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Anniversary Dinner

My 2nd wedding anniversary is coming up and Im all out of Ideas. We celebrate our 1st wedding annivesary at Melisse. Had the Chef's Tasting and loved it. We've been to providence several times, spago, Valentino, Hatfield's, Bastide, Ortolan, Charlie Palmer, Comme Ca, Lucques, etc I want to surprise her with something different, it's hard to go out of town as our anniversary falls on a weekday.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I have a Bazaar suggestion for you. ;-D>

    The Bazaar by José Andrés
    465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

    1. Urasawa?

      Urasawa Restaurant
      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      5 Replies
      1. re: maxzook

        I've thought about Urasawa, still contemplating.

        Bazaar looks good, how's the food? There's alot of stuff in their menu i'd love to get hahaha

        1. re: JMan604

          Just duplicate the Exilekiss menu, as you'll see in his review below and you'll be fine (lol)


            1. re: lotta_cox

              So Bazaar's "theme" is going from one room to the other? I am right or wrong?

            2. re: JMan604

              Bazaar is great. Try to sit in the Rojo Room. The best way to order is to tell your server the type of things you like and dont like and the amount of food you want and let the server pick. Otherwise the menu is too extensive to make informed picks especially if its your first time. This is one of the very best spots in the City.

          1. Have you been to Josie yet? if not, that would be one of my top choices.

            2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I second Josie, I was going to rec Saddle Peak Lodge, but not for a weeknight. Josie is a close second. I think Tavern in the evening could be really romantic too.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Agree with Josie. Everything there is great and it's reliable.
                A few months ago, I would have recommended Craft...but with their recent major shake-up, I don't know. Has anyone been to Craft recently?

              2. Bazaar is really good. Outdoors at Chateau Marmont is incredible. The patio at Polo Lounge is also very nice.

                1. You can always do a picnic basket & enjoy a concert @ the Hollywood Bowl....

                  1. My wife and I have spent our 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and this weekend, our 25th anniversaries at Campanile. We've been going since it opened. Rarely had a bad meal, the place is classy, with interesting cuisine, good service and a relatively friendly environment. So far, it's worked for us.

                    1. Happy Anniversary! Any of the options above are great.

                      For something different: go to the venice boardwalk and at around 730pm/sunset have some european beers and sit outside at on the waterfront. then walk over and have dinner at piccolo.

                      1. I have to take bazaar out of the list, after seeing exile kiss' review a few times I decided to go with my wife there later after work :D

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JMan604

                          Go to the Hotel Bel Air and get a room if you can. Food is great and it is beyond romantic!

                          1. re: BrookieStyles

                            Unless they have very significantly improved their kitchen in the past six months, I would not recommend the restaurant. Although the setting, especially on the outside patio, is extraordinary, in recent years the quality of the food has dropped so much, that I can't possibly recommend this restaurant. Would love to hear other's opinions?

                            1. re: josephnl

                              Hmmm...last I ate there was about 8 months ago and it was wonderful. Perhaps not the BEST meal ever but matched with that romantic patio it really makes for a memorable experience IMHO

                        2. I'll check out Hotel Bel-Air, the manager at Ritz Carlton still owes me a night after a boo-boo.

                          Went to Bazaar last night, got a 6pm reservation, got there at 6:40pm, still got us in with no problem. Place is fantastic, Food was great except for the tomato-mozzarella pippettes.

                          Red win Sangria: not your traditional sangria that they serve in Spain; abit on the redwine taste with fruity after tones. Pretty good though in a different way.

                          Jamon Iberico de Bellota: my my my...I was floored with it's taste. It just melts in your mouth, not too salty, the way all cured meat should be.

                          selection of 5 cheeses: My favorite of the bunch was the Manchego, La Serena, Valdeon (especially when mixed with the quince jam) , Murcia Al Vino, and then Idiazebal.

                          Mussel Latas: this one I ordered cuz' of Exilekiss' review, I guess my expectations were too high, as for me, it lacked a top-end taste. While delicious, it fell short however no doubt this will bring the sea to your table.

                          Sea Urchin Latas: In Exilekiss' words "the world is all right" haha this was the one that made me feel that everything is perfect in this world we live in. Creamy & Buttery, no briney after-taste, as expected to a great quality UNI.

