Birthday dinner for 9 in the Pasadena area
So I've been selected to choose a restaurant for my dad's birthday for a group of people who are some of the pickiest people on the planet. Anyway, there will be 9 of us, one of them is a 5-year-old. The Pasadena area would be ideal, though we may be able to go to downtown. I've been looking through the boards, but have yet to come up with anything great.
In terms of cuisine, we're looking for American, fusion, Asian or possibly South American (but not Mexican). My aunt is super picky about food. There's no real budget, but we would rather skip the Langham because it's a bit too much fine dining for the 5-year old. In terms of ambience, nothing too loud. A private room would be ideal though not necessary. I think everyone might have been happy at Shiro, but alas they are not open on Tuesdays. They don't want to do Chinese in the San Gabriel, etc. area because we did that last year. Oh, and not Maison Akira because we were there recently.
So far, I've come up with the following places, but I haven't been to any of them, so I can't tell if the ambience will be okay or how good the food is:
Green Street Tavern
Palate Food & Wine (Glendale)
What do you think about these places? Or do you have any other suggestions that might fit the bill?
I've heard nothing but good things about Palate and have been told that the atmosphere is very casual...should be fine for a 5 year old.
El Portal for Yucatecan in Pasadena is fantastic and sounds like the perfect atmosphere for your party.
695 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101
Oh! And if you're going downtown I'm sure you could arrange ahead of time something with The Wood Spoon. They're super. Brazilian. You won't get a private room but the food will be fantastic. Definately want to let them know you're coming though. Will be fine for a 5 year old.
107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Green Street Tavern is good but very small and might be hard for that size group. Palate has a big private table in the "library"-- well worth considering. It's casual enough for a 5-year-old, although it might be hard to find food a 5-year-old will like, if my kids at 5 were any indication. Roy's is fine but is kind of boring because it's a chain. Malbec is a people-pleaser with something for everyone, but it's one open room, no private spaces.
If money is not an object, I would consider Derek's on Glenarm. It's lovely, and the food is excellent, and they have a private room that should be perfect. It's pricey, though, but certainly no more than the Langham.
I know you said that you did not want to do the Langham due to the 5 year-old and fine dining. But if he can make it through the evening, then the Langham would be a great choice. Chef Strong can make him anything. My 5 year-old had mac and cheese that he loved. just a thought.
I'm not clear on what people in your party are picky about. It is presentation, service, quality of food, quantity, how contemporary it is? Have you considered Parkway Grill? It is always a crowd pleaser. The setting is pretty, the service very good as well as the food. www.smithbrothersrestaurants.com/ Also, the Smith Brothers (they own Parkway Grill) have taken over the old Delacy Club 41 which is now the Spitfire Saloon. The menu is not up yet but if the interior is anything like the old Club Delacy, it has a very comfortable clubby feel with lots of booths. My husband who knows my taste said it is very good. I have foodie/wine friends who love, love, love Palate but the service could be hit or miss. Look it up to see what people have said.