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Dinner To Meet The “Present” Love-Of-Her-Life

My granddaughter is an attractive, sexy, totally cool, highly intelligent 26 year old who has a Masters in Public Administration and a high profile position with the City of Burbank. He’s a 29 year old cop with the LAPD but far from the typical cop. He’s intelligent, degreed, compassionate, understanding and in every way reminds me of the “old-school-romantics” of fifty or sixty years ago, by always saying and doing those things that used to make a woman feel special, loved, and needed. They were both born in Colombia, and came here when they were very young. She wants me to meet him, and he’s panicked at the thought. I want to take them to dinner at some restaurant where he won’t feel inhibited, either by it or by me. He prefers the casual to the formal. The San Fernando Valley is preferable but not mandatory. Athough they both eat all ethnic cuisines, his particular favorite is a meat-and-potatoes American restaurant. I would like the cost not to exceed $100.00. Would appreciate your suggestions.

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    1. re: Harry Nile

      My first instinct would be the Smokehouse in Toluca Lake. I'm jealous that your granddaughter has such a loving grandpa!

      1. re: Bria Silbert

        Yes, the Smoke House is a great idea! I've forgotten about it. I'll checkl it out. Thank you, Bria.

        1. re: Bria Silbert

          their online menu doesn't list prices for their dinner entrees.
          any idea about how much the place costs?

          1. re: westsidegal

            Hi, westsidegal. I can always rely on your being here. You're right. I just checked the menu on one of their sites, and there are no prices. Thank you for pointing that out.

      2. Columbo's Steakhouse in Eagle Rock. Old school and comfy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PurpleTeeth

          Thank you, raytamsgy. I'll check it out. And you're absoutely right. Let's hope he doesn'r read Chowhound. Thanks for the suggestin.

        2. I always enjoy Cafe Bizoul. I think the Valley location has a little better food, but the Pasadean location has a more upscale vibe. Dinner for 3 should come out right at $100 and they have $2 corkage, so you can bring a nice bottle of wine and not blow the budget. The menu is basic Continental, so they have steaks, chops and seafood nicely done, a little bump from basic meat and potatoes but not intimidating.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ocshooter

            You're absolutely correct, ocshooter. I've been a Cafe Bizou fan since the week it opened at its original location. But I am taking my two grandaughters and their mother to Cafe Bizou to celebrate another occasion. But a million thanks! You're right on target. Now I have to find another one....like a less expensive Smoke House.

            1. re: jwrites4u

              You might check out the Wine Bistro on Ventura Blvd. It has been ages since I have been, but it is very nice and I think they have a Prix fixe menu that can fit your budget. Again, nice, but not intimidating.

          2. What a lucky granddaughter you have!
            I haven't been in years and it may border on being too casual (sawdust on the floors), but what about USA Ribs in Burbank? I think it would fit your budget. Though I've never been, I've heard some good things about the newish Laurel Tavern (gastropub) in Studio City.

            3 Replies
            1. re: whatsfordinner

              Thank you, whatsfordinner. I'm not familiar with either of these, so i will certainly check thm out. Again....Thank you

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                from their website, it appears that laurel tavern just serves burgers and other bar food. no reservations.

                1. re: whatsfordinner

                  I think you mean Ribs USA. It's a very very casual place. But I have somehow never eaten there.

                2. How about Damon's in Glendale. The steaks are excellent. Prices are moderate. Decor is old style 1960s Polynesian. My daughter and I ate there last week and we were both very pleased with everything except the house salad which she ordered with her dinner but you can order soup instead as I did, clam chowder which was fine. The restaurant was nearly full and the service was still very good.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam D.

                    Hi, Sam

                    You get a gold star, so go to the head of the class. I have decided on Damon's It's perfect! It reminds of of a small chain of like restauranrs in the 60s and 70s. I can't remember the name but my wife and I went there many many times. There was one on Fairfax in Hollywood. There was another on Olympic just west of the VA. This sounds as if it's the same re-born. Thank you for your suggestion. This is one I would never have thought of.

                  2. You might consider Bistro Provence in Burbank.

                    But if you really want to make a good impression, don't let on that you consider this man to be the "present" love of her life as though you expect him to be one in a long string of men.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lrhr

                      If it were only that easy, Irhr. Unfortunaterly it's the other way around. I am 84 years old. Three years ago I "adopted" these two sisters and their mother. We are more "family" than many families. They call me "grandpa", and I adore the three of them. This young man has heard so much about "Grandpa" that he is panicked at the thought of meeting me. I'm trying to arrange a dinner where he will not be any more intimidated than he already is. But many thanks for your thoughts.

                      1. re: jwrites4u

                        Have you thought of doing a meal at home? I always find that so much more relaxing. You could order up something from say a Bristol Farms or Whole Foods and let the girls serve it up. Just a thought.

                        1. re: JEN10

                          Good thought, Jen....but neither viable nor appropriate.

                    2. If the request does not need to be strictly American, perhaps you might consider the following:
                      >Gaucho Grill - Woodland Hills - has meat and (mashed) potatoes, plus a lot of other choices.
                      >Buon Gusto in Mission Hills is family owned Italian (with steak, shrimp, etc.) who try hard to provide good food and service at a "value-oriented" price point. http://buongustoristo.com/Menus.htm

                      Both may be beer and wine only, not sure if that matters...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Heidi

                        one other thought in case you're open to Italian is Oliva on Van Nuys Blvd. It's good value for price point, and not an intimidating atmosphere... IMO anyway!

                          1. re: Emme

                            Thank You, Emme. I'll check it out.

                        1. JWrites4U - I don't live in LA, but what a great family you are / have!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JerryMe

                            Thank you, JerryMe. I'm the one who's fortunate.,

                          2. marche la is a great little restaurant that serves simple but beautiful food at very reasonable prices. It used to be max which was more upscale and pricey, but now you get the same ambience that's more affordable. Plates are smaller here but quality is high for the price. Service is knowlegeable, unpretentious and comfortable. There needs to be more restaurants like this in la

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: peppermonkey

                              Thank you, peppermonkey. Although I have already decided upon Damon Steak House ( in order to relive the Kelbo's of years ago), Marche is now on my "soon to dine at" list. Thank you .