                          Croquetas de Pollo: It is what a croquetas should be, brought us to our childhood days on snacking on these bit-size goodness. Very light, not too salty, creamy yet able to hold it's consistency.

                          Cotton Candy Foie Gras: very nice, in one bite, the sweetness of the cotton candy goes very well with the saltiness of the foie gras terrine, the foie gras has a nice nutty after-taste. Very thick and creamy.

                          Mozzarella-tomato pipettes: not a good way to end, this came last and this one dissapointed the most. The mozzarella fluid on each pipettes was not consistent with the last one being really really salty.

                          After this, we asked our server to be seated at the Patisserie area, we got a nice table where it was just the both of us and our HALF-DRANK Sangria (it's capital as this will become a problem before the night ends). We ordered the nitro-coconut as suggested by our patesserie server. It was noticable that on this side, the service is slower and feels like they're not there. Servers were running around the place like chickens with their heads cut off. After eating our dessert, we had asked our server that we would like to pick some desserts to bring home, which he obliged that he'll bring us to the counter-top where the cookies/bonbons/etc were, he came back after 15 minutes, asked us if we were ready to get some goodies, stood up, walked maybe 4 feet from our table where the counter-top was, he basically disappeared without letting us know that he had to find some tongs, he reappeared 3 minutes later and we had noticed that SOMEONE cleared our table with our HALF-DRANK SANGRIA and given the table to another couple. We picked our to go goodies, we let our server know that our tables were cleared (we weren't ready to go as we wanted to finish our drinks before going home), he said he'll see what he can do, then 30 seconds later, the manager (i think - suit, radio ear peice, and goatee) asked us if we were helped already, we let him know that our table were given away and that our SANGRIA was cleared. He bascially gave us a blank stare and offered if we wanted coffee/tea instead, we said "no..we just wanted to finish our sangria", once again blank stare, he then said "we'll take care of you, don't worry". Meaning....? will he take the sangria out of the bill? Well, a few minutes later, our server came back with the to-go goodies along with the bill that we never even asked for in the beginning. We were so turned off by then that we just decided to pay for it and go, low and behold, the sangria was still in the bill for $48. We, at this time, was someone irritated and disgusted at the service. We didn't even bother complaining at this time as we know nothing will be done anyways, the bill came to $192 tax included. $0 tip. This is the first time EVER in my life not to give any tip. I tip at chinese restaurants in roland heights no matter how slow the service is. A restaurant like Bazaar isn't a place where I expect to have a service like this. I wrote a note on the receipt on why I put a big fat "$0" on the tip section. I've never been so turned off by a restaurant, rest assured, I won't be recommending this place to any of my friends no matter how cool the "ambiance" or how different the concept is.

                          There's more than a handful of restaurants like Bazaar where I rather spend like Providence, Spago, Ortolan, Melisse etc. I really hope and pray that they don't get a michelin star as they don't deserve it.

                          I'll post pics tonight.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: JMan604

                            Oy, now I am rethinking my birthday dinner plans there later this month. Trust me on Hotel Bel-Air, the service is top notch and they will treat you like royalty especially if they know it's your anniversary. Take it from a woman, go there at sunset and your wifey will be swooning. And if you can swing it, get a room with the hot tub outside....amazing!

                            1. re: BrookieStyles

                              Agree with the romantic part...patio is fabulous, rooms are incredible, hotel service is the best...only, I would not even consider eating there except for breakfast. The food in the restaurant is very mediocre and very expensive. There is far better food in elegant restaurants within a very short drive of the hotel.

                              1. re: josephnl

                                I really don't think the food is so terrible. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly no Melisse or Sona but I have never had a subpar meal there perhaps more in part to do with the extraordinary service and gorgeous setting than the food, who knows! However, if you are hesitant to eat there and still want to incorporate a staycation at the hotel another fun option would be to have dinner at Vibrato which is nearby, listen to some jazz, then come back to the hotel for dessert and more romance.


                                1. re: BrookieStyles

                                  Now your talkin" No, I really don't think the food there is terrible, it's just that when you have such a beautiful spot, and the prices are so high, and the history is so storied, that one (me) expects better food than they deliver. It's a shame because at one time they had truly wonderful food. Fortunately, there are many excellent restaurants nearby where one can have a terrific dinner, and sill feel like you've died and gone to heaven when you return to the Hotel Bel-Air to sleep and have breakfast on the patio in the morning.