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Suggestions for an Unforgettable 30th -Dan Tanas, Mozza, Steak House, Papa Cristo OR...

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Hi hounds,

I need your help trying to figure out where I should have dinner this year for the big 3-0. So far I have been considering the following:
Dan Tanas- This is one of my favorite restaurants in terms of atmosphere but I go here often and am thinking I may want to change things up for a celebratory dinner.
Papa Cristo - My birthday happens to fall on a Thursday and I have always wanted to do the family dinner here but am hesitant to try it out for the first time for my birthday...thoughts?
Jack Warner Room @ Mozza - Mozza again is one of my favorite restaurants and the Jack Warner room would be a great way to have an intimate dinner there however at $80/pp exclusive of alcohol I am not sure if it's worth it.
The Steak House - I have been dying to go here and try the A5 grade Kobe but Torrance is a trek for us as we are all located in the West Hollywood/Hollywood area. Also, I have read a few disconcerting reviews about the decline of quality here which adds to my resistance.

Any other suggestions out there or endorsements for the aforementioned options? I love all types of cuisine and am being taken to Urasawa by a friend so I was leaning away from Japanese/sushi but will truly consider anything.

Location and price don't really matter but amazing food and a decent atmosphere are key--it is my 30th after all!!

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Papa Cristos
2771 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Urasawa Restaurant
218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Dan Tana's Restaurant
9071 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

The Steak House
2933 Rolling Hills Rd, Torrance, CA 90505

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  1. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that my party will be between 10-20ppl depending on where we go if that makes a difference. Thanks!!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: BrookieStyles

      My standard suggestion for a 30th B-Day party with a group = Moroccan.

      Dar Maghreb - Hollywood
      Private room holds 12-18.
      3 menus, food only, $37p/p.
      Belly Dancing - Nightly.

      http://www.darmaghrebrestaurant.com/c...

      -----
      Dar Maghreb
      7651 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

      1. re: JBC

        Thanks for the suggestion but I think I would prefer to go somewhere a little more food-centric...

        1. re: BrookieStyles

          You might be interested in this recent review by exilekiss: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7113...

          1. re: Servorg

            Interesting...I actually ate here not too long ago and wasn't that impressed but this makes me think it may be worth revisiting.

      2. re: BrookieStyles

        I think you could get a room at Drago Centro that would make for a memorable meal/evening.

        -----
        Drago Centro
        525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

      3. i love papa cristos, but imho it is not nearly festive enough for a birthday.
        as an aside, to me, their take-out food from the deli dept is superior to the hot food they prepare to order.
        good bread, fantastic feta, and olives.
        i believe they do a better job with the simpler things that rely more on ingredient- quality rather than things that rely more on care-in-preparation.

        5 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          The Thursday night Big Fat Greek Dinner at Papa Cristo's is a lot of fun. They fill the entire restaurant for a big party and serve family style.The Thursday Night dinner kicks off at 6:30pm with appetizers and wine tasting followed by additional appetizers, Greek salad, freshly baked bread, two entrees, several side dishes, baklava and coffee. Soft drinks are included. They are very generous with the servings, no one leaves hungry (they will even bring seconds). They get a mix of every age group, from kids to 90 year olds. A lot of birthdays. $24 per person includes tip and belly dancing. (wine and beer are extra) It's a little corny but you can't help leaving at the end of the night with a big smile on your face.
          http://papacristos.com/

          -----
          Papa Cristos
          2771 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

          1. re: wienermobile

            i've been to a couple of their thursday soirees. imho, the thursday night food is even more poorly-prepared than their 'normal' made to order food.
            completely unimpressed with the whole deal.
            sorry to disagree.

            1. re: westsidegal

              I agree, fine dining it is not.

              1. re: wienermobile

                it's really too bad, because, it seems to me that the basic ingredient quality is good enough, the problem is what they do with the ingredients. . . . .

                also, BrookieStyles specified that s/he wants a place that is food centric.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  But it's still a very fun evening.

          2. If SaMo isn't too far, I think the back room at Musha is amazing for parties. It sits 12 or so, I believe. You might also consider the private room at Comme Ca, which I think would be a lot less than $80pp tab at Mozza.

            -----
            Musha
            424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            3 Replies
            1. re: mollyomormon

              You may want to consider the patio at the Buffalo Club.

              -----
              Buffalo Club
              1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

              1. re: mollyomormon

                Musha was going to be my suggestion as well.

                depending upon group size, i might also consider Jitlada... maybe. or since you're interested in food-centric, Ethiopian, like Rahel...

                ooh, or head to SGV for Dim Sum. that could be unforgettable.

                -----
                Jitlada
                5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                Musha
                424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                1. re: Emme

                  Those are good ideas, Emme, I esp. like Jitlada.

                  If you are into the steak scene, Spago's CUT is supposed to be awesome, with a great interior.

                  -----
                  Jitlada
                  5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                  Spago
                  176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

              2. Hi BrookieStyles,

                Happy (Early) Birthday! :)

                First off, that's fantastic that your friend is taking you to Urasawa, so that's one recommendation you don't need. :)

                For your requirements: "Location and price don't really matter but amazing food and a decent atmosphere are key--it is my 30th after all!!"

                Some ideas:

                * Animal - I've had friends buy out the whole restaurant for their special occasions, so that's one possibility. Great food for sure. :)

                * Torihei - It's comfy and cozy, and you'd be treating your guests and yourself to some amazing Kyoto-style Oden and Yakitori (different experience than what you're having at Urasawa).

