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Jul 21, 2009 07:38 PM

ex-OC native needs dining suggestions

Please help out an ex-OC native... my adorable niece is turning 3 years old and my husband and I are treating her and the rest of the family to a celebratory birthday dinner . Unfortunately, it's been 10+ years since I have lived there, so am completely clueless on what the soCal dining scene is like these days.

Husband and I are loyal chowhounders so we are looking for a restaurant suitable for a 3 year old but also serving amazing food to please the adults. We don't get the chance to see our family too often so we want this to be a really nice meal.

Budget: up to $75 per person (excluding wine)
Cuisine: anything except Mexican/Tex Mex, French or Indian
Location: anywhere in OC or Santa Monica/Beverly Hills/Hollywood area

I've heard of Napa Rose - is that ok for 3 years old? I don't want to disrupt other diners if my niece decides to misbehave. What else is out there?

Also, what are some other must-eat places for my husband and I to try while we are visiting? Last time I lived there, Wolfgang Puck's restaurant was all the rage!

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  1. Downtown Disney would be a great place for your niece, but not the Napa Rose. If you're flexible about the meal, there's a character breakfast at the Storyteller's Cafe - also in the Grand Californian. Or, for something a little different, try Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. They've got a kids menu, and enough New Orleans heat to please the grown-ups. And beignets for dessert. Work off your meal with a walk around Downtown Disney, or treat your niece to Build A Bear. It would be a memorable day for her, no doubt.

    Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
    1590 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

    Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
    1600 S Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bogey153

      Thanks Bogey! I really like the idea of the Character breakfast and then taking my niece to Build A Bear afterwards.

    2. For you and your husband, I would suggest an evening at Napa Rose...consistently one of the best restaurants in the OC. Up in the SM/BH/Hollywood area, there's a plethora of choices. Urasawa for sushi, Bazaar or Saam...if you don't have Jose Andres were you live, or Providence for seafood (Chef Cimarusti has been a winner of Iron Chef America vs. Morimoto and is currently competing in tonight's Top Chef Masters) case you're not from NY or SF.

      5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

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

      Napa Rose Restaurant
      1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

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

      Saam at The Bazaar
      465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA