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SD - Ideas for fun restaurant for Sweet 16 party?

We're looking for a good place to take our daughter and 6 or so of her friends for a special, yet relaxed and fun, 16th b'day dinner. We are not looking to do an "over the top" sweet 16 party, but just give her a memorable evening. Hubby and I are almost 50 so we're pretty out of touch with places that have a younger vibe and we don't go to the Gaslamp or other trendy parts of town very much...our "go to" places are Kaito, Bety's tacos and Sab e Lee, and our kids all love ethnic food, but this time maybe we need something a little different...young, hip and festive with a bit of a "wow" factor without going over the top (no Mr. A's, etc). We're open in terms of location. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance.

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  1. Yakitori Yakyudori in Hillcrest (make reservations)
    Okan (the owner/manager is very nice and may be open to doing something "special" for her b-day)
    Oton (have fun grilling your food), although it might be tight to sit 8 at one of their grills

    3 Replies
    1. re: daantaat

      However if you reserve early enough, Oton should be able to accomodate you. (Some of their rooms are actually reconfigurable such that they can combine two consecutive rooms into one for a larger group, or split them into two individual rooms to handle a smaller group....)

      However if you have table-top grilling in mind, Tsuruhashi's a good option and can easily accommodate a party of 8.

      1. re: cgfan

        thanks for the tip on Oton! I didn't know they could reconfigure their rooms.

        1. re: cgfan

          cgfan, dantaat and all- Thanks for the great info. We still haven't finalized anything, but her b'day will be here in 2 wks so she/we need to decide asap and are enjoying thinking about the many possibilities. Thanks again.

      2. how about Cafe Sevilla?
        http://www.cafesevilla.com/locs/sanDi...

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        Cafe Sevilla Restaurant
        555 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks for the great suggestions.

          Cafe Sevilla looks interesting, but maybe a tad above the girls' age range...from the Cafe Sevilla website, the photos make it look like they're geared towards the 21 and above crowd with table/bottle service, etc. Do you have any thoughts on this? The flamenco or salsa dance shows would be a big hit - my daughter and most of her friends take hip hop or modern dance classes and love anything to do with dancing.

          I'll also check into Oton or Yakitori Yakyudori, both of which we've been meaning to try. More suggestions greatly appreciated! Thanks again.

          1. re: susan3733

            re: Cafe Sevilla, it's a full-service restaurant & tapas bar, and the restaurant is separate from the nightclub, so it shouldn't be an issue. (actually, even the club allows underage patrons - you just have to show ID to drink.)

            you might want to call them to discuss your concerns, but the girls should be fine. in fact, i'll bet it would be a special treat for them to be in such a "grown up" place :)

        2. How about Starlite or Alchemy.

          5 Replies
          1. re: honkman

            Starlite is 21+ only, but Alchemy might be a fun spot. They have an interesting menu, nice atmosphere, but not "over the top" or too expensive.

            1. re: leanneabe

              Really ? I thought that I have seen teens with their parents a few times.

              1. re: honkman

                It's possible those "teens" just look too young to be 21! We were just there a few weeks ago and they were still checking IDs at the door. It would be a fantastic place to spend your 21st birthday, though! A Starlite mule, whatever they're serving on the grilled bread that day, some mussels, chicken, and that ice cream sandwich for dessert!

                1. re: leanneabe

                  Right on! I love Starlite for exactly the same reasons as you, but for a hip 16th birthday party I recommend:

                  Not a club/bar (which I'm not certain is the most appropriate venue for teenagers anyway), but Kous-Kous. 16-year old girls will really like being able to sit around a table and eat interesting food in a cool "underground" location.

                  Also agree about Okan.

                  1. re: SaltyRaisins

                    Very cool!! Love the Kous-Kous idea, and many of the others. Thanks so much for helping me out.

          2. Benihana would be fun with your 16 year olds..
            Marrakesh in LJ with belly dancing and sitting on the floor.
            Melting Pot for fondue is another different idea.
            Water taxi over to Coronado from Gaslamp and then do a Segway tour of Coronado
            (619) 522-9011 and have early dinner at the Brigantine or Miguel's for the happy hour that is for all ages..great fish tacos!

            www.sdhe.com

            1. Cafe Chloe just came to mind, although I'd check first to see if they can pull a table for 8. I have a recollection that their largest table seats 5, but maybe there's a way around it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: daantaat

                There is a backroom which might fit eight people but in general I wouldn't recommend Cafe Chloe for larger groups (>5)