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Jan 24, 2009 05:36 PM

Tasting menu for birthday w/o breaking the bank?

I would like to do a tasting menu if possible for my birthday. Since the guy is footing the bill (and not a huge foodie), I don't want to give him sticker shock either. I'm also looking for no more than $70ish/pp for the tasting menu (food only). That rules out places like Spago, Stonehill Tavern, or Providence. I know Dine LA is coming up, but we'll be dining outside that time frame.

Grace is offering their 5 course menu for $55 indefinitely, Luques sunday supper sounds good, and Joe's on Abbot Kinney does 3 courses for $45. I live in OC so open to the usual out here like Old Vine or Napa Rose (haven't been to either) but more than willing to go out to LA. Goal is to get a sampling of good food from a great restaurant where we feel like we're getting our money's worth.

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  1. Hatfield's, of course...

    Osteria Mozza's is 69/person

    I've heard Sunday is the worst day to go to Lucques...they're probably swamped.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaykayen

      Hatfield's is on the higher end of my range ($80), but sounds sooo good. Maybe I can swing a two-fer since my birthday is near Valentines :)

    2. Bashan Restaurant in Glendale (Montrose border) has a 5 course Tasting Menu for $70 right on the nose...

      1. If you are willing to stretch the price a bit (to about $80pp for food only), there is no better special occasion experience in OC than dinner at The Hobbit in Orange. It is truly a multicourse extravaganza starting with complimentary champagne and wonderful hors d'oeuvres in their wine cellar, followed by a wonderful prix-fixe dinner in their beautiful, formal dining room. Check out their website at:

        1. Gonpachi has one for 60.

          XIV can do a light one for 55 bucks, or create your own from the 8 dollar plates.

          Tagine's is under 50 bucks still i think

          Bouchees Bistro in Long Beach for the 70 dollar burger tasting menu w/ alcohol pour
          ( pics from one person's experience


          Il Grano is 75

          Prix fixe at K-Zo for just under 60.

          You could compose one at Orris.

          if you're amenable to not going on a saturday...
          Hatfield's market menu ($46pp)
          Jiraffe has a 3 course bistro menu on Monday nights ($35)
          Lou on Vine - Monday Nights 3 courses + wine pairings $55
          Campanile - Monday night 3 courses $40

          4 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            i only tried it once, but was very disappointed with the tasting menu at il grano.
            every single cooked fish dish was OVERcooked.
            at this price level, it was unexcusable.

            1. re: Emme

              When is the Hatfield's market menu available? I see the mention of it on their website, but no details.

            2. Restaurant 561 in Pasadena (it's the restaurant for the California School of Culinary Arts)