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Looking for beautiful, sexy place to celebrate 20 yr anniversary w/ friends & family

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aharrist Jul 19, 2009 07:04 PM

I'm looking for a beautiful and sexy restaurant to celebrate our 20 year wedding anniversary (11/22) with family and friends. We think a tasting menu might work best as it adds to the conversation and entertainment for the night. The food and service MUST be consistently wonderful and we want to keep it around $50/ person. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    yogachik RE: aharrist Jul 19, 2009 07:13 PM

    What part of town? What neighborhood?

    1 Reply
    1. re: yogachik
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      aharrist RE: yogachik Jul 19, 2009 07:34 PM

      We don't have a preference, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Torrance, West L.A., Palos Verdes, Palisades....just somewhere "Special".

    2. Baron RE: aharrist Jul 19, 2009 07:22 PM

      for beautiful and sexy, nothing beats the Bel-Air Hotel, in my opinion. You might consider lunch or brunch. Dinner would be more than $50.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Baron
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        aharrist RE: Baron Jul 19, 2009 07:38 PM

        Thanks.

      2. cant talk...eating RE: aharrist Jul 19, 2009 07:58 PM

        Maybe define "special" and "sexy". Are you thinking big windows overlooking the Pacific, or a cozy neighborhood inn, opulent hotel, etc.

        $50 isn't going to get you much more than the tasting menu and tap water after you consider tax and tip, so I might expect to pay more like $100 pp all told for what you're looking for.

        But just brainstorming about places I've felt like people were paying attention to us - like, the staff were taking their jobs seriously - where the food was at least tasty and beautifully done start to finish, and where I walked away for under $150 for two, I'm thinking of places like Joe's (Venice - maybe the patio?), Josie's (e. Sta. Monica), Hatfield's and Ortolan (Beverly Blvd./3rd St. corridor), Cube (Melrose - back room), Wilson (Culver City). (Don't know the South Bay at all, but others may chime in.)

        One of the problems is that you'll have to tack on a lot more for wine/drinks. Even at Cube, where we had about a dozen people around the table doing a tasting menu and wine, it was close to $100 pp. Anyway, not all of the above have tasting menus, but maybe these would be good places to start. Happy anniversary!

        3 Replies
        1. re: cant talk...eating
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          Obessed RE: cant talk...eating Jul 20, 2009 11:16 AM

          I reserved the back room at Cube and customized a tasting menu with the chef and I think it was around $40 pp. It was last year and they didn't have a liquor license so everyone brought wine and there was no corkage fee. The policy may have changed since then but it would be worth looking into.

          1. re: Obessed
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            aharrist RE: Obessed Jul 25, 2009 05:32 PM

            Thanks for the information. I checked out their website and unfortunately the policy has changed..The reservation of our private room includes either:
            -an 8 course chef’s tasting menu at $75 per person
            or
            -a 6 course chef’s tasting at $60 per person. But Thanks for the suggestion just the same.

          2. re: cant talk...eating
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            aharrist RE: cant talk...eating Jul 25, 2009 06:10 PM

            Thank you for your suggestions, this gives me something more to think about. I will look at the websites online (we live up north now, but most of our friends and family reside in southern california, hence me looking on line)

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            paprkutr RE: aharrist Jul 19, 2009 08:25 PM

            First thing that came to my mind is the courtyard at Pane E Vino on Beverly Blvd. It is really nice and on a beautiful night you can just relax out there, and it should be in your budget or a just a little over.

            Now, if you want to go and have some fun, I would go to Bottega Louie down on Seventh and Grand. Only drawback it is noisy. However, you can have a great time with their menu small prices for nice portions --7or 8 dollars for portabello french fries or fresh burrata with grilled cherry tomatoes. The portions are decent size and if you order a lot you will have so much food. Full bar and bakery, great service, and free sparkling water.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paprkutr
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              aharrist RE: paprkutr Jul 25, 2009 05:41 PM

              Thank you for the information. The food at Pane E Vino looks delish! and Bottega Louie is beautiful. I'll definitely be checking these two places out.

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              torta basilica RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 11:09 AM

              The Little Door? Especially that 'patio' table. $50pp without drinks, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: torta basilica
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                chimayo RE: torta basilica Jul 20, 2009 05:53 PM

                With entrees around $38-$40, it would be near impossible to get out at $50pp, in my experience.

              2. OCAnn RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 11:12 AM

                At $50pp, you might have to do lunch instead of dinner.

