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Need help finding restaurant for Sat. Night

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So, I want to surprise my husband with a dinner out on Saturday night (got a babysitter). I am thinking of something similar to Jar or Lucques in type of food and price point. Thought about Craft but it's a little bit more pricey than I was looking for. Open to West Hollywood area, Westside, Santa Monica or Venice, though Santa Monica/Venice would be ideal. Right now I have a reservation at Hal's in Venice, but a friend just described it as mediocre.

Many thanks!!

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  1. Wilshire or JiRaffe, in your neck of the woods... the former would be lovely on the patio.

    1. Craft might be doable considering their new Craftbar menu with smaller plates and very reasonable prices. If you were considering Hal's, read the recent thread on Gjelina a bit further south on Abbott Kinney -- we had a really fun dinner there with wave after wave of food. I especially liked the lamb sausage pizza -- great crust with a real blistered char and a lot of spice in the topping. One last thought -- I still love Chinois on Main, and it can be a really tasty experience, not horribly pricey if you stick with the smaller dishes and split one entree -- the sliced filet in szechwan sauce or the whole deepfried catfish with ponzu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        nosh, i agree with all you said, but particularly agree that the catfish served at chinos is delicious.

        at gjilina, we loved virtually everything that arrived at the table--the roasted cauliflower was a revelation, the pizza was terrific. . . .

        1. re: westsidegal

          Tried to make a reservation at Gjilina on Tuesday and they were booked.

      2. Second recommendation for Wilshire. I also recommend Axe or Nook.

        1. Hal's is good but nothing special. In Santa Monica/Venice, I would probably do either Jiraffe or Josie. Josie is a little more expensive and formal, Jiraffe is a bit more relaxed, both have very good food. I haven't been to Wilshire yet but it's certainly well-recommended on this board. Another thought is Anisette...I've been for brunch a few times, but never for dinner, but other hounds seem to enjoy it for dinner as well. This is a more casual bistro, but prices are probably still similar to Jiraffe.

          1. Lately I've been rather fond of Fig in Santa Monica - nice seasonal fare and I like their preparation of Steak Frites. Jiraffe is nice but it can get pretty noisy.

            Hatfield's is also a viable option, esp. with their $46/person market menu.

            ~H.C.
            http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: AquaW

              If you request to be seated upstairs at Jiraffe it is not noisy, and you have a nice view overlooking the restaurant.