BD dinner: Mike and Anne's or Central Park?
My parents want to take me & my husband out to dinner for my birthday. It'll be a Sunday evening, so although I'd like sushi, I don't know that Sundays are the best days.
From looking at the board, it seems that Mike and Anne's and Central Park are both highly recommended, moderately priced, new-to-me, and local. (We're in Altadena, they're in Temple City.)
Places we've gone before are Arroyo Chophouse (husband's favorite) and the Derby (parents' favorite,) Celestino's, Smitty's, and Ai, to give you an idea.
Knowing all this, which one should we go to? Or, any other suggestions?
I think you'd have an outstanding sushi experience at Toro's Japanese Fusion in Alhambra. I've read spotty reviews on their table service, but have never had more than a stellar experience at the bar. And, I wouldn't let the Sunday date turn you off to it. They are very particular about what they serve.
I haven't tried Central Park for dinner, and I'm not too crazy about Mike & Anne's anymore (had a couple awful service issues in a row) but between the two, I'd pick Mike & Anne's for the ambiance (bistro feel, nice patio dining, very casual). Portions at Mike & Anne's can be on the small side, sometimes, but the food is good.
All that said - based on your history and what you are looking for, I'd point you to La Grande Orange.
It's hard to say either one is a poor choice, but I definitely think of Mike and Anne's as fitting for special occasions. It's fancy enough that I asked about having a rehearsal dinner there. (They very politely declined.) Almost every time I've had excellent service, and the menu is varied enough that everyone can be happy. If you go, start with sweet potato fries as an appetizer and they will be GONE before you know it. Right now they are doing a special steak with chimmichuri sauce, but I think that the flat iron steak on the regular menu is slightly better. Happy Birthday!