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                  mollygirl RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 01:52 PM

                  How can a restaurant be "sexy"?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mollygirl
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                    aharrist RE: mollygirl Jul 25, 2009 05:48 PM

                    I guess I was trying to put the "look and feel" of a restaurant into one word. I'm looking for a beautiful restaurant with mood lighting, interesting decor, someplace that feels intimate but large enough to be comfortable. With well groomed, friendly and professional staff. Fresh cut flower displays, sparkling table and drinkware......... My list is long and can keep going.

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                    mrhooks RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 02:24 PM

                    Considering a good tasting menu is considered a bargain if it's around $10 per plate, $50 per person is not going to get you very far.

                    And I too must ask you to define "sexy."

                    That said, Ortolan has a beautiful dining room, and unlike many LA restaurants, it isn't noisy. (Although, if "sexy" means "trendy club-type atmosphere where you can see lots of celebrities and other beautiful people," that might not be a plus.) However, their smaller 8-course tasting menu is $80 without wine. They also have a small plates menu now, which is more affordable, but $50pp is still very questionable unless you only drink tap water.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mrhooks
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                      archer RE: mrhooks Jul 20, 2009 03:46 PM

                      You definitely can have a wonderful celebrative meal for 50pp, altho you may not of course manage a super high-end tasting menu experience (a la Ortalon or Providence for example). Josie's Wed. night Farmers' Market menu is a great deal @ $35 & I believe they waive the corkage for each bottle you buy off the list (so you could supply half the wine & buy the other half to reduce costs). W/ wine, tip & tax it will be over 50, but perhaps close enough (or under if the 50 is food only). Restaurant 2117 on Sawtelle also has a wonderful prix fixe menu for 32 or 35 w/ corkage only $10/bottle. Another thought would be the private room @ Pizzaria Mozza and design a fun meal combining their wonderful appetizers/small plates w/ distinctive pizza. That would definitely meet your budget. Finally, perhaps less elegant but very reasonable & entertaining would be designing a special menu @ Musha's in Santa Monica. Their tatami rooms are romantic (to me at least) & they will do a great job w/ helping you plan a memorable meal of delicious, often unusual, varied Japanese small plates.

                      1. re: archer
                        Phurstluv RE: archer Jul 20, 2009 05:01 PM

                        Also love Josie's, but would consider the room more sedate than sexy.

                      2. re: mrhooks
                        Phurstluv RE: mrhooks Jul 20, 2009 04:59 PM

                        Totally agree, would consider Ortolan sexy, and you may have the place to yourselves. Food is exceptionally outstanding, but will be much more than $50 pp.

                        1. re: Phurstluv
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                          aharrist RE: Phurstluv Jul 25, 2009 05:54 PM

                          Thanks, I just checked out Ortolan's website and it definitely has the look I am hoping for. And according to to the website it is alot more than $50pp. I'll check out Josie next.

                      3. Servorg RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 06:09 PM

                        Your description of beautiful, sexy fits one place that I can think of - Koi. However, $50 pp will mean that you and your guests will probably be stopping at In&Out for a double double on the way home. lol

                        http://www.koirestaurant.com/home.html

                        1. westsidegal RE: aharrist Jul 20, 2009 06:26 PM

                          roughly how many people in your party?

                          1. westsidegal RE: aharrist Jul 21, 2009 01:40 PM

                            basically, it seems as though you have a choice: either keeping to your $50/pp budget or getting a sexy restaurant with terrific food and service.

                            if adhering to the $50/pp budget is the top priority, i would probably go to HOUSTON'S in manhattan beach. although they do not take reservations, the restaurant is pretty, the food is good, and they offer FREE CORKAGE.

                            to come in at your budget you will absolutely need to bring your own wine/liquor.

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                              mrhooks RE: aharrist Jul 21, 2009 02:55 PM

                              Anyone know if Orris can meet the OP's criteria?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mrhooks
                                westsidegal RE: mrhooks Jul 21, 2009 06:32 PM

                                not unless you think that 'careful ordering' is workable for a group of people celebrating a 20 year anniversary,

                                personally, i've rarely seen 'careful ordering' work in such a situation. . . .

                                1. re: westsidegal
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                                  mrhooks RE: westsidegal Jul 21, 2009 06:50 PM

                                  Gotcha. Wasn't sure of the price point there, and they don't have prices online.

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                                ultraviolet RE: aharrist Jul 21, 2009 07:46 PM

                                Cliff's Edge on Sunset in Silverlake.
                                It has a spectacular outdoor area.
                                Happy Anniversary!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ultraviolet
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                                  aharrist RE: ultraviolet Jul 25, 2009 06:11 PM

                                  Thanks for the idea and well wishes. I will check out their website.

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