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Sep 29, 2009 08:28 PM

Recommendations for wife's birthday on the West Side or in South Bay?

Hi all. My wife and I recently moved to LA after living in NYC for many years. Her birthday is coming up and I wanted to take her out to a great restaurant, so I'm turning to the experts.

She primarily loves fish, veggies and fruits, and is not a fan of sauces or heavy dishes. (Not a big fan of red meat or game either.) That usually means we avoid traditional French cuisine. She tends to go for dishes that focus on the quality of the ingredients rather than layer upon layer of flavor, so relatively simple (but supremely tasty) cuisine is what I'm trying to locate.

We're going to have a party of five or more, so the place doesn't have to have an intimate, romantic vibe. That being said, since it's her birthday, I'm not looking for a fish shack on PCH (although I hear good things...).

We are in Marina del Rey, but are up for driving pretty much anywhere on the West Side or South Bay. Anybody have suggestions for a guy still learning the LA restaurant scene? Thanks so much!

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  1. Suggest taking a look at Tavern's Brunch menu. A good variety of food; everything I have tried is delicious. It is much more mellow on Saturday and Sunday (brunch is from 10-2:15).
    This would be my first choice given your criteria.

    1. We had a fantastic meal at Joe's on Abbott Kinney in Venice just last weekend. It's pretty much exactly what you describe. I don't think you could go wrong there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CulverJack

        Will second Joe's.

        Also near you is Cafe del Rey, which has great simple food.

        I know you requested Westside or South Bay, but if your wife is truly a fish person, you might consider making the drive to Providence north of Miracle Mile west of Hancock Park.

        1. re: Emme

          second emme's recommendation of
          cafe del rey in marina del rey.
          top flight ingredients
          pretty restaurant with nice views
          good service
          good wine list
          menu focus is more on fish than it is on mammals.
          food is not at all greasy/buttery/frou frou

      2. if you're willing to venture away from the Westside, there are some CH-beloved seafood options in Hollywood...Providence & Hungry Cat come to mind.

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Providence is an excellent of the few Michelin rated restaurants in Los Angeles...

        2. Thanks for all the suggestions. These look great.

          1. Lots of very positive comments on the LA board to Gjelina in Venice.


            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA