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Aug 17, 2009 10:06 PM

most fancy-pants resto in LA?

a friend of mine's mom is turning 80something. they had the big bash for the zero year, but this bday, she wants the family to go out for a dinner somewhere where they can dress to the nines. of course, they also enjoy good food, so please help me make some suggestions to make betty's birthday dinner special.

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  1. The Dining Room at Hotel Bel-Air?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Just make sure if you pick Hotel Bel-Air that you go before the end of September when they will be closing the entire hotel for 1.5 to 2 years for a complete remodel.

    2. Melisse, Ortolan, Providence and Valentino all come to mind. Dressy would also not be wholly out-of-place at Spago, though there will be plenty of more casually dressed patrons as well.

      5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

      176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      Melisse Restaurant
      1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

      8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

      Valentino (Santa Monica)
      3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

      1 Reply
      1. re: New Trial

        Nice list. (Although, the last time I was at Melisse I had sand in my leeks and was surrounded by hippster doufuses in red leather and t-shirts.)

        If you or anyone else in your party is a member of one of the private dining clubs around town (the City Club, California Club, or Jonathan Club, for instance), those might be good options for this sort of thing as well.

        City Club On Bunker Hill
        333 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA

        1. I would highly recommend Melisse. I had an incredible meal there last Friday. I like Providence also, but it just did not compare to Melisse.

          Your friend's family may be a little overdressed compared to the rest of the room, since you might get people in business casual at Melisse. (One man walked in on Friday night in a polo shirt and flip flops, though most men were dressed in slacks and dress shirts, with about half wearing jackets.) However, the waiters and maitre d's are in suits and ties, so dressing up won't be too out of place.

          I have also done dressed to the nines at Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas and Spago. Both are great food and wonderful special occasion restaurants.

          1. The Magic Castle, while not the greatest food (although the Beef Wellington I had last time I was there was not bad) is fun, because there is a dress code, men have to be in ties, women must be in cocktail attire, even a tuxedo wouldn't be out of place. I'm not sure about gaining entry, though, since it is a private club.

            2 Replies
            1. re: schrutefarms

              I must respectfully disagree. While the food may have gotten better to being passable, I don't think the Castle is the most navigable place, especially for an 80 year old. The last two times I have been, the place has been so crowded, it was almost impossible to walk down certain hallways.

              Also, while there's a dress code, I get the giggles, because there are tons of bridemaids dresses displayed. (Again, not the measured, dignified feeling for an octogenarian.)

              1. re: cjla

                True that. I was just thinking of the dress-up dress code.