Arriving by Ducati - 50th bday dinner in Westside, San Fernando Valley or in between
It's my husband's 50th birthday. I'm going to surprise him with a Ducati rental so we can take a ride and then have dinner. Suggestions for a really yummy dinner at the nicest place we can arrive in motorcycle gear? Granted - it's a Ducati, but that means I won't be in a dress).
We'll leave from the San Fernando Valley. Favorite riding areas include PCH, Mulholland, etc. I considered Saddleback but didn't love it. Maybe something in Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey? That would make for a nice ride through the canyon...
I would take a relaxing ride out to Zuma via Malibu Canyon and then return home via the PCH and Topanga Canyon Blvd with a stop for dinner at the Inn of the 7th Ray. Had you seen the latest review of their new chef in the LA Times? Read it and other comments here on Chowhound linked here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7225...
With any luck this should make for a magical day and evening.
If you are on a Duc, riding 2 up, you will want a fun road, probably a loop of some sort, then dinner back on the way home. Don't know where you are in the Valley, but heading out to Palmdale then back over the Angeles Highway Crest and dropping back into Pasadena/Glendale for dinner would be my route.
There isn't too much on the loop except Newcome's which would be a fun stop for lunch but wee a bit of a detour as you need to head up the Angeles Crest then back down, but it isn't that bad a detour. If you have never been, Newcome's is a huge sport bike destination on the weekends, with unremarkable food and cold beer. It is also pretty much the only option for dining on the Crest.
Heading down into Pasadena after the ride, you could stop at any number of places. There is a Sushi Roku which I know is good, as well as Cafe Bizou and a Roy's, all of which you can go to casually dressed without feeling out of place. There is also Bistro 45, where I have not been but it is supposed to be excellent, as well as a number of steak/chop houses in the area. From Pasadena, it is an easy shot back to the Valley, without having to worry about heading back over the hill from the West Side after a long day and a glass of wine or two.
91 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103
33 Miller Alley at One Colorado, Pasadena, CA 91103
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion
Pasadena, CA, Pasadena, CA
Newcombs Ranch Inn
Angeles Crest Highway Mt, Pasadena, CA 91101
enjoyed many a breakfast/lunch riding up the Crest at Newcombs. ...even more fun now that Officer Friendly is no longer on a bike. the food isn't amazing, but it's good for a refuel in the middle of a ride.
you could come back into the valley and go somewhere like Ca del Sole (i'd call and tell them of your circumstances), or Ruth's Chris. or Bistro Garden if your hubby likes chocolate souffle.
We really like La Cachette in its new location on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica almost across the street from the Loews. What is nice is that with its patio you can be dressed pretty casually and still eat a great meal.
La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Open Mon-Thu 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm;
Fri 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm;
Sun 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm
Wow! This is all super. Am in the process of checking these places out. Have nice memories of La Cachette so that is a great idea too. Have been to Morimoto's sushi bar in Boca (saw the master himself!) but I haven't been to Nobu so that is always a possibility... Will check out the others...
Another recommendation was Bouchon in Beverly Hills. Thoughts?
Little Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067
11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Maybe the birthday has passed...but try Tony's Taverna in Malibu. A great Greek restaurant with entertainment on weekends. Valet parking will allow you to park your own if you would like...we have a car my husband will never let a Valet drive. They will allow you special parking with your Ducati...right in front most of the time. Menu is great and patio dining is romantic. Enjoy.
23410 Civic Center Way Ste B1, Malibu, CA 90265
You can also go to Froggy's, which is also in Topanga not to far from the Inn at the 7th Ray. They have good sea food and is casual.
Very different now than 10 years ago--it is now a bistro (with a semi-tapas style menu) in Santa Monica rather than a fine dining venue off Santa Monica Monica Blvd. There are a few familiar dishes from the old menu but the concept and look have changed. Not saying you won't enjoy it, just that you should go in with fresh eyes (and tastebuds) rather than sifting the experience through the veil of nostalgia.
Ado is Italian, in Venice, from a chef who was formerly at La Botte. And he drives a Ducati. Perhaps if you let him know about your arrival, you'll like find him enjoying the camaraderie. And it's always good to have the chef and proprietor on your side. The owner of the Buffalo Club - Tony - is also a Duc driver. Tony Esnault, of the highly regarded Patina downtown, drives a fast sportbike (Honda), not a Ducati, but he likes them.
1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404