Birthday for a group?
I would really like some 'hound advice for suggestions for a 40th birthday party
One option is to do a high-end meal with a very small group at a place like Bazaar, XIV, or Melisse, but most of the people we would want to invite can't afford that. The other option is to have a party for about 15-20 people at a less expensive place. I'm leaning toward the latter, but want to go to a restaurant that will provide a fun foodie experience for a group that, by default, would wind up at Cafe Bizou, La Frite or <shudder> Maria's for birthdays.
I'm thinking right now of getting everyone together for a Saturday or Sunday dim sum lunch in the San Gabriel Valley. Any recs for a dim sum restaurant that would have a private room available for a birthday group? I also have a concern because one member of our group does not eat shellfish or pork.
We would be open to just about any type of food, with the exception of Korean.
91 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103
15013 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Maybe I should clarify my original post. I think I would like to find something non-Italian or non-French. Most of the people attending live in West LA or in the San Fernando Valley and regularly dine at places like Lilly's, Brunello, or Fraiche. For this party, I want to consider places that they would not normally try, something besides the basic Sunday brunch at a cute upscale place on the westside. I'm not putting those places down; it's just that I wanted to use this opportunity for a bit of a foodie adventure. That is why dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley seemed like a cool idea (despite the food restrictions). It's just not an area we would regularly visit or the type of food we would regularly eat.
Another place I was considering was Yxta Cocina downtown, but they are not open for lunch on weekends. Guelaguetza is another possibility, but the last time I went for a weekend lunch, the mariachi band was playing very loudly.
I also love the Jitlada idea, since I have not been there in many years and have been wanting to try some of the Southern Thai dishes. Would it work for a group of 15-20, or is the restaurant too small? Also, will the food be too spicy for people who don't like fiery foods?
I had another really nice meal at Izakaya Bincho last night. I think it would satisfy the specific criterion on the no shellfish/no pork issue since everything is small plates and you could share or individually order, the food is excellent, and the service is normally very good.
The downside is IB is small - I think including the booths and seats at the bar, seating adds up to about 22. Also, Megumi-san wasn't there - didn't ask why.
But maybe along these lines, might an izakaya or yakitori place work?The top two that come to mind that would be able to accommodate your group would be Musha and Torihei, both right across from each other off Carson in Torrance. Both fill up fast, so you'd have to call in advance to reserve space for a large group like yours.
1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501
424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501
I really like Brunello Trattoria - haven't been in a while. The owner(s) take good care of their customers, the food is quite good, the wines are nice but I find the atmosphere, the ambiance maybe a little short on the celebratory front. But I guess with a group of 15-20, that would change...
6001 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
in addition to westsidegal's suggestion of Lilly's, you might also look at Chez Mimi in Brentwood. the patio there is lovely as well. http://www.chezmimirestaurant.com/lunchmenu.htm
in sherman oaks, Spazio has a nice jazz brunch. http://www.spazio.la/res.php?stm=MENU...
would somewhere more ethnic like Jitlada Thai or Rahel be not special enough?
you might consider doing a "40th CRAWL" and pick an area or a theme to pursue...
5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Chez Mimi Restaurant
246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402
14755 Ventura Blvd Ste D, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
If you want to do dim sum with a private room, good choices would be Sea Harbour and Lunasia.
Another idea might be Indian Beer House (also in San Gabriel). Taiwanese pub food -- sort of like Chinese tapas, if you will. You won't get a private room but if you call ahead they will block off a section of the restaurant for your party and you'll have as much privacy in your own little section as you would in a private room.
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA
an 'in-between' place might be french food at Lilly's French Cafe in venice.
it would be less expensive than any of the high-end places you mentioned, but more expensive than bizou or frite.
i like their food a lot.
the settiing is REALLY lovely.
Lilly's French Cafe & Bar
1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
>>I also have a concern because one member of our group does not eat shellfish or pork.<<
If it weren't for this one exception, dim sum would be a slam dunk. Westsidegal's rec is a great fit. One of the best patio areas for a casual meal and the food is very good (FWIW, my French friends find Lilly's perfectly acceptable). I like the goat cheese tart, the moules frites, the hanger steak and their desserts.