice at Christmas.

              1. 'Tis the season again. Boss definitely wants alternatives to Bistro Gardens this time. Ca Del Sole is out, unfortunately... boss liked the food but thought it was tacky inside.

                Any new suggestions?

                1 Reply
                1. re: CompuDude

                  Read my review of the new place in Studio City called Raphael. Not tacky whatsoever, and the food is delicious. Think they are open for lunch, yet not positive.
                  Look at the website for the pics. And the way the place is set up, you would either take the entire left side of the restaurant fronting Ventura Blvd., or the right side front to back toward the kitchen.
                  Give them a call once you have looked over the menu and pics. Can't imagine any disappointment , unless you want mixed drinks as it has beer & wine only.