                * Sea Harbour - They have private dining rooms, and you can go hog wild on ordering Live Giant Shrimp, Live Lobster, Live Crab, Live Geoduck, Live Fish, etc. and have them cook them to your liking (with Ginger and Green Onions, etc.).

                * Spago - Tasting Menu. Let Wolfgang, Hefter & Co. create a custom Tasting Menu with your favorite items. :)

                * Providence - Same idea as Spago. Let Chef Cimarusti create a personal Chef's Menu based on your favorite ingredients and sit back and enjoy. :) (One Chowhound posted about a total Foie Gras Menu they had a few years ago. :)

                No matter where you go, hope you enjoy your Birthday~ ;)

                -----
                Providence
                5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                Spago
                176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
                3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA

                Torihei
                1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                15 Replies
                1. re: exilekiss

                  ex, I don't think Animal would accommodate a party of the size (10 to 20) she is talking about in her post. They gave me a little trouble when I called for a table for 7 before. Otherwise it would have been my first rec.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    What do you mean Serv? You couldn't get a table for 7? Or you wanted the whole resto for 7??

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      They told me they didn't like to do parties of more than 7 (and preferred 6 or less) because they have a very small kitchen and getting that much food out at the same time for one table screws up the orders for other tables.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Aaaah. Okay, so, did you just make two rezzies instead? Or bagged it?

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          They said okay to the table for 7 people (my wife's birthday) and we had our usual stellar meal with great service. My review of that night can be found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668964

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Awesome. Just love that place.

                    2. re: Servorg

                      It's possible to buy out the entire restaurant for the night, though. I've had friends do it too (maybe the same ones, exilekiss :)) who have done it and said it's relatively reasonable.

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        That is obviously an option then, but the same problem of getting all the food out to everyone at the same time might make a real "hash" of getting your dinner in a timely and "hot food" basis.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Hi Servorg,

                          Yah, I know of 2 separate parties that have bought out Animal for the evening for their private events (I wish I could do that! :). But good point on pacing, but with Foie Gras, Pork Belly and Quail so good, who's complaining? (^_~)

                          1. re: exilekiss

                            Did the restaurant restrict choices a bit or truncate the menu in some way, so that the kitchen would have more of an idea of what was going to be prepared for those parties (if you know) that night?

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Hi Servorg,

                              For one of the parties (mollyomormon would know more about the menu :), but the 2nd party was definitely a restricted menu (worked out in advance between both parties). Thanks.

                    3. re: exilekiss

                      Thank you so much for the lovely suggestions and early birthday wishes! I do love Animal but immediately discounted it due to my large party size. Torihei I have never been to so that could work. I have done the tasting menus at Spago & Providence so many times I am burnt out on them.

                      No thoughts on The Steakhouse in Torrance anyone?

                      -----
                      Spago
                      176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                      Torihei
                      1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                      1. re: BrookieStyles

                        If Torrance is too far, but you're considering Torihei.....I'd go for the Steakhouse myself!!

                        1. re: BrookieStyles

                          Hi BrookieStyles,

                          I really enjoyed my visit to The Steak House, but the only reason I didn't mention it is because I haven't had the chance to go back in ~1.5 years. If I go back soon, I'll be sure to post here and let you know how it turns out. :)

                          1. re: BrookieStyles

                            The steaks at The Steak House are out of this world. Unfortunately, everything else is just ok, including the ambience. I don't see it as a celebratory place. If you do go, I would suggest getting just the steak, not the 4-5 course dinner. I didn't think the additional cost was worth it.

                            -----
                            The Steak House
                            2933 Rolling Hills Rd, Torrance, CA 90505

                        2. Happy Birthday! I had a similar situation for my 30th a few days ago. I like to take my bday as an opportunity show my friends how to eat. We went with Drago Centro. The rooms including the "vault" require you to do tasting menus which everyone might not be willing to shell out the cash for. They were able to set up one long table for our party of 15. The food was great. The only issue was they wouldn't let us eat the cake that my friends brought at the restaurant. Some BS about them being liable if someone where to get sick. After that we had a downtown bar crawl. Other places I was considering were the whole pig dinner at Fords filling station, Parks kbbq, and Sea harbor/elite. Last year was also really fun when I took everyone to Masan for live uni, lobster and of course still moving octopus.

                          -----
                          Drago Centro
                          525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                          Masan Restaurant
                          2851 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: peppermonkey

                            I think that the cake cutting prohibition is fairly standard. It really is a liability thing for them to have food brought in from somewhere else. Sounds like an amazing birthday!!

                            1. re: mollyomormon

                              I don't know. There's so many ways people could get sick (eating before, drinking). I would think it would be hard to prove it was soley attributed to a restaurant.

                              1. re: peppermonkey

                                The restaurant is only worrying about what the plaintiffs attorneys may be alleging in any lawsuits that arise (and that they will have to spend money defending themselves against).

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Folks, this is veering way off-topic for our local boards. If you want to continue this conversation, please start a new thread about cake-cutting policies on the Not About Food board. Thanks.

                          2. I really like the food and the outdoor atmosphere at Wilshire, and they do have private rooms, though Santa Monica may be too far.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NAspy

                              Love Wilshire also.

                              Have you considered Whist at the Viceroy? You can probably get a cabana or two on their gorgeous patio. Food, service & wine are wonderful, and prices are not too